Category Archives: casseroles

In Defense of Canned Soup…

I try to cook with fresh ingredients. Usually. But sometimes–you know those times when you’ve been working and suddenly you’re faced with a hungry family without a dinner plan–you’re tempted to order pizza. Again. Been there, my friend. So without apology, I present the emergency one-dish meal using (gasp!) canned condensed cream of whatever soup. 

All you need in addition to the soup is pasta or rice, some leftover (or canned) meat and/or vegetables, and cheese. There are endless combinations, and any combo produces a reasonably healthy meal in a short time. If you make it in one pot, cleanup isn’t overwhelming, either. One-pot meals are a great use-up of leftovers, too, like that one serving of green beans or that half cup of corn kernels you just couldn’t bear to put down the disposal.

I use a pressure cooker, but I’ve also made this dish in an electric skillet. Whatever works best for you. 

Here’s an example, but feel free to substitute ingredients you have available.


Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

Serves 4


  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 10½ oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 10 oz. chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup dried cavatappi or similar size pasta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh asparagus, sliced in 2″ pieces
  • ½ cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • (optional) fresh basil, chopped


  1. Layer the cooked chicken in the bottom of the pot of a pressure cooker. Spread pasta on top the chicken.
  2. Pour the soup and broth or water over so that all pasta is submerged in liquid. Scatter the minced garlic on top.
  3. Close lid, bring to pressure, and cook 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat (or hit Cancel on electric models) and release pressure. Carefully open lid and stir in the vegetables.
  4. Cover and let the vegetables cook in the residual heat. There’s no need to return to heat.
  5. After about 10 minutes, open and sprinkle cheeses over the top. Cover for another 3-5 minutes or until cheeses have melted.
  6. Serve garnished with optional fresh basil.

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Filed under Asparagus, casseroles, cooking, mushrooms, pasta, pasta dishes, poultry, Recipes

The Origins of the Mysterious Green Bean Casserole – Hungry History

via The Origins of the Mysterious Green Bean Casserole – Hungry History.


So will green bean casserole be on your Thanksgiving dinner menu?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Filed under casseroles, cooking, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, mushrooms, onions, Recipes


My healthy version of King Ranch Chicken posted three years ago is still my favorite, but I wondered if I could make it “hasty” without sacrificing the “tasty” part of the meal.

I consulted my good friend Betty (as in Betty Crocker) and her version takes shortcuts I decided to try. The biggest difference in my version and hers is my casserole soaks in the refrigerator for several hours before baking. Mine also has more ingredients. So if you’d like to make this casserole for your next covered dish dinner and you’re short on time, try Betty Crocker’s version. It’s tasty enough for my family, and a bit less work for me, although I still have to have my fresh cilantro garnish at the end.  😉

Remove from oven and top with chopped cilantro.

Remove from oven and top with chopped cilantro.


Filed under casseroles, chicken, cooking

Sausage Farfalle Skillet Dinner

Here’s a quick and easy skillet dinner. Although I make my own sauce and grate my own cheese, you can use a jarred sauce and shredded cheese. I cook the dish in 25 minutes using my Kitchen Craft Electric Skillet, but you can adapt the recipe for baking in the oven.


Sausage Farfalle Skillet Dinner
Serves 4


  • 1 package chicken sausage (Italian Style)
  • 2 cups dried farfalle pasta (Bowties) or your choice
  • 16 oz. low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese (or Parmesan, Mozzarella mix)


  1. Preheat electric skillet to 225°
  2. Slice sausages into 1/4″ slices.
  3. In a blender (I use a Vitamix) combine all other ingredients except the pasta and cheese. Puree into a sauce.
  4. Cover bottom of skillet with sliced sausage. Layer farfalle pasta on top the sausage. Then pour the sauce over the layers, completely covering the pasta.
  5. Cover and cook 20 minutes.
  6. Lift lid, stir layers, then cover with the shredded cheeses. Cover and reduce heat to its lowest setting.
  7. Cook an additional 5 minutes then serve.








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Filed under casseroles, Healthful Eating, Italian