Tag Archives: Casserole

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?  Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time!  My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring.  At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole.  Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!

I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.

If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.

“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!

Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds.  I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew!  I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜

The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.

I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces.  Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)

Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer.  Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer.  Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers.  I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds.  Oh my goodness!  Can you just taste it now?  

I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!

Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe!  Keep ’em coming!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S.  Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds.  I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color.  What do you think?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
  • 16 oz. light sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted *Optional
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
  • Slivered Almonds *Optional
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
  4. Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
  5. Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
  6. Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
  7. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
Notes
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs.
Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well.
May use canned or fresh chicken breast.
Poppy seeds and almonds optional.
Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.

 

 

 

Guest Post For Christian Camp Pro!


Hi!  I am just stopping by for a quick second to share this guest post I did for
Christian Camp Pro!

 

 

Link: What’s For Dinner??

This is a blog post about food planning for a reunion, retreat, or even a party in your home.  Just some practical tips and some of my favorite recipes we have served at our family reunion!

What a blessing it was to join Old Hickory Lake Community Bible Study Leadership in January to stay at Oasis Christian Center and Retreat in Franklin, Kentucky.  I wrote about it here.

Andy McClung is one of the family members who own and run this Christian retreat center.  He is also the author of the website Christian Camp Pro. He created Christian Camp Pro in January 2013 after noticing that there wasn’t a centralized place for event coordinators to find Christian based themes, games, and ideas for their specific types of events.

While I was there Andy and I talked about our websites, food and the wonderful world of blogging! He invited me to write a guest post and with over a million visitors a year on Christian Camp Pro I couldn’t resist sharing a bit of My Daily Bread Body and Soul.

I hope you will check out my blog post and leave a comment when you do!

What’s For Dinner? 3 Steps When Planning Food For A Large Group

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Do you make cabbage rolls?  You know, the cabbage leaf stuffed with cooked meat, rice, onions, and seasonings?   Cabbage “rolls” are popular among Europeans and traditionally served among the Jewish on  Simchat Torah. I’ve read that stuffed cabbage is said to have entered Jewish cooking some 2,000 years ago.  Recipes vary depending on region; Romanians and northern Poles prefer a savory sauce, while Galicia and Ukraine favor sweet-and-sour.  Unfortunately, that is all the description that I can honestly give because I have never made cabbage rolls.  Knowing this, why in the world would a recipe headline “Cabbage Roll Casserole” catch my attention?

Maybe it was this picture from the Taste of Home website.

Or,  most likely it was the head of cabbage I had in the refrigerator and the looming dinner hour that was fast approaching!

A quick check of ingredients and I was good to go.  I swapped out ground turkey for the ground hamburger, and I used a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes for part of the tomato sauce.  I knew my Chief Casserole Eater would appreciate the flavor kicked up a notch.  I “hoped” my Sous-Chef Dish-washing mom could tolerate the heat.  It turned out great!  Spicy enough to please The Chief and mild enough to keep mama happy! 😜  By using ground turkey I skipped the “drain the cooked meat” stage.  I also added more bacon.  The Taste of Home recipe called for 4 strips of bacon.  Come on, really?  Four strips of bacon only wet our taste for bacon.  We could smell it cooking but couldn’t find it in the casserole.  I suggest 8 strips of bacon or even better yet, “bacon to taste!”

This recipe makes a BIG 9″x13″ casserole.  Some recipes call for a 9″x13″ pan but it isn’t really “full.”  This isn’t one of those recipes.  This will fill your pan and easily make 12 to 16 hearty servings.

We absolutely love this casserole.  It is hearty, fragrant, and loaded with flavor.  Tomato based recipes often times improve with age and this one definitely does.  The first night we had it right out of the oven it was delicious.  The second time we had it “warmed up” the flavors had melded and improved.  But the third time we had it for a lunch meal, oh my goodness, we all agreed “this just keeps getting better and better!”  I put one-fourth of it in the freezer and anticipate yet another outstanding meal in the future.

This casserole “layers” beginning with cabbage, topped with the meat sauce, another layer of cabbage, meat sauce and ending with cabbage.  A bit of the sauce is held out from the meat mixture and finishes the top.  Add the cheese the last 10 minutes of baking.

Oh yum!  I want some now.  It is a little bit past lunchtime and seriously my mouth is watering! I used a medium head of cabbage (about 2 pounds) chopped up.  However, pre-packaged coleslaw mix will work just as well and save you some time. If you and your family can take a little heat don’t skip the Ro*Tel – I think it absolutely made this casserole outstanding.

Speaking of heat, it is spring in Tennessee.  It was almost 80 degrees yesterday and The Chief and I got out on the golf course.   Our peach trees have bloomed and just yesterday winter gave way to this beautiful iris.

Having said that, it is cold today and we have a freeze warning tonight!  Such is the personality of Mother Nature in the spring.  Wherever you are I pray you are having a good day and a blessed week!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night, 
shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:22

Cabbage Roll Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Many European and Polish descendants will know Cabbage Rolls as a holiday favorite. But how about making them into a casserole? This is easier than making the rolls but the end result will thrill the family all the same!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish Casserole
Serves: 12-16
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (Or bacon to taste)
  • 1 medium head cabbage (2 pounds), chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, cook beef (or turkey) and onion over medium heat, crumbling until the meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain if using beef. Stir in one can of tomato sauce, Ro*Tel tomatoes, and next five seasoning ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Stir in cooked rice and cooked and crumbled bacon; remove from heat.
  2. Layer a third of the cabbage in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  3. Top with half of the meat mixture. Repeat layers; top with remaining cabbage. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top.
  4. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Yield: 12 servings.
Notes
Minimize mess by using 90% lean ground beef or ground turkey (so you can skip the draining step) and use coleslaw mix (so you don't have to chop cabbage).

 

 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

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Upon arriving home from a lengthy vacation this summer this casserole and fresh homemade bread awaited us! Our friends John and Maribeth came to the airport to collect my sous chef dish-washing mother, my Chief Traveling Buddy and I. That in itself was a lovely gesture on their part because we live about 1 1/2 hours from the airport!  Oh, but what a surprise when we arrived home and Maribeth had our first meal already prepared and waiting for us.

Maribeth is a very good cook and I often ask her for recipes after eating in their home.  This was no exception.  I’ve never made this type of casserole and to say we flipped over it would be a bit of an understatement.

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

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