The simplicity of this dish is that it bakes in one pan and is a great use of any leftover chicken or turkey you may have. When coupled with pasta, this classic dish is truly a creamy and comforting dinner solution. A great thing about this recipe is that is involves enough ingredients to make two casseroles—one for now and one for later. This chicken recipe provides great freezing and baking instructions for prepping your second leftover casserole as well. This is the perfect family dinner dish.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
- Calories 422
- Fat 12.1g
- Satfat 6.5g
- Monofat 2.7g
- Polyfat 0.8g
- Protein 35g
- Carbohydrate 39.6g
- Fiber 2.3g
- Cholesterol 76mg
- Iron 2.7mg
- Sodium 702mg
- Calcium 272mg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, black pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Add 1 ¾ cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add pasta and chicken; stir until blended. Divide pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) glass or ceramic baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and ½ cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350°. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.