February 16, 2014

the good ol' go-to

If it ain't broke, don't fix it...


...but go ahead and enhance it if you can.

Like most normal people, some days I'm completely unmotivated and uninspired, even in the kitchen. On days like that, it's good to have a dish that you can make quickly and with your eyes closed, ideally with items you always have on hand. For me, that dish is chicken noodle casserole. The ingredients--chicken, condensed soup, sour cream, maybe some herbs, egg noodles, crackers, and butter--are things I usually keep around, so when I can't come up with something unique and fancy to prepare, casserole it is. Fortunately, it's actually really tasty, and if you use reduced-fat sour cream and soup, it doesn't have to be terrible for you either.

This time around, to make it even less guilt-inducing and because I just love the pop of peas, I tossed about a cup into the filling. It was an excellent decision. You can apply other twists, like varying what flavor of condensed soup you use (I often eschew cream of mushroom because I abhor the flavor of mushrooms in any capacity) or by using yogurt (preferably Greek) in lieu of sour cream. You can make your own condensed soup, too, if you'd prefer. I've added corn in the past, as well as other pot-pie-type fillings. While my cracker of choice is buttery round (read: Ritz), bread crumbs laced with Parmesan cheese and herbs has worked before. I've never actually tried a pasta shape other than egg noodles, but I can't imagine you'd have trouble with any substitution. Just make sure you get the pasta done to at least al dente or else it'll suck up the moisture in your casserole and leave you with a dry, pasty mess. Nobody wants that.

21 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A scrumptious! I know how it feels to be totally unmotivated in the kitchen...

Cheers,

Rosa

Beth said...

Ha! I grew up on this casserole using cream of mushroom soup, but I knew you'd use something else! Funny how I know all my blogging friends' food aversions.

Marjie said...

I have to cook the noodles separate from the chicken, or my casserole-averse hubby will positively howl! STill, there's nothing wrong with a good chicken-only casserole, served with the egg noodles on the side of the plate.

~~louise~~ said...

My "go to" meal is something like yours too, Grace! I love its versatility but, I have never tried Ritz. Hmmmm...I wonder why?

Thanks for sharing, Grace...I've finished dinner already this evening so now, I'm craving a Ritz! (or two, or three:)

Guru Uru said...

I would never even try to 'fix up' a go-to comfort meal as delicious as this :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Jenn said...

I am no longer wondering what to make for dinner tonight. Thx for the great idea!

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

Isn't it amazing what a cup of pea's can do to a classic? Love the recipe and the photo :)

Angie Schneider said...

There's nothing that needs to be enhanced in this delicious and comforting casserole.

I Wilkerson said...

I think the whole country is in need of comfort food right now, so this is perfect!

sprinklesandsauce said...

what a delicious looking casserole!

Carolyn Jung said...

We all grew up with casseroles like that. And we all still love them because one taste is all it takes to be transported back to childhood with our moms proudly pulling the dish out of the oven.

Joanne said...

Total comfort food!! This winter has me pretty unmotivated lately as well, so I get it!

Rosita Vargas said...

Muy sabrosa es una exquisitez,abrazos.

vanillasugarblog said...

I haven't made one of these in years!
But when I did I made sure to make a super thick crusty topping!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I love classic comfort food dishes like this, Grace!

Blond Duck said...

I can't improve that. It's perfection.

Katerina said...

Oh, I have such unmotivated moments myself in the kitchen! And then I make a pizza haha! I love this comforting and filling casserole!

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

That looks like a perfect go-to-dish. If I have a go-to-dish, it would also be a casserole. It's very delicious, timeless and classic.

Caroline Taylor said...

I love the sound of this, it would be a great midweek comfort dinner.

Gloria Baker said...

look really delicious Grace!!!

Rosita Vargas said...

Excelente trabajo se ve muy hermoso,abrazos.