Mushroom Chicken Casserole

This was one of the recipes I made the day before I went into labor with Georgia.  I never really "nested" and cleaned and organized the house, but I did spend ten hours one day stocking the freezer with food.  I guess that was my way of nesting.

After having the baby, I wasn't excited about eating this recipe at all.  But I hate for food to go to waste, so I threw it in the oven one day during her six week growth spurt when I was getting no sleep and looked to scary to even visit the grocery (not that I had time for it anyway, with hourly feedings).

I was so happy to have a hot dinner made for David, and this actually tasted really good.  I will make it again in the future and even make bigger batches for the freezer.

I modified this recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I combined a couple of steps to dirty fewer dishes and it turned out great.  I boiled three chicken breasts in water seasoned with salt and pepper, then used the cooking water in place of the broth. I divided this into two dishes to freeze.  PW says this serves 8, it made 10 servings for us.

Pioneer Woman's Mushroom Chicken Casserole
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
3 cups spaghetti, broken; I used one box of Ronzoni Smart Taste
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
4 ounce jar of chopped pimentos, drained
1 teaspoon hot sauce; I used Tabasco
1 bell pepper, diced (red or orange add the best color)
1/2 onion, diced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups + 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta in broth, undercooking it by a couple of minutes.  Do not drain!  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except the one cup of cheddar cheese.  Put in casserole dish and top with cheddar.  Cover and freeze.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350.

Photo is from Pioneer Woman's website because Lord knows I can't top hers.