Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chicken Macaroni Bake

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got busy in the kitchen cooking up doubles of nearly everything (casseroles, pizza crust, taco meat, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, chili, muffins, pies etc.). I kept busy cooking and baking to help the days go by during the long last 2 months of my pregnancy (And, let me tell ya, those were long days!). Anytime I cooked something for supper, I would double it and freeze half. I stockpiled our freezer so that right after our daughter was born, I wouldn't have to cook hardly anything if I didn't want to. My stockpile lasted us for almost 6 weeks after she was born! My general philosophy is that if you are going to go to all the work to make something in the first place, you might as well at least double the recipe and freeze half of it. During my crazy pregnant cooking frenzies, I found some really tasty casserole recipes that freeze very well.

As I was going through my fridge yesterday, I found some broccoli and mushrooms that needed to be used up, so in the evening I decided to use them and cook up one of my favourite freezer-friendly casseroles, Chicken Macaroni Bake.

Here's a picture I took of the casseroles before I wrapped them and put them into the freezer.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Macaroni Bake (This recipe yields 1 casserole that will feed 4-6 people. I double it)

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (do not dilute)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups dry macaroni (or any pasta variety)
  • 1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
Directions: Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside. In a large skillet, brown onion and mushrooms in butter. Stir in soup, chicken, milk, 3/4 cups cheese, and broccoli. Heat until cheese melts. Blend sauce with cooked noodles. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Mix remaining 1/4 cup cheese with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top. (At this point, BEFORE BAKING, you can wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and then freeze it). Or, if fresh, you can bake it at 350 F for 30 minutes or until hot. If cooking frozen casserole, remove foil or plastic wrap, and bake at 350 F for about 1 hour or until hot.

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