Friday, Oct 19, 2018

Casserole Ideas. Easy meals to make and share.

Question:  Hey, we are making freezer meals (as a relief society activity) for the compassionate service leader to keep & distribute as needed. Do you have a couple of recipes you could recommend? Thanks Jen!

Answer:  Yes I do have some great casserole type dishes. 

This one is my kids favorite: 

 Chicken Pot Pie
Yield: Two pot pies (6 to 8 servings each)

4 cups cubed cooked chicken (or ham or turkey)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1¾ cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1½ cups milk
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
pastry for two double-crust 9-inch pies, or use biscuit/baking mix to make crust

Boil potatoes and carrots in a large stockpot. In another pot, boil cubed chicken for 8 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain vegetables and chicken and set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots. Remove from heat.

Crust option 1: Line two 9-inch pie plates with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Roll out  remaining pastry to fit top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and style the edges. Bake one potpie at 425ºF for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Crust option 2: Mix together 2 cups biscuit/baking mix, 1¼ cups milk, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, ½ teaspoons celery seed. (Mixture will be thin.) Sprinkle over top of chicken potpie. Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cover and freeze remaining potpie for up to 4 months.

To serve frozen pie:  Cover edges of frozen pie crust with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425ºF for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for 70 to 80 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown.

* Lately I’ve been using a pastry for the top, not for the bottom.  Cuts calories that way and still tastes great.

This is another family favorite:

Parmesan-crusted Chicken and Broccoli
Yield: two 9 x 13-inch pans (6 to 8 servings each)
(Use within 4 months)

2 pounds cooked chicken, chopped (see “Stock Your Freezer: Bulk Recipes”)
2 pounds broccoli, steamed (frozen usually cost less)
5 cup cooked rice (see “Stock Your Freezer: Bulk Recipes”)

4 cans (10¾ ounces each) cream of chicken soup
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon onion powder (or ½ medium onion, diced)

Topping (per pan)
2 packages crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz)
4 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons garlic salt
4 teaspoons parsley
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli in microwave for 6 minutes. Cube chicken and cook for 6 minutes in microwave on HIGH. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the sauce ingredients. Spread cooked rice in the bottom of each 9 x 13-inch pan. Pour half the sauce over the rice. Top the sauce with broccoli, then chicken, and then the remaining sauce.

Mix topping in a zip-top plastic bag and spinkle on top of both casseroles. Wrap casseroles in plastic wrap, label (“350ºF for 30 minutes, or 1 hour frozen”), and freeze.

To serve: If casserole is frozen, remove plastic wrap and bake casserole at 350ºF for 1 hour. Or defrost casserole for 24 hours in refrigerator and then bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes or until warmed all the way through.

This one is very easy.  Stir all into a pot, pour into foil pans and you’re done. 

Cheesy Ham Bake
Yield: two 9 x 13-inch pans (6 servings each)
(Use within 2 months)

1 package (13 to 16 ounces) rotini, or your favorite sturdy pasta
2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham (see “Stock Your Freezer: Bulk Recipes”)
1 can (10¾ ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup (16 ounces) sour cream
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup sliced ripe olives, optional
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cups soft breadcrumbs (can use crushed crackers)
1/8 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook noodles for 10 minutes or until they just start to soften in boiling water; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the ham, soup, sour cream, onion, olives, mustard, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire sauce.

Transfer to two greased 9 x 13-inch baking dishes or foil pans. In a bowl, toss breadcrumbs and butter; add cheese. Sprinkle over casseroles. Cover with several layers of  plastic wrap, label, and freeze.

Bake the second casserole, uncovered, at 325ºF for 30 minutes or until heated through.

To serve: Bake frozen and uncovered for 90 minutes at 350ºF. Or thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake, uncovered, at 325ºF for 55 minutes or until heated through.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake
Yield: 2 (9 by 13) pans, serves 10

8 chicken breasts, sliced
6 cups of cooked rice
2 (6 oz) boxes of stuffing mix
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups of milk

First press 4 cups of cooked rice into the bottom of each pan.  Slice the chicken breasts into 1 inch by 3 inch slices and place on top of the rice.  In a large bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and milk.  Pour on top of both pans and then top with the stuffing mix.  Bake one pan at 350 for 1 hour and wrap the other in plastic wrap.  Lable 350 degrees F for 1 hour frozen. 

To serve: Place frozen chicken and rice in the oven as you are warming it to 350 degrees.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked and the sauce is warm.  Serve warm with rolls and a vegetable.

I love this one because it tastes like Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s fun to have those flavors for dinner even when it is not Thanksgiving.

Turkey and Stuffing Bake

Yield: 3 (9 by 13) dinners

3 packages (6 ounces each) stuffing mix
10-11 cups turkey or chicken (cooked and cubed)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup
3 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Add turkey and cheddar cheese. Combine the soups and milk in a separate bowl. Pour 1 cup soup mixture into each of three greased 9-by-13-inch foil baking pans. Top with turkey mixture and remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Cover with layers of plastic wrap or foil and freeze two casseroles for up to 3 months. Label the frozen dishes: 350ºF for 1 hour 20 min. Cover the remaining casserole with foil and bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

To serve: Bake, frozen and uncovered, at 350ºF for 90 minutes or until bubbly. Or defrost overnight in the fridge and bake at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. (The fast way to do cooked turkey is to buy a 3-4 pound boneless turkey breast, bake it and then cube it.)

I don’t have a shepherds pie recipe, but I found this one that looks really good.  I want to try it. 

This is Passionate Homemakers favorite freezer meal: 

Shepherd’s Pie

8 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
8 medium carrots, cut into small chunks
1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
20 ou. can tomato sauce, diced or stewed tomatoes
2 1/2 tsp. sweet basil leaves
1-2 Tbsp natural sweetener (honey, rapadura or sucanat)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp garlic powder or more fresh garlic
1 bay leaf or 1 tsp chopped bay leaf
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3-4 cups total veggies – mushrooms, green beans, peas & corn, fresh or frozen
milk, butter & salt to season mashed potatoes, as desired (our favorite combination: 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp mayonaise, and 1 garlic clove)
1/2 – 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Boil and cook potatoes and carrots. Carrots take longer then potatoes, so I encourage starting with carrots and then adding potatoes after 10 minutes or so. While cooking, brown ground turkey/beef in a skillet adding onion and garlic when about half browned. Add remaining ingredients, except vegetables. Season as desired. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add mushrooms, green beans, peas and corn, as desired in the last 5-10 minutes. Mash the potatoes and carrots once they are soft with a mixer and add milk, salt and butter to flavor. Layer the meat mixture in a 9×13 pan (or two 8×8 pans), followed by the mashed potatoes. Top with cheese and a dash of paprika (if desired). Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the Freezer:

Combine and assemble all the cooked ingredients as instructed but refrain from baking. Cover and freeze as desired. When ready to serve, thaw and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. For our smaller family, I divide this into two 8×8 pans and freeze one for later. Yum! 

Let me know if you need anything else.  I’d also love to hear if you find any awesome recipes.  I’m always looking for something new to try.  Good luck.

Picture shown above can be found at

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