Home Cookin'

Spring and summer are times for barbecues and potlucks. It seems like everywhere you look, people bring their favorite casseroles to large gatherings. Casseroles are easy to prepare and do well for large crowds. They come in all different forms -- from the standard green bean casserole to something as fancy and delicious as crescent chicken casserole. I got together with a few of my friends and discussed our favorite casserole recipes and am passing them on to you here.

I will start with the favorite of many -- the green bean casserole. All you do for this one is take a couple of cans of green beans, a can of cream of mushroom or celery soup, a half of a cup of milk, and some french fried onions. Combine part of the onions with the drained beans, whisk together the soup and milk, and then pour the soup mixture over the beans in a baking dish. This should be baked for about 30 minutes, then topped with some more of the french onions and baked for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

  • 2 cans green beans (3 - 4 cups), drained
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/3 cups french fried onions
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Stir in the beans and 2/3 cup of the fried onions.

Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Top with the remaining 2/3 cup fried onions and bake about 5 more minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

A couple of friends of mine offered to share their versions of a Mexican or taco casserole. The first is simple and tasty. Start with one or two pounds of ground beef. Brown it and add some taco seasoning or cumin and chili powder. Mix in some tomatoes, olives, onions, chilies, green peppers, corn, and whatever else you can think of to throw in there! Then, top the casserole with a cornbread mix and bake it for 30 to 45 minutes.

Andrea Miller's Mexican Casserole

  • 1-2 lb. hamburger -- browned with taco seasoning added
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced olives or olive pieces
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (1 can chopped tomatoes can be substituted)
  • 1 can or box of Marie Callendar's cornbread mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the browned ground beef, onions, olives, corn, and tomatoes in a greased baking dish.

Pour one can or box of Marie Callendar's cornbread mix over the top and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the cornbread is done. For a moister casserole, add one can of tomato sauce before putting the cornbread on top.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

This next one comes to us from Houston, Texas. It also is a Mexican-inspired casserole. Begin by cooking and draining one pound of ground beef. Add to that one can of chopped green chilies, one can of cream of chicken soup, one can of chopped Rotel, one half of an onion, one half of a bag of crushed Doritos, and one half of a bag of shredded Velveeta. Mix all of the ingredients together and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Then, place the mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. For extra spice, add picante sauce to the casserole when serving. If you like it a little drier, leave out the soup. You can also add more cheese, depending on your taste. This casserole is great when served with rice and beans.

Mexican Casserole

  • 1 lb. hamburger, cooked and drained
  • 1 can green chilies, chopped
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can Rotel, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bag plain Doritos, crushed
  • 1/2 bag shredded Velveeta

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together all of the ingredients, saving about 1/2 cup of cheese for topping. Place the mixture into a greased casserole. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Spaghetti Casserole

Miracle Whip offers some good recipes on their jar labels. The one I like best is a spaghetti casserole. Basically, you cook and drain your pasta as per the specifications on the box. Then, mix 1/2 cup Miracle Whip in with the sauce and pour over the spaghetti in a baking dish. Finally, bake the casserole for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

The Campbell's Soup website also offers quite a few good casserole recipes, including the good old stand-by tuna noodle casserole. This simple casserole is made from 2 cans of drained tuna (I prefer the tuna packed in spring water for a less greasy taste), 1 can of drained peas, 1 can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, 2 cups of cooked egg noodles, 2 tablespoons of dry bread crumbs, and 1 tablespoon butter. Simply combine all of the ingredients except the bread crumbs and butter and place the mixture into a casserole dish. Bake that for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Mix the butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimiento (optional)
  • 2 cans (about 6 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles (about 2 cups dry)
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

In a 1 1/2-quart casserole, mix the soup, milk, peas, pimiento, tuna and noodles.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot. Stir. Mix the breadcrumbs with the butter and sprinkle the mixture over the tuna mixture. Bake 5 minutes more.

TIP: To melt the margarine, remove the wrapper and place it in a microwave-safe cup. Cover and microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.

VARIATION: Substitute 1/2 cup drained cut-up canned tomatoes for the pimiento and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for the peas. Substitute 2 slices pasteurized process cheese food (about 2 ounces), cut in half, for the bread crumbs and butter.

VARIATION: Substitute 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for the peas.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

When we were in Missouri this past month, I came across this recipe for crescent chicken casserole. One of the ladies, M. Bulloc, brought over this heavenly concoction that had a crisp flaky crust and a generous amount of chicken in it. My husband even had several helpings of it -- and he's a picky eater some days. I was fortunate enough to get the recipe for this dish and pass it along to you here. Instead of chicken, you could try ham or pork for a different taste or add peas to it. If you have any recipes you would like to share, please feel free to contact me here. I would love to hear from you :)

M Bulloc's Crescent Chicken Casserole

  • 3 cups chicken, cooked & diced
  • 1 (4oz) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth or a mixture of both)
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (regular mayo is probably best for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls or biscuits
  • 2 tablespoons butter (if using crescent rolls, reduce to 1 tablespoon)
  • 2/3 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup or less of sliced almonds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saute pan, combine the first 9 ingredients. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is hot and bubbly.

Pour into an ungreased 9x13-inch baking dish. Separate the crescent rolls or biscuits and place them over the hot chicken mixture. Brush the crescents or biscuits with butter. Top with the swiss cheese and almonds.

Bakefor 25 minutes or until the crust is brown. Note: You may only be able to use about 8 of the crescent rolls to cover the surface of the mixture. Also, when using biscuits, bake the mixture for about 10 minutes before placing the rolls on top and adding the toppings. Then, bake the casserole for an additional 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes