You come into this world and you go out. It is THE fact of life. And no self-respecting Southern woman would witness birth or death without a casserole at arms reach. Sadly, I spent Monday traveling for a funeral. And when I’m sad I cook. I also cook when I’m happy. And when I’m bored, nervous, giddy and hopeful. But last week I was cooking for comfort. I had a mission of taking food to my friend whose loss was great.
I started by baking 18 chicken breasts. Because really, what is a comfort casserole without chicken? And cheese? From these requisite ingredients I made chicken spaghetti, chicken and spinach stuffed shells, chicken salad, and chicken enchiladas. Then I got really tired of chicken and made two crockpots of beef and bean chili and two egg and sausage breakfast casseroles. All of this is now in my freezer, except the chicken salad which is long gone. Because soon after I made all these casseroles I decided my friend was going to be up to her eyeballs in chicken and cheese. She has lots of Southern, casserole bearing friends.
So, I cleaned up the kitchen and made her family Lida’s Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloins instead. Which leaves me feeling a lot like Lucy Ricardo and with a freezer full of casseroles.
If you find yourself in need of a good casserole, look no further. If it’s within the next month, call me and you can come raid my freezer. If you are not within arms reach, here are the casserole recipes my friends. I’ll start with the Little’s favorite chicken spaghetti.
4 – 6 chicken breasts, cooked
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes (I use mild)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 package whole wheat spaghetti
1 lb package of shredded cheddar cheese
Cook spaghetti. Shred or chop chicken and saute with peppers and onion in a large skillet until veggies are soft. Add soups, Ro-Tel and stewed tomatoes. Cook on low until bubbling, then stir in chicken.
Drain cooked spaghetti and place in large, lightly greased baking dish. Stir in chicken mixture until well combined. Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.