One of the crazy nights while the little girls were here, I was thrilled to find a casserole in our freezer that Jessica had made on one of her visits here. (See how she did it on her blog here.) I was away and she came home and cooked for her dad and left him a couple of dishes for later. It was perfect for our dinner.
For many years, this was the dish I took to families with new babies. The older brothers and sisters seemed to like it. Baby Girl certainly ate her fair share the night we had it. I have delivered it with just a can of cranberry sauce and a can of peas. My own daughters were small then and I had to keep it easy.
The recipe is one my sister added to a family cookbook over 30 years ago. I don't know if she still makes it, but we have been using it for these many years. I always think the list of ingredients looks long. Don't let that scare you off. It's really easy.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 (4-oz) can sliced mushroom *
2 cups diced cooked chicken (we like larger pieces)
1 (8-oz) box of spaghetti
1 cup bread or cracker crumbs, buttered
Make a sauce of butter, cheese, flour, milk, soup, oregano and pepper. Stir over medium heat until cheese melts and sauce thickens. Add mushrooms, green pepper, pimento and chicken.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and put into greased 2-qt. oblong baking dish. Pour chicken mixture over spaghetti. (I stir slightly to get sauce down into the noodles.) Top with bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Now, when Jessica makes it, she uses fresh mushrooms. That's delicious. I often use the canned ones because it's easy.
It can be frozen before it's baked. Jessica divided the recipe into smaller baking dishes and froze them. Put the bread crumbs in a small bag and put with the dish. Add those just before you bake it.
Take it out of the freezer the night before and bake according to directions. You may need to bake it a little longer. Just be sure it's hot all the way through.
* I often use chopped mushrooms, but if I'm taking it somewhere, I'll be sure to use the sliced ones. The larger size is easier for non-mushroom lovers to pick them out and avoid eating them.