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Eclecticisms: Vegetarian "Chicken" Noodle Casserole

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vegetarian "Chicken" Noodle Casserole

The weather has turned cooler over the past few days, so making a casserole in mid-May didn't seem all that out of place, really. I've really been enjoying veggie-chicken lately, and had been trying to come up with a recipe that I could use it in, other than my usual (albeit delicious) sandwich. (Grilled on rye, with swiss, tomato and lettuce!)

After deciding on a casserole as the dish to try and checking out several recipes, I ended up making my own concoction up. I love making casseroles because they're the perfect combo of baking and cooking, and are usually pretty easy to prepare with room for experimenting and substitutions. They're also great to serve to guests! The possibilities are limitless with what you can try really, but here's what I came up with.

Ingredients

11 oz. condensed cream of portabello soup
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tbs butter
2 cups vegetarian "chicken"
2 Cups broccoli, steamed
2 medium portabello mushroom caps
1 Cup shitake mushrooms
1 bag/ 16 oz. farfalle noodles (or less, I used about 14 oz)
3/4 Cup parmesan
Black Pepper to taste, if desired


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Begin by steaming your broccoli and and sauteeing your mushrooms in the butter. While these cook, you can boil your noodles until soft or al dente, however you prefer them. Because the ingredients are all going into a casserole, you don't have to worry too much about timing. If something cooks fast and gets cold, you're going to be baking it anyways.



While the veggies and noodles are cooking, mix together the soup, milk and "chicken" in a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish. (If the noodles are done early, make sure you add a little butter or oil to them and stir well, so they don't begin to stick together!)


After the mushrooms are cooked, stir them into the casserole. I cut up the broccoli after it was cooked so I wouldn't lose much of it since it falls apart so easily when you steam it, but it really doesn't matter when you chop it up. Mix in the broccoli and, finally, the noodles.




Now, mix in the freshly grated parmesan cheese. You can save a bit of it to sprinkle on the top as well. (Or just use it all and grate up a little more cheese... why not, right?)




Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve when ready!


This is a delicious, easy and affordable dish. Feel free to substitute regular cream of mushroom soup or a different veggie. I love the broccoli in this, but I would think spinach might work well, too.


Happy eating!




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