This casserole is dangerous. Because once you make, unless you have super human self control, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
It’s an old family recipe. I’m not exactly sure where it originated, but I think it was my great Aunt Esther’s recipe. My grandma and mom both make it frequently, and recently, I’ve started making it too. I have to admit, I’d kind of forgotten about it but, the other day, my mom invited me over for dinner with some friends of ours and she made this casserole. I couldn’t stop eating it! It had been years since I’d had it last but, that night, I was reminded of its deliciousness. So, last week when I was thinking of what to make as a last minute meal for some friends of ours last week, this casserole came to mind. It’s a great recipe to fall back on when you don’t know what else to make because it’s always a crowd pleaser. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. Even the kiddos like this one.
Chicken and rice casserole is comfort food at its best. It’s warm, creamy, cheesy and a little crunchy from the celery. It’s also fattening. Everything comfort food should be. And everything in moderation right? Although, if truth be told, I could eat an entire pan of this stuff by myself. In one sitting. It really should be called crack chicken and rice casserole.
Comforting chicken and rice casserole
1. 4 cups of cooked, diced chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
2. 2 cups of cooked rice
3. 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
4. 1 can of cream of chicken soup
5. 1 can of mushrooms, drained
6. 1 tablespoon of minced onions
7. 1.5 cups finely chopped celery
8. 1 cup of mayonnaise
9. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
10. grated cheese of your choice (about 1 cup)*
11. toasted sliced almonds (about 1/4 cup)*
12. buttered breadcrumbs (melt 1/4 stick of butter and mix with 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs)*
1. Combine ingredients one through nine in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
3. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the grated cheese, sliced almonds, and buttered bread crumbs.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
*Please note the measurements for the cheese, almonds and breadcrumbs are approximate. My aunt’s recipe never noted measurements, so this is my best guess. You just need enough to cover the casserole.