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Crowd-pleasing casseroles

By on November 25, 2009

mini casserole
photo by chispita666

Cooking a one-dish meal is the perfect way to escape the kitchen quickly. Clean up is a snap. The following recipes are made from simple ingredients. And with little prep work, you can fix it and forget it. They’ll make excellent leftovers, too.

Pizza Casserole

2 cups spiral noodles
1 pound ground beef
1 jar pizza sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperoni

Cook and drain the noodles, according to package directions. Brown the ground beef and drain. Stir the jar of pizza sauce into the beef. Spread the noodles out in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch dish. Add in layers: beef, cheese and pepperoni. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Optional: Add your favorite pizza toppings. Serve with crusty bread. — Heather, New York

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

3 cups sliced potatoes
1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 cups diced ham
1 can cream of celery soup
2/3 soup can of milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
grated cheddar cheese

Slice the potatoes and onion. Cook the ham, or you can use packaged sliced ham and dice it up. Place potatoes, onions and ham in baking dish. Mix soup, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over potato mixture. Bake 1 hour at 375 F, covered. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer, uncovered. For plain scalloped potatoes, leave out ham and add extra potatoes. — Tisha, Canada

Chicken and Rice Casserole

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3-1/2 cups chicken stock
3-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2-2/3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
2/3 cup cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat and cook onions, celery and carrots until soft but not brown. Add garlic, seasoning salt, pepper and chili powder and cayenne pepper, and cook until very fragrant. Add flour and mix well. Cook until starting to color. Whisk milk and stock into vegetable flour mixture. Turn heat to medium high and continue to whisk as mixture comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add rice to sauce and lower heat to medium low. Cook until the rice absorbs most of the liquid and is tender, stirring occasionally. Will take about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Add raw chicken to the rice and sauce mixture. Cut green beans into 1-inch lengths and stir into the mixture as well. Cook approximately 4 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside. Stir in cheddar cheese. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch casserole, or two 8-by-8-inch casseroles. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder, and sprinkle evenly over top of the casserole. Place in hot oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is browned and casserole is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. — Tammy O., California

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