Monday, July 15, 2013

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has way too many of these in my pantry!!

...rolled-up bags of chips that are 3/4 consumed, leaving a handful or so of chips and crumbs in the bottom of the bag! I don't know what it is about my kids, but apparently they're afraid to completely finish something. They leave handfuls of chips, half a cup of cereal, two gulps of milk, one slice of cheese, etc., etc., etc., in my pantry, fridge and freezer ALL the time! The chips almost always get tossed and it drives me crazy watching all that money and food go to waste. So one of my favorite ways to use up chip crumbs is to sprinkle them on top of casseroles. The oven bakes them up crispy again and they add a nice crunch and flavor to chicken, tuna or veggie casserole dishes. So Saturday night I was in the mood for a tasty, comforting casserole for dinner. I had about a cup of broccoli in the fridge from when hubs made his Ultimate Twice-Baked Potatoes and these FIVE bags of rolled-up chip crumbs in my pantry. So throwing together a few other yummy ingredients along with these resulted in a good, old-fashioned casserole like grandma used to make. Now, I don't claim this to be low-fat by any means. You could certainly cut back on the fat by using low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt and reduced-fat cream soups and cheese as well if you so desire. But this casserole certainly comes in handy for those busy nights when you need something filling that cooks up in under an hour!

Ready for its first bout in the oven!

On my plate about to be devoured...

Makes 6-8 Servings

16 oz egg noodles
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (or the equivalent of two cans of my homemade Cream of Chicken soup mix)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & cubed
1 1/2 cups of broccoli, cooked/thawed and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2+ cups of potato chip crumbs, any flavor you want

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil pasta for 7-8 minutes and drain. In a large bowl combine the noodles, sour cream, milk, soup and seasonings. Stir in chopped broccoli, chicken and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Take casserole out, sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with potato chip crumbs and spread evenly. Bake another 10 minutes until chips are lightly browned on the edges. Serve.

Yet another one of those amazingly versatile recipes that you can really do so much with to create the flavor you're in the mood for. You could substitute peas for the broccoli. Adding in a half a cup of chopped onions would be amazing also. You could use tuna instead of the chicken or even cubed ham if you had some on hand and needed a quick dinner. Like I said, you can easily lower the fat content by using lower fat ingredients if you want. I always use fat free dry milk when making my cream of chicken soup mix, so that's already lower in fat than the original canned stuff. This was a hit and my kids all had seconds! Only a small serving, enough for one person, was put away as leftovers, so this will definitely be added to the repertoire of regulars! So what did everyone do this weekend? Happy Monday!

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