Food, like fashion, goes in and out of style, often because of the economy, a new appliance that has become very popular, or sometimes just because people get bored eating the same food all of the time. Right now, comfort food is trendy, and that includes old-fashioned casseroles. Casseroles are always popular because they are quick to assemble, can often be made ahead, utilize leftovers and convenience foods, are easy on the budget, and are just plain good. Usually casseroles contain most of the elements needed for a full meal, such as a protein-rich component such as leftover meat, chicken or fish, veggies, and starch, all bound together with a sauce and often topped with cheese or crunchy crumbs or both.
Charles Harrison, a busy flight attendant, is the cook in his family when he’s home, and serves this homey Quick Chicken and Noodles Hot Dish when time is tight. It goes great with a salad and crusty bread if there’s time, and is especially popular with kids, since there are no fancy or fru-fru ingredients. Although Charles usually cooks chicken breasts specifically for this dish, it’s faster and easier to grab a package of chicken or turkey from the Poached Chicken Module or the Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Module that are in the freezer. The remaining ingredients are most likely already on the pantry shelves. While this easy casserole is quick to put together, it can be assembled the night before and refrigerated. Whether it’s made ahead, or just before serving, old-fashioned comfort food is only 30-45 minutes away.
1 12 oz. package fusilli, or favorite variety of egg noodles
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pound processed American cheese, such as Velveeta
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
2 to 3 cups poached chicken breasts from the poached chicken module, or turkey breast from the slow cooker turkey breast module, diced (or substitute rotisserie or leftover chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces (about 1 sleeve) butter crackers, coarsely crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, open the cans of soup, cube the cheese, and measure the onion flakes.
- When the pasta is done, drain in a colander, and return to the cooking pot.
- Immediately stir in the soups, cheese, and onion flakes; stir until the cheese is mostly melted and the sauce is well mixed.
- Stir in the chicken and milk.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13" shallow baking dish, sprinkle the crumbs on top, and bake 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cracker crumbs are golden.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 147
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 41% Protein 21% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 46 mg
Sodium 1044 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 19 g
Vitamin A 9% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 7%