The Dish: My Comfort Food Chicken Casseroles

chicken noodle casserole

Earlier this week, I shared one of my biggest tips for preparing for a new baby… casseroles! Having home-cooked freezer meals saves you SO much time and stress when there is a new baby in the house. So if you missed them, make sure you check out my World’s Best Lasagna and Baked Mostacciolo recipes right HERE. And today I’m sharing a few more favorites…

I don’t know about you, but I am all about chicken when I am pregnant or just had a baby. I like the simplicity of the chicken, and it also holds up well in the freezer. My reflux gets bad if the flavor is too intense, so I opt for simple comfort food dishes. These casseroles are the ultimate comfort foods for Nick and me. And they can be tweaked pretty easily to accommodate your diet and cravings. Check them out below…

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This dish is one I made up, and it changes every time. Simple and yummy. You can Google chicken noodle casseroles and play with them. I am always interested to hear how others put their twist on this classic… Share yours with me so I can try it!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Via AllRecipes.com

Instead of the processed cheese spread that this recipe calls for, I use a four-cheese blend of shredded cheese. And I don’t melt it all—I just mix it in a bowl. I also set aside a cup of the sauce (without chicken) for the bottom and top layers. Sometime I use 6 tortillas per layer instead of 5. And make sure to add cheese on top!

Click HERE to get the recipe.

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

This dish was one of Nick’s favorites growing up! I found a recipe for it online and tweaked it a bit. It’s basically just cooked chicken, cooked rice, steamed broccoli, and cheese (of course, haha), but it’s so delicious. Here’s my version of the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups of rice (uncooked)
  • 2-3 heads of broccoli
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 medium white onion (chopped)
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. bag of finely shredded cheese

Instructions:

  1. Boil the boneless skinless chicken breasts and then cube.
  2. Cook the rice.
  3. Steam your broccoli
  4. In a pan melt ¼ cup butter and add chopped white onion. Cook until onion is transparent, about 5-7 mins. I use a lid and cook on low so I don’t burn the onion or butter. It changes the flavor.
  5. In a bowl mix together the canned soups, milk, salt and pepper (I do about 1 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper), chicken, rice, broccoli, onion/butter mixture, and cheese (NOTE: freeze after this step if you are going to eat it later.)
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35mins, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Via Tastebook

This is the dinner we ate the night I went to the hospital to give birth to Camden! So not only is it one of my favorite things to eat, but it will always be tied to that very special memory.

Click HERE to get the recipe.

Tip: I stick a post-it with the instructions for reheating on all the casserole dish lids. That way Nick or any friends or family members who stop by can easily pop one in the oven too!

chicken noodle casserole

TIP: When cooking the casseroles, I like to take it out a day or two before and let it thaw in the fridge for even easier cooking.

Do you have a favorite chicken casserole?

I’d love it if you’d share the recipe with me so I can try it too!

Xx,
Vanessa 

Photos: Vanessa Lachey
Comments:5 Comments
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  • Becky

    Vanessa,

    First, congrats on your newest addition. I’m sure she is gorgeous like her Mommy! Second, I actually don’t have ONE favorite chicken casserole dish. I have THREE! I’ll share them all with you with links for further instructions. The first is a Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti (or whatever pasta you choose). http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chicken-alfredo-baked-ziti-recipe/ The second is a Chicken, Corn, and Cheese Casserole http://www.southernplate.com/2008/11/cheesy-chicken-and-corn-casserole.html. Finally, we have a dish that you may not consider a casserole, and it may not freeze well, but it is one of the EASIEST recipes I know and love. It doesn’t really have a name, but it’s just chicken breasts, green beans, potatoes, melted butter, and Italian dressing mix…THAT’S IT! http://www.willowwhite.com/2012/07/25/pinterest-test-baked-chicken-and-veggies/

  • Guest

    Hi Vanessa, just wanted to reach out and
    tell you how excited I am that you and Nick have such a beautiful family. Kids
    are the best and now you have a boy and a girl. It can’t get better than that. I
    have noticed that you are very keen on being the best mom you possibly can be
    and it shows. Your love is evident. So…I hope you don’t take this the wrong
    way but I am only interested in spreading the word of healthy eating –
    especially for growing kids. Since I am a concerned mom as well, I love to share
    info with other concerned moms. I only got into this healthy eating lifestyle in
    the last 6 years because I have 2 kids (daughter is 6 and son is 2). I was
    interested in giving them the very best foundation for nutrition. I was excited
    to check out your recipes but then I noticed a lot of your recipes use meat (if
    your meat intake is more than 5%, you are endangered of turning on your cancer
    cells), processed foods (can of cream of mushroom and can of cream of chicken –
    mechanically separated cooked chicken?!) and diary (milk &
    cheese…http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/).
    I’m wondering if you are worried about serving these types of foods to your
    family? I know lots of families put cheese on everything to get the kids to eat
    “healthy” veggies but doesn’t that defeat the purpose when cheese is so bad for
    you? Have you researched how these food ingredients negatively affect you –
    especially kids? And in case you didn’t know, rice/grains should not be served
    to babies (under 1) just starting to eat solid foods (rice cereal is the worse
    for your baby). http://www.foodrenegade.com/why-ditch-infant-cereals/

    I would love to get your thoughts on
    this. I know a more plant-based diet, vegan diet works for my family. My kids
    love all veggies without cheese and can’t get enough.

    Wishing you the best as you continue on
    this motherhood adventure!

  • Nancy

    Hi Vanessa, just wanted to reach out and tell you how excited I am that you and Nick have such a beautiful family. Kids are the best and now you have a boy and a girl. It can’t get better than that. I have noticed that you are very keen on being the best mom you possibly can be and it shows. Your love is evident. So…I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but I am only interested in spreading the word of healthy eating – especially for growing kids. Since I am a concerned mom as well, I love to share info with other concerned moms. I only got into this healthy eating lifestyle in the last 6 years because I have 2 kids (daughter is 6 and son is 2). I was interested in giving them the very best foundation for nutrition. I was excited to check out your recipes but then I noticed a lot of your recipes use meat (if your meat intake is more than 5%, you are endangered of turning on your cancer cells), processed foods (can of cream of mushroom and can of cream of chicken – mechanically separated cooked chicken?!) and diary (milk & cheese…http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/). I’m wondering if you are worried about serving these types of foods to your family? I know lots of families put cheese on everything to get the kids to eat “healthy” veggies but doesn’t that defeat the purpose when cheese is so bad for you? Have you researched how these food ingredients negatively affect you –
    especially kids? And in case you didn’t know, rice/grains should not be served to babies (under 1) just starting to eat solid foods (rice cereal is the worse for your baby). http://www.foodrenegade.com/why-ditch-infant-cereals/

    I just thought you ought to know this in case you didn’t. I would love to get your thoughts on this. I know a more plant-based diet, vegan diet works for my family. My kids love all veggies without cheese and can’t get enough.

    Wishing you the best as you continue on
    this motherhood adventure!

  • natasha roca

    you should be hire for food network to be a professional cooker l wish you should make a new cookbook you are really a good cooking being a housewife, good mother , wife !!

  • YummyFoodRecipes India

    Pretty interesting dish! Loved it and perfect explanation on how to prepare the recipe. Thanks!
    http://www.yummyfoodrecipes.in/