Dinner Ideas

Dinner Ideas

Crave-able Chicken Casserole


Winter is the best time for comfort foods. Warm, hearty, rich meals that call to you when it’s chilly outside. Anytime is a good time for eat-some & freeze-some meals. Crave-able Chicken Casserole is a family favorite. It’s a recipe that I’ve shared with friends more times than I can count. Although I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe, I must give credit to my brother-in-law for passing along the recipe to us: many thanks bro!

What is in a good casserole? Protein, veggies, sauce, carbs, and of course, cheese. The crave-able chicken casserole has it all. You probably know I am a big advocate of non-GMO foods and in my house we do our best to grow our own veggies and fruits. When we can’t grow ‘em, I make sure that I do my best to buy organic veggies, or exclusively grass-fed, or free-range meats. I make sure the dairy I buy comes from cows not treated with RBST, which is a synthetic hormone that causes the cow to produce more milk than is natural. I don’t have any paid or affiliate links in this post but will list which brands I’ve found that are produced without GMOs.

Crave-able Chicken Casserole Recipe

  • approximately 12 Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Large Cans Cream of Chicken Soup (I prefer homemade dbl batch)
  • 2 Boxes Herb Seasoned Stuffing (I prefer Mrs. Cubbisons)
  • 3-4 Carrots, washed and sliced
  • 3-4 stalks of Celery, washed and chopped
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 8-16 oz of Cheese, shredded (I prefer Tillamook cheddar)

Season and grill the chicken thighs. Meanwhile wash and chop your veggies and shred the cheese if not pre-shredded. Remove thighs from grill, making sure not to over cook, set aside. Place water according to Stuffing directions into a pot with veggies and set to boil. Once boiling add stuffing and mix, cover and turn off heat, set aside. Chop or shred chicken into small pieces. In a separate pot, add the soup and one can of water, mix and allow to come to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. Fluff stuffing with a fork after 5-10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out two 13×9 pans. Add soup to cover bottom of pans, then layer with stuffing. Layer chicken on top, then more soup, more stuffing, more chicken and finally cheese. Repeat with the second pan. Depending on how generous you are with your layers, you may only have enough for a second 8×8 pan.

Place one pan in the oven for 30 min. This will help the flavors to meld and the cheese to melt. Cover the other pan and stick it in the freezer for a no-prep dinner another day.

Craveable Chicken Casserole
Craveable Chicken Casserole

Dish up your Crave-able Chicken Casserole and enjoy! I like to use a knife to line out serving sizes in the pan before scooping it out with a spatula, it helps me to know how much i’ve indulged, LOL. We don’t drink sodas anymore, but back-in-the-day when we did, the best pairing for this dish was an ice-cold Coca Cola Classic. Yum!

In our house Crave-able Chicken Casserole goes by many names: Chicken Slop, Chicken Goodness, Chicken Puke (My husband’s favorite). It isn’t a pretty plated dish, but it sure does taste good.

Over the years I’ve experimented with adding (on different occasions) croissant rolls to the top of the dish, pie crust to the bottom, with leftover turkey instead of chicken, and served with homemade cranberry sauce as a dip on the side. They all came out yummy, but I still prefer the basic recipe as it is posted.

Let me know how yours turns out and if you have any tasty modifications you made, please share them with us in the comments below!

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Quickie Gourmet

Easy Shepherd’s Pie – Scrumptious

Shepherds-Pie-Ready-To-Eat 2

Want a crave-able dinner recipe that is easy to make, healthy and covers lunch and dinner for a few days? This easy Shepherd’s Pie meets all those requirements AND is on my super-tasty comfort food list. Whip this dish up in under 45 minutes using only a pan, bowl, baking dish and mashing device.

Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb, hence the name Shepherd’s Pie. Add gravy and finish with mashed potato crust, voila deliciousness. It is a traditional dish belonging to the British, Irish and Scottish. The Scottish dish was originally prepared with pastry instead of potato according to the Oxford Companion to Food . Make it with beef or turkey and the dish is called Cottage Pie.

Don’t be intimidated! The process is easy despite the long ingredient list. All the ingredients should be familiar. Bonus: you can substitute seasonal vegetables from your garden (or farmer’s market) and this dish will always be fresh.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

  • 3 Lbs Yukon Gold potatoes cubed
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 large egg, separate yolk from white
  • 1-2 C cheddar or colby cheese shredded
  • 3-4 medium size garlic cloves
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 carrots, quartered and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 carton of mini portobello mushrooms sliced
  • 2 LBS ground lamb, beef or turkey
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 3-4 medium size garlic cloves
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 4 TBS flour
  • 2 C beef or vegetable stock Or Substitute 1 C for Red Wine
  • 4 Tsp Worcestershire

Lets get to cooking this easy Shepherd’s Pie!

Clean and cube your potatoes, then boil them in a large skillet of salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse potatoes, place into large bowl and add butter. Now set the potatoes aside and rinse out the skillet.
Yukon Gold Potatoes Cubed and Boiled
While the potatoes boil, chop onion, carrots, mushrooms and peel garlic. When the skillet is rinsed, add olive oil and meat and begin to brown over medium heat. If meat is excessively fatty as lamb often is, spoon away some of the drippings at this point. Then add chopped vegetables, mushrooms, salt and pepper to the pan about halfway through cooking.

Once meat is cooked through reduce heat to medium-low and and add peas, pressed garlic and butter and stir. Preheat broiler on high. Sprinkle flour all over the meat mixture, then mix well and cook for 1 minute. Now add 1 cup Beef Stock (or wine), and allow to reduce for about 4 minutes. Next add beef stock and Worcestershire and reduce to a nice thick gravy. Remove from heat.

Add egg yolk, pressed garlic, cheese and milk to the potatoes and blend on low or mash using a masher. Since I keep the skin on the potato, I like to mash with a blender on low. However, I am careful to make sure I don’t over blend, else i’d end up with a gluey mess. Blend until ingredients are just mixed, and there aren’t any large chunks of potato left (smallish potato pieces are okay).

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Add Milk, Egg, Cheese and Garlic

Take a 9×13 baking dish and an 8×8 baking dish and wipe baking surface with olive oil. Spread meat and gravy mixture into the bottom of each pan. Finally, top each with mashed potatoes and then sprinkle with paprika.

Place one easy Shepherd’s Pie in the oven (on High-Broil setting) with the rack close to the top of the oven. Broil for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally, until the top of the potatoes are slightly crusted over and are golden brown. Remove from heat and serve. Don’t forget your glass of of wine on the counter. Enjoy!

Cover and freeze the other Shepherd’s Pie to save it for a quick meal another day.

Indeed, this may just be one of my favorite comfort food casseroles. Below are some additional options to spice it up!

Optional additional seasonings:

For lamb, beef or elk:
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 tsp celery salt in place of regular salt
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

For turkey:
1-2 TBS McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning

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