By Alison Ladman Associated Press
Just as summer demands salads, fall calls for casseroles.
The combination of a chill in the air and the chaos of kids heading back to school means many families are looking for easy, warming one-pot meals that come together quickly and with little mess or fuss.
So when we created this recipe, we kept things simple. In fact, to cut down on mess and time, it is mixed right in the dish it is baked in.
We also turned to that ultimate workhorse of the weeknight kitchen — the rotisserie chicken. Add a few vegetables and a creamy sauce made from pantry staples, and dinner’s on the table in no time.
Some folks may turn up their noses at using cream-of-anything soup in a casserole. But busy families have been turning to it for decades for three simple reasons — it works, it’s delicious and it’s effortless.
Creamy chicken and potato casserole
1/2cup light mayonnaise
110 3/4-ounce can condensed cream-of-chicken soup
1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2teaspoon dried thyme
1/2teaspoon garlic powder
120-ounce package hash brown potatoes (see note)
1medium zucchini, diced
1cup green beans, cut into pieces
1/2cup grated carrot
Meat from a 2-pound rotisserie chicken, cubed, skin and bones discarded
3/4cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2cup panko bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, stir together the mayonnaise, soup, milk, pepper, salt, thyme and garlic powder. Stir in the potatoes, zucchini, green beans, carrots and chicken. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese and the bread crumbs. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling and the vegetables are tender.
Note: Bagged hash brown potatoes (not the frozen type) can be found in the refrigerator section of your grocer, often near the eggs.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 420 calories; 120 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 32 g protein; 700 mg sodium.