Friday, August 12, 2011

Rach's Whatever Casserole

I have a "go to" casserole that is a creation from my head.
I make variations of this recipe at least 3 times a month.
I call it a "whatever" casserole because I usually grab whatever will work from my cupboard. Whatever pasta, whatever cheeses, & whatever veggies.

It freezes really well, so it's also great to bring to a friend.
I said I will eventually write the recipe down to share.
My apologies for not having a finished product photo.
I'll post a photo next time I make it.
So here we are....a variation of:

Rach's Whatever Casserole


The Quick Recipe

- 3 breasts of chicken breast (cooked & cubed)
- package of pasta (cooked to package directions)
- 1 can of cream of chicken soup
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 12 oz good melting cheese (see below)
- 1 package veggies
- 4 slices of bread
- 2-3 Tablespoons melted butter
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Cook chicken & pasta.
Melt cheese, cream of chicken soup & sour cream
Mix chicken, pasta, veggies, & sauce & pour in baking dish
Top with bread cubes.
Add thin layer of melted butter on bread
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
Bake covered at 350 degrees, then uncovered for 15 minutes.


And a detailed and pictured run down of my methods. Here are the ingredients.....oops, the chicken is still in the fridge! The first 3 steps can easily be done ahead of time...making the finally casserole assembly quite easy & fast.




FIRST
Cook & cube (or shred) the chicken.
You can use grilled chicken, pan cooked, or baked.
This can easily be done a few days before.
Or even weeks before & then frozen for later use....like now



SECOND
Cook pasta according to directions on box.
You can certainly cook the pasta a few days before too.
I like rotini because it collects lots of sauce.
I also use penne (tubular) & farfalle (bowtie).
Always run cold water over it to stop the cooking.
That way your noodles won't get too mushy.
Be sure to salt the water before you cook the pasta!



THIRD

Cook the broccoli.
My method is put water in pan & bring to rapid boil
Add broccoli florets & cook for 6 minutes



I always drain the broccoli in cold water to stop cooking.
Then I lay on paper towel so absorb excess water.



I usually use a small bag of frozen veggies.
I like the one with carrots, peas, & corn.
Sometimes I get the one with green beans in the mix too.
I just happened to have some broccoli in the fridge.



FOURTH

Start with a can of cream of chicken soup.
Make sure your burner is on medium/low.
Lower heat is important for melting cheese.
Add shredded melting cheese

Good melting cheese are Havarti, Asiago, Cheddar, Fontina, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Meunster, Gouda, Blue cheese, Camembert or Brie.

Do not use Mozzarella, Provolone, Colby, or Colbyjack because they will be stringy. Also do not try feta, goat cheese, or cottage cheese....because they won't melt...and it would probably taste like barf.



My favorite is an 8 oz block of creamy havarti from Aldi. Another favorite is Monterey Jack cheese because I almost always have some in my fridge. I haven't ever used Pepperjack, but I bet it would be awesome and give your casserole a mild kick. I shred an 8oz package of either Havarti or Monterey Jack (because they are somewhat mild, but still have flavor) & then grab some of more of whatever I can find in my cheese drawer. This time I found some Muenster & Cheddar. I shredded about a small bowl of cheddar & used 2 slices of Muenster. I also love adding a tablespoon or two of blue cheese....yum.



Melt slowly like you're making cheese fondue.
Also, adding a tablespoon of white wine is delicious!



Once the mixture is smooth, stir in about 1/4 cup of sour cream.
I have also used a few tablespoons of cream cheese.....yum.



FIFTH
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl



SIXTH
Pour casserole contents into baking dish
I love using the disposable ones if I'm going to freeze it or bring it to a friend. Totally worth the $0.50 for zero clean up!



SEVENTH
Sprinkle on some bacon.
Sometimes I use real bacon bit that I fried earlier that week.
But most times I am lazy



EIGHTH
Cut up 4 slices of bread & sprinkle on top



NINTH
melt a few tablespoons of butter and brush on top



TENTH
Sprinkle some Parmesan on the bread cubes



Now look at your job well done. It's gonna be so yummy!



ELEVENTH
Cover with foil & store in the fridge
Or bring it to a friend



Or throw it in your freezer



Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Remove foil.
Bake additional 15 minutes.
Bread cubes should get golden & crusty
.

** If frozen, then let thaw in refrigerator for a day before cooking.

4 comments:

Lesley said...

YAY!! I'm so excited! But I'm already confused. Did you use 8oz of Havarti AND two slices of muenster AND 8 oz cheddar? See how crappy I am at cooking??

I'm so excited! Did I mention that?

Anyone reading this...MAKE THIS! IT"S SO YUMMY!

Rach said...

Les, yes....that was a bit confusing so I changed my wording. I always use a full 8 oz of either Havarti or Monterey Jack....and then a combination of whatever cheese I find to make up the final 4 oz of cheese. I have used a full block of cheddar before...but I wouldn't recommend it because it was way too cheesy and rich.

Anonymous said...

That looks great, have to try this. Hey, what happened to the french toast bake recipe you posted awhile ago? That was amazing, and my first introduction to your blog.
Please keep sharing recipes, love them.

Stephanie said...

Hey! I was literally in the middle of baking your baked French toast recipe when the link/page disappeared. :( I had found it on pinterest and it looked amazing!!! Is there anyway you can put it back up? Thanks!!!

Stephlynne16@yahoo.com

 

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