Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Turkey Noodle Casserole–completely from scratch!

Hi everyone!  Okay, so the past couple of days I’ve been on a roll with creating some pretty awesome dinners (my family and The Man can attest to it, I promise!).  This was Sunday night’s dinner – a turkey noodle casserole with lots of fresh veggies.  I think my favorite part about this dinner is that I made it entirely from scratch.  Pretty often, I use canned “Cream of” whatever soup as the base for a lot of casserole-type dishes, but this one I made from scratch, with a little inspiration from Pinterest – if you don’t know what that is, you’re missing out!  Check out the website:


Anyway, I saw a recipe on Pinterest from Just Get Off Your Butt And Bake by a delightful woman named Jonna for a Chicken Broccoli Supreme Casserole.  Chicken is definitely a favorite in my house and I’m constantly trying to find ways to get The Man to eat more vegetables, so this sounded like a perfect idea to me!  So I took Jonna’s recipe (you can find the original here) and tweaked it to fit my needs and what I had available to me that day.  Here’s what it ended up looking like:

Turkey Noodle Casserole

Please excuse my blurry cell phone picture (does anyone know why Blackberry thought it was a good idea to NOT include a flash on the Blackberry Curve’s camera?  Anyone?  Yeah, me either).  I’m working on getting a camera that is more suited to taking pictures of my food, but until then, just deal – it’s DELICIOUS which totally makes up for the blurry picture.

For my Turkey Noodle Casserole, The Man and I took a spin around the produce section of my supermarket and just grabbed things: a split turkey breast that had already been cooked by the delightful staff at said supermarket and looked delicious, two ears of fresh corn, two heads of fresh broccoli, and a small bag of baby carrots.  Then, we made our way through the rest of the store and picked up egg noodles, chicken broth (no, I haven’t tried making my own yet.  I’m getting there.  I’m a little scared of it, to be honest – it’s all whole chickens and big pots and I’m just not ready),  and some sharp white cheddar.  Then we came home and it was casserole time.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees when I got home so that when it was time for this to go in the oven, it would be ready and waiting for me and not the other way around.  Then, egg noodles went on to boil.  For the last 3 minutes of cooking the noodles, I threw in half the bag of baby carrots and let them cook together.  While that was happening, The Man (who is a sweetheart and does whatever I asked him to in the kitchen, even though he doesn’t really want to) cut the kernels off the two ears of corn, cut the florets from the broccoli, and shredded 3/4 of the split turkey breast.  Then, I completed the most difficult part of the whole ordeal (which was SO stupidly easy) – the sauce.  I used Jonna’s exact recipe for the sauce and it turned out PERFECT!  Two days later, there are no leftovers and The Man already wants me to make more.  Success?  I’d say so.

Cooking like this really is the best idea I ever had.  This whole dinner cost me approximately $10 and it fed five people, with leftovers.  Yes, I think I will do this again.

Turkey Noodle Casseroleadapted from Just Get Off Your Butt And Bake

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water 
1/3 cup chicken broth
Salt & Pepper
2 cups milk (I used skim, but use whatever you have)
8 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (8 oz. is one of the normal size blocks of cheese you can find in the grocery store)

For the rest of the casserole:

3 cups of shredded turkey breast (you could definitely use cubed or shredded chicken here as well, just use whatever you have on hand)
1 to 2 cups of broccoli florets (depending on how much you like broccoli)
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off
1 cup baby carrots
1 lb. bag of egg noodles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the egg noodles in a pot of boiling water and cook based on your package directions.  For the last three minutes of cooking, add the baby carrots.  Drain and place in a lightly greased baking dish (13x9 is what I used).  Shred the turkey and place that into the baking dish and stir together.  Cut the kernels off of the two ears of corn and stir those into the baking dish as well.  Steam the broccoli florets for 2 minutes and throw those into the baking dish as well.

Then, make the sauce.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and set aside.  Melt the butter and add the cornstarch/water mixture, chicken broth, salt and pepper, and milk.  Whisk until thickened, and then add the cheese.  Pour into the baking dish and stir gently to combine.

Top the casserole with panko bread crumbs (or normal breadcrumbs if you’d like) and a little bit more shredded cheese (I used monterey jack, but you could certainly use more sharp cheddar if you want). 

Place the casserole in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Then, eat the entire dish over the stove because it’s just that good.  Seriously.


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