There was once a time in my life that I made a lot of casseroles for dinner. When our kids were little, casseroles were a reliable "go-to" type meal to feed our young family. A "one pot/dish wonder", if you will.
Now however, I don't cook casseroles nearly as much as I did "back in the day'. Come to think of it, I don't think casseroles even get the respect or adoration that they once did. That makes me sad.
That is until now!
If you visit here often, you'll remember me recently talking about my recipe file and how I intend to revisit my file and, on a regular basis, make recipes that I've collected over the years from magazines, and my many cookbooks. Recipes, that at one time caught my eye and my tempted my taste buds. Recipes I thought my family would enjoy (of course with my own adaptations and personal touches to enhance the original). LOL
This is the one I chose for last night, out of my file. Taking all the help from the grocery store and *gasp* prepared foods, this one comes together in a flash and is simply bursting with flavor.
I can't actually tell you how many years ago I ripped this from a magazine, or which magazine it might have been, but this was my inspiration and starting point for a meal that was really delicious! Really and truly!
It was super fast to make and super tasty. I'm almost embarassed to share it here but I won't apologize because I know that many of you reading this right now have busy family lives and not a lot of time to fuss in the kitchen when your family is hungry and you're being pulled in a million different directions.
I'm calling my version...
Mock Bruschetta Casserole
1 can (14 ounces) Hunt's diced, fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 package Stove Top stuffing mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cups pre-cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 container fresh mozzarella balls (mini-size)
2 cups Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese with/cream cheese
1 cup Durkee French fried onions
*Note - To bump up the nutrition factor add:
1 package (8 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.
(I didn't do this. I just though of it. Next time, I will.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatoes (with their liquid) in a medium size bowl. Add the stuffing mix and water. Stir until moistened. Gently stir in chicken pieces and fresh mozzarella balls (now is also the time to add the spinach, if you choose).
Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and evenly place the stuffing and chicken mixture inside. Top the mixture evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese and top that with the French fried onions.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.
It may not be gourmet, but it certainly is "Renée", on a busy Wednesday night. Try it, you'll like it :)
This adaptation of the magazine-file-recipe collection received a rousing thumbs up from our illustrious panel of dinner time judges, and I am free to cook another day :)
Until we eat again,