I love to cook. Some of my fondest memories are when I was a boy watching my mom cook in our kitchen. She made delicious meals. She made delicious casseroles.
If you’re a busy parent like me, preparing healthy meals, with limited time, can be challenging. Preparing a tasty casserole is ideal.
The following is quick, inexpensive, and healthy recipe.
Shopping for the ingredients…
In my household, we’re big on chicken. We love chicken. While grocery shopping, I’ll pick up a fresh, pre-cooked chicken from the deli. They usually run around $3.99 and for the purpose of this recipe, I’ll use only half of the chicken.
Next, I’ll swing past the pasta and spaghetti sauce isle. There I’ll pick up a box (16 oz.) of pasta. My wife and I have two little girls – ages 3 and 6. I’ll usually pick a type of pasta that’s “fun” for the kids to eat – funny shapes or designs. This will run me around $1.
After the pasta, I’ll move over to the next aisle and pick up three cans of cream soup. I usually choose two cans of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom and a single can of cheddar cheese soup – for recipes. These three cans will run me around $2.50.
Next stop: Beans and veggies. I like Black beans. They’re super good for you, lots of fiber, protein, antioxidants and low in calories, and my kids like them. I’ll pick up one can for 79 cents. Veggies: I’ll pick up a 16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets, or mixed veggies – carrots, corn, beans, peas, Lima beans. My daughters love both types. I’m VERY lucky! Either bag will cost me 99 cents.
Last stop: CHEESE (In case you didn’t notice, I like cheese). For my casserole recipe, I’ll pick up an 8 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese. The cheddar gives the dish extra flavor. The cheese will run me $1.69.
We’re done at the grocery store!
Making the dish…
Step 1) I’ll remove the meat from half of the chicken, cutting it up into small pieces and placing it aside. Pre-heat oven – 350 degrees.
Step 2) In a 13 by 9 inch glass Pyrex dish I’ll mix (evenly distribute) all of the following ingredients:
– Pasta (non cooked)
– Black beans (include bean water from can)
– chicken pieces
– Three cans of soup
– Cheddar cheese
– Season with Mrs. Dash or salt and pepper
Step 3) Thoroughly mix all ingredients well.
Step 4) Lightly drizzle 1/4 cup of water or skim milk over the top of the mixture (this will assist with cooking the pasta when in the oven)
Step 5) Wrap glass dish with tin foil.
Step 6) Place in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Take out. Stir mixture well. Return to oven for another 30 minutes at same temperature.
Step 7) Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 or 15 minutes (remember, I have two little angels), and serve.
I ALWAYS cook with the intention of having “leftovers”. Typically, there’s half of the casserole left. So, this meal will serve a family of 4, provide leftovers, and will cost around $11.
Note: To add extra zest or flavor, feel free to add and/or substitute with the following ingredients:
Ground Turkey or chicken
Monterey Jack cheese
Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
Hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!
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