Lotsa Chicken Casserole

Surprise, surprise… another busy night and the need for a quick dinner. After speaking to my mother on my way home, I was compelled to make her tuna casserole; upon arriving home, I realized I had ingredients for a new spin on this old favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: lotsa chicken casserole! Behold the chickeny goodness:

LOTSA CHICKEN CASSEROLE

(uber adapted from Anne Rivas)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Trader Joe’s white meat chicken, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can healthy request cream of celery
  • 1 can healthy request cream of mushroom
  • 2 cups frozen peas and corn, slightly thawed (I used about 2 cups). You could just as easily use other veggies here; spinach and artichokes sound delish!
  • 10 oz whole wheat egg noodles
  • Milk
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to boil; add noodles and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until quite al dente. *Under-cooking the noodles a bit here is no sin, as they’ll be baked later, and no one likes mushy noodles.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the soups, drained chicken, veggies, a few generous twists of pepper, and a tablespoon or two of milk. When noodles are mostly done, with a bite to them, drain and add to chicken mixture.

Pour mixture into an ungreased baking dish (I used my handy dandy Corningware casserole because Corningware makes even casual food pretty) and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes; remove foil and sprinkle top of casserole with Parmesan. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top looks browned and yummy. Let cool 5 minutes, if you can- I was starving and dug right in!! Would be a complete meal with a side salad, or, as I served it, the Schlafly beer of your choice. Serves 4-6

Here are some variations on this recipe:

  1. The spinach artichoke version mentioned above: canned chicken, salmon, or crab with the spinach and artichokes in place of the peas and corn.
  2. Buffalo chicken casserole! Canned chicken, two cans cream of celery, two tablespoons hot sauce, chopped celery, blue cheese crumbles.
  3. Crab cake casserole: canned crab, corn, celery, leeks, red bell pepper, sprinkle whole wheat breadcrumbs and Parmesan on top. Use cream of celery.
  4. New York salmon casserole: cream of mushroom, canned salmon, capers, red onion, green onion, chopped cream cheese stirred in. Maybe even bagel chips on top!
  5. Chicken pot pie casserole: cream of chicken, canned chicken, and mixed vegetables.

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