Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken Zucchini Casserole

This recipe is not fancy (if you want to know where I'm coming from here, read yesterday's post). In fact, more than likely, you have a similar, if not identical, recipe in your recipe box or binder. It's an oldie, but a goody.

This recipe is safe (when it comes to feeding guests whose food tastes you may be unsure of), comforting and homey. It reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner.

I've made this many times, but not recently. I was inspired by the shelf-full of frozen, chopped zucchini I have in the freezer. I pulled out the recipe, read it over and almost didn't make it because it calls for canned cream of chicken soup. I just haven't bought cream of anything in awhile and rather liked that I hadn't.

Then, I remembered that in the back of my most heavily used cookbook these days (go ahead, pretend you didn't notice), there is a recipe for Cream Soup Substitute. That did it. I was off. You can either make the substitute or use the store bought stuff. I won't be mad:-).

From Simply In Season: (if this is hard to read, double click on the photo to make it larger)

Follow this easy recipe and you will end up with a dry mix to label and stick in your fridge until you are ready to use it.

When you need cream of chicken soup, simply measure out 1/3 cup of the dry mix...

and add 1 and 1/4 cup water.

Stir with a whisk and cook over medium high heat until...

it's thick and bubbly. Add it to your dish when cream of chicken soup is called for. I tripled this recipe (I was making several casseroles) and I still had over half of my dry mix left to keep in the fridge for the next time. We could not taste a difference between this and the store bought variation (in this casserole).

Chicken Zucchini Casserole (my mom's recipe)

1 package (6 ounce) stuffing mix, chicken or turkey flavored
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups diced zucchini
2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted (OR use Cream Soup Substitute from above)
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix and melted butter.

Add the chopped zucchini, making sure to drain it well if it's been frozen. Also add the shredded carrots. I didn't use carrots this time because I don't have any raw carrots. Only soft, pressure canned ones. And they wouldn't shred very well. The carrots add a lovely color and another veggie, so if you have them, use them.

Add the shredded chicken. It helps (sometimes) to have a little helper. In this case, Sadie girl.

Add the chopped onions.

Stir in cream of chicken soup and sour cream.

Once it's combined well, transfer it to a greased 2 quart baking dish or 8x8 inch casserole dish. Then, pop it in your 350 degree oven for 4o min. (or until the top starts to brown nicely). Or, you can pop it (unbaked) into the freezer for another time- just make sure to thaw it completely before baking.

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  1. I'm making this for dinner tonight! If I pop one in the freezer, do you suggest cooking it frozen (and if so, for how long?) or de-frosting and then baking?

  2. This is SO good! We made it a few weeks ago and EVERYONE loved it(all 5 kids included!). Making it again tonight, but I doubled it so we'll hopefully have some for lunch this week!

  3. Thanks for posting so many zucchini recipes and tips and tricks. I am enjoying reading them!!!

  4. I love this casserole - we have used all kinds of veges in it and it is always good - we look forward to it after Thanksgiving as it is excellent with turkey. we have also made it with the stuffing on top for a crisp topping - you just can't mess it up ~ everyone loves stuffing and gravy. :) And thanks so much for the cream soup recipe - I will make a low sodium version - that's what has kept me from buying the canned stuff - too much sodium. Thanks!

  5. This is one of our favorite recipes and I have made it for a few years based off of this blog. However, this week I tried the freezing option for the first time and it ended up a mess. The bread crumbs basically disintegrated into a sloppy soup. I must have done something wrong. Can you explain how you cook it once it has been frozen? I pulled it out of the freezer and put it right in the oven as it pre-heated. Should I have let it defrost in the refrigerator first?

    1. Oh, dear. I am so sorry about this! Yes, I would guess that the problem was that is wasn't thawed when you put it in the oven. I've always thawed mine completely before baking. I didn't know this would occur, so I'll update the recipe above to suggest thawing it first.

  6. Awesome! Thank you! I will try again for sure! This is such a winner. It is so nice to have a casserole that is different than pasta or rice. I give it away when we are doing meals to care for someone during a new baby/hospital stay/ death in family situation and I ALWAYS get asked for the recipe!!


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