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Cooped-Up Chicken Casserole

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A sure-fire winner-winner chicken dinner that the entire family will enjoy! An easy weeknight casserole loaded with chunks of tender chicken, veggies, and noodles, all swimming in a creamy, flavorful sauce, and topped with cheese and potato chips! Now THAT’S a WINNER! 



A plateful of this warm and creamy, chockfull of goodies, stick-to-your-ribs chicken casserole is just the ticket to warm the bones after hours of shoveling all that snow! 





Mine is simply the best with a few little kitchen secrets! Lipton Secrets, that is! I had this box of dip mix envelopes in the back of my cabinet for so long, I forgot what I had even bought it for!

So, I decided to put it to good use in a casserole! And it was DELICIOUS! WOW! It really kicked up the flavor, and even had lots of veggies in it to boot!

There are many of these instant dip mixes on the market, so just choose the one that sounds like fun to you! This just happens to be the one I used due to already having it on hand. And it really worked out beautifully! 






The other little helper is one you’ll definitely recognize, and probably already have right in your own kitchen, a good-old reliable friend, canned chicken soup. I used cream-style with herbs, and it seemed to have a LOT more flavor than just the regular kind.  






Since I added peas to this as well, we simply loaded our plates and had just a slice of bread ‘n butter with this. But you could certainly serve this with more veggies, or add them right into the casserole.

Steamed broccoli or carrots on the side would be fantastic with this! 







So, just mix up most of the ingredients into a large bowl,….






…then fold in your cooked pasta. 






Spoon and spread it all into a 13 x 9 pan that has been sprayed first….







…then top it with cheese….






…and bake!







Then top this wonderful mess with a couple of handfuls of crushed potato chips….






…and bake 5 minutes longer. 






And that’s all there is to it!!! Simple, easy, but DELICIOUS!!







Get the BIG spoon for this! You’re gonna want a nice plateful!!






I SO wish you could smell this!! The entire house smells soooooo good!!! 






Then pile up those plates!!! 






I have listed 2 different ways that you can cook the chicken.

You can either cut it up and sauté it with the veggies, perfect for those short on time. 






Or, you can do it the other way, stew it, which takes longer but yields SUPER tender chunks of chicken that are much more juicy. 






I always stew mine, then tear it into nice large bite-sized pieces. *The trick of melt-in-your-mouth-tender like Grandma made, is to stew it much longer than just the usual 15-20 minutes. I do mine for at LEAST 45 minutes, and sometimes an hour if they’re really big. 






And it comes out AWESOME every time!! 






But either way works, so that part is completely up to you!






So, if you’re looking for a nice winter casserole to warm you up, this Cooped-Up Chicken Casserole is just the ticket! 

Hearty, chunky, creamy, cheesy deliciousness!! Total comfort food the entire family will cluck for!! (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) 

Have a wonderful weekend!! Don’t forget your mask! Stay safe and warm! 





Cooped-Up Chicken Casserole

Makes one 13×9 panful



2 Tbl. real butter 
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts; trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large or two small ribs celery, sliced (1/8″ – 1/4″ thick, or as you like)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup with herbs
1/2 cup regular heavy mayo such as Duke’s
1/2 cup milk
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Recipe Soup & Dip Mix 
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 jar (6 oz. /dry wt) sliced mushrooms, well drained, (or use 8 oz. fresh sliced, and sauté with the butter, celery and onions above)
1/3 cup frozen sweet baby peas, unthawed, or more to taste
2 cups shredded co-jack cheese, divided
4 cups uncooked egg noodles, then cooked al dente and drained well
1 cup crushed hearty potato chips such as Ruffles; regular, Sour Cream & Onion or Cheddar



In frying pan, melt butter and add cut up chicken, celery, and onions, (*and mushrooms if using fresh.) Sauté until chicken is done through, and vegetables are tender. (About 6-8 minutes on medium-low to low.) Don’t brown. Set aside. (*If you want, you can also stew the chicken breasts separately, whole, in a pot of low-boiling water with a bay leaf for 45 minutes to an hour. Mix up the “sauce” part in the bowl, then tear the chicken into large, bite-sized chunks when cool enough to handle, and fold into the casserole mixture as you go along. Do not shred.) *This is actually my preferred method, as the chicken comes out super tender and juicy. The first method is for those short on time, and still delicious. 

In small pot, start bringing water to boil to cook noodles in.

While water is heating up, in large mixing bowl, stir together the soup, mayo, milk, (dry) Lipton Soup & Dip Mix, and pepper until creamy and smooth.

Fold in mushrooms, chicken, sautéed celery/onion mixture, frozen peas, and half (1 cup) of the shredded co-jack cheese. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add 2 tsp. kosher or regular table salt to water and 4 cups wide or curly egg noodles. Cook until just under al dente. (Mine said 6-8 minutes, so I only cooked them for 5, as they will finish cooking in the casserole when baked.) Drain well, and gently fold into chicken mixture.

Spray a 2 1/2 quart baking dish or 13 x 9 pan and pour and spoon mixture into dish. Sprinkle top with second cup of cheese.

Pop into preheated 350º oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Top with 1 cup crushed potato chips and bake 5 minutes longer.





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