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grandma’s chicken casserole

Grandma’s Chicken Casserole: A Comforting Classic Recipe

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Prepare to experience the warmth and nostalgia of a beloved family favorite with Grandma’s Chicken Casserole. This timeless dish combines tender chicken, creamy mushroom soup, gooey cheese, and buttery Ritz cracker crumbs for a satisfyingly comforting meal that’s perfect for any occasion. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making Grandma’s Chicken Casserole, along with variations, cook notes, and answers to frequently asked questions. Get ready to create lasting memories with this delicious and comforting recipe!

Grandma’s Chicken Casserole is a dish that holds a special place in many hearts, evoking memories of cozy family dinners and cherished gatherings. With its simple yet delicious combination of ingredients, this casserole has been a comforting staple in households for generations. Whether you’re looking for a hearty weeknight meal or a crowd-pleasing dish to share with loved ones, Grandma’s Chicken Casserole is sure to satisfy your cravings and warm your soul.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups finely crushed Ritz crackers
  • Optional: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Prepare Chicken: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken with the cream of mushroom soup and shredded cheddar cheese. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or any other desired spices to taste. Mix until well combined.
  3. Assemble Casserole: Spread the chicken mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Prepare Topping: In a separate bowl, mix the finely crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter until well coated. Sprinkle the cracker mixture over the top of the chicken mixture in the baking dish.
  5. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the casserole is heated through.
  6. Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley or green onions if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of Grandma’s Chicken Casserole!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Chicken: You can use leftover cooked chicken, rotisserie chicken, or boiled chicken breasts for this recipe. Feel free to shred or chop the chicken according to your preference.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup: While cream of mushroom soup is the traditional choice for this casserole, you can substitute it with cream of chicken soup or any other cream-based soup of your choice.
  • Cheese: Experiment with different types of cheese such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Swiss for a unique flavor twist.
  • Topping: Instead of Ritz crackers, you can use crushed potato chips, breadcrumbs, or even French fried onions for the topping.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb diet, here’s how you can modify Grandma’s Chicken Casserole to suit your dietary needs:

  • Chicken: Use grilled or baked chicken breasts instead of breaded or fried chicken to reduce the carb content.
  • Soup: Opt for a low-carb or keto-friendly cream of mushroom soup, or make your own using heavy cream, mushrooms, and seasonings.
  • Topping: Replace the Ritz crackers with a mixture of crushed pork rinds, almond flour, and Parmesan cheese for a low-carb alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use other meats besides chicken?

A: Absolutely! Grandma’s Casserole can be made with turkey, ham, or even ground beef for a delicious variation.

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to add the cracker topping just before baking to keep it crispy.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers?

A: Yes, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake in the oven until heated through.

Q: Can I add vegetables to the casserole?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to add cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, or broccoli to the chicken mixture for added flavor and nutrition.

Grandma’s Chicken Casserole is more than just a recipe – it’s a comforting tradition that brings families together around the dinner table. With its simple yet delicious ingredients and easy preparation, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household for years to come. Whether enjoyed on a cozy weeknight or served as a crowd-pleasing dish for special occasions, Grandma’s Chicken Casserole is guaranteed to warm your heart and satisfy your cravings. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to create lasting memories with this beloved family recipe!

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