Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheesy Ranch Chicken Casserole

For this recipe, I started out by collecting the ingredients for this recipe at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. However, as I started to assemble the casserole, I looked in my refrigerator and made some substitutions and omitted a lot as well. It was pretty tasty- we just needed to add some salt and pepper to it in order to bring out some of the taste of the casserole (probably because I made white sauce instead of using canned soups). Next time, I'll probably double the ranch (mostly because you couldn't taste it at all, and it'll add a little more salt to the dish to help with the flavor) and double the cheese I sprinkled on the top (my husband is a cheese fanatic, and while he was glad it made it into the dish, he was disappointed there wasn't more), as well as add some more salt and pepper.
Cheesy Ranch Chicken Casserole

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots, cooked until fork tender
1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups dried macaroni noodles (or any other pasta you want)
2 batches of white sauce (or 2 cans of your favorite cream soup)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup cheese (I like cheddar)
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (or you can use crushed crackers or even just regular bread crumbs- you'll just want to add some spices/herbs to help with the flavor)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Combine everything except cheese and bread crumbs, then place in a greased 9"x13" casserole dish. Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole and bread crumbs on top of cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

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