Ah the humble casserole! Hearty, delicious, loved by all. A great user upper of leftover bits of this and that and a pleaser of all hungry family members. I always feel like such a competent wife and mother whenever I throw together a casserole for dinner. I can make a whole meal out of random things I find in the freezer and cupboards, even when it looks like we have nothing “good” in the house . And it always ends up having that great home-cooked ooey gooey taste.
One thing though, I always think of it as one of those “quick, easy, ready-in-a-flash” type of meals and then I always frustrate myself when I realize it’s actually going to be an “all afternoon” kinda thing. I mean, first you need to hunt for the stuff, then you need to gather, then boil the pasta, then mix everything together, then top with cheese or whatever, then after you’ve already made the thing, it still needs to bake for like an hour. So by the time it’s all done, you’ve been working on dinner for 2 hours.
I never considered that I could just toss everything in the crock pot until, well, until I did. And the results were delicious!
Here’s how it goes:
Get some basic ingredients: 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup, or whatever you want to use to make the casserole saucy, some frozen veggies, a splash of milk, and some leftover frozen turkey. It doesn’t matter if the frozen turkey is all stuck together in a big ball because it will all break down wonderfully during cooking. You can leave it like that or you can add in a few spices. I always like to use onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and a whole bunch of poultry seasoning. The spices really make your house smell like a delicious turkey dinner is being cooked again and you’ll feel like you must have done something really competent as a homemaker if your house smells like that.
So toss all those things in the slow cooker.
Then leave it to cook on low for like 6 or 8 hours or so. If you want to feel like you’re doing something, give it a stir every once in awhile.
It will soon look like this!
When you have about an hour to go until dinner time, throw in about 2-ish cups of pasta, and about 2-ish cups of extra liquid too. I just used water, but you can get fancy with chicken stock, or white wine, or whatever too if you want.
Just before you eat, top the whole thing with some grated cheese.
Dinner is made! You’ve just spent about a total of 3 minutes working on this, but you’ve carried that triumphant “I’ve got dinner under control and you know because you can smell it cooking” feeling with you all day!
Good job, you!
Wasn’t that fun?
And that’s how I’ll be doing all my casserole making from now on. 🙂
Give it a try!