Look! I’m Cooking! With Real-Live Food!

So truth be told I haven’t been very diligent in the menu-planning department lately, and more often than not I feel like I’m winging it at suppertime. It doesn’t help that I am perfectly content to eat Cheez-Its or a scoop of peanut butter or a bowl of cereal and then consider supper checked off my list, but I do understand that there are two other people in this house who appreciate hot food.

Well, really there’s just one other person in this house who appreciates hot food. Because if left to his own devices, the five year-old would pretty much eat Oreos with a side of Cheetos three times a day and then snack on Skittles.

Which is why the preparation of actual meals with actual vegetables is fairly important around these parts.

Anyway, yesterday I actually sat down and planned what I was going to cook this week (remember when I used to do that? here on the blog? oh-so-faithfully? yeah. good times.), and I remembered a casserole that I love but haven’t cooked recently because I sort of burned out on casseroles about six months ago.

Can you tell that I haven’t really been that into cooking lately?

You may have picked up on that.

But this particular casserole is oh-so-delicious – and it’s a good way to work some asparagus into a meal since, strangely enough, kids tend to like green vegetables better when they’re covered with a yummy cheesy sauce. You can use canned or fresh asparagus – just make sure to boil it ahead of time if you use the fresh stuff.

And this recipe will feed at least ten people – so you should have plenty of leftovers.

Unless there are ten people in your family.

And if that is the case, then hats off to whomever is doing the cooking because, well, YOU ROCK.

Chicken and Asparagus Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter (you can use a little less if you’d like. I say go big or go home.)
1 (8 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Accent
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento, drained
6 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
2 (15 ounce) cans green asparagus spears
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet, saute’ onion butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients except chicken, asparagus and almonds. In a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, layer half of chicken, 1 can asparagus and half of sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce. Top with almonds. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. Do not add liquid, even if it looks dry. Freezes well.

Serve with rice, baked potato or baked sweet potato. Or, you know, beets. Or parsnips. Whatever suits your fancy.

By the way, the leftovers are really good as filling for quesadillas or as stuffing for hot baked potatoes. Personally, I like to reheat the casserole in a big ole skillet and let the cheesy part get sort of crispy around the edges only I can’t talk about that anymore or I’m going to go into the kitchen and pan fry some shredded cheese, just as the good Lord intended.

Regardless, I love it when leftovers are versatile and make you feel like you’re getting an entirely different meal. Because then you get credit for cooking something new and different without having to cook anything new and different. It’s a thing of beauty, my friends.

Enjoy, y’all!

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  1. It sounds WONDERFUL!!! I may have to cut the recipe by 10, though….because my family will get up in arms for anything of the asparagus variety. Poor, uncultured people.

    Did you see I started a recipe blog? I am trying to create a downloadable menu resource over time.

    Have a wonderful week, Sophie!
    I’m prayin’ for you :)

  2. OH…dear…crispy cheese.

    Oh my….

    I must resist…I must resist….Ok, crispy cheese it is.

  3. I soooo made this the other day! Except mine has rice in it. And no pimentos, because yuck. I was very proud of myself for cooking, too! I mean, I had to, because my mom was in town and the standards for dinner were raised to a level above Dairy Queen.
    I am eating leftovers for lunch today. I might try your recipe and see which one I like better. Regardless, I will forever more add Tabasco to mine. What a yummy addition that I hadn’t thought of.

  4. I totally understand questionable dinner choices. One of my favorite dinners is crackers with salsa, so it was a bit of a shock to my system when I married five months ago and had to learn how to cook a meal with vegetables and everything. We had our parents over the other day, so, since I didn’t want to pass around a box of crackers, I made a chicken casserole from Pioneer Woman’s website. Delish.

  5. Hey Boomama!!
    My momma used to make something similar to this when I was a kid….I actually loved it and still do, but my boys would DIE if they had to even look at asparagus.
    Terrible…just terrible they are.


  6. hey boo…i am not betty frickin’ crocker or anything so….

    what kinda accent to you put in your casserole?

    would that be a SUTHERN accent? : )

  7. It sounds yummy. But what is Accent?

  8. I did the same thing yesterday. I even plan on making a real live, get-all-the-food-we-need-at-once grocery trip today (with both the two year old and the six month old–fun times!). I figured this eating macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets since Daddy left is going to have to stop eventually…

  9. Nummies! I remember this or something like it from childhood.

  10. “Accent adds depth to food flavor. It’s been a “secret ingredient” of many chefs for years. Accent has 60% less sodium than salt and is a terrific alternative to salt for people watching their sodium intake.”

    I’m so glad to see that you are being careful of your sodium intake. Because you’re gonna need to be after the cream of chicken soup!

    I like to have a Diet Coke in a can with my Mounds Bar, myself.

  11. MMmmmm! I’ll be trying this! (I have 9 people in my family, so I only rock with a lowercase “r”.)

  12. This sounds so good. I will try it very soon! I have been eating weight watcher frozen meals lately and last night Scott and I were having a “discussion” about household chores and I rattled off all the things I did including “cooking” and Scott said “well – you haven’t done much of that lately”. Oh touche’. When we get back from vacation I have to get back on cooking real meals!

  13. Sounds really yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. And we’ll be having this for dinner tonight…and then probably tomorrow for lunch and probably in tortillas on Thursday – great idea!

  15. So.

    Would it still be as good without the ‘shrooms and pimentos? Because, as Robyn so eloquently put it. yuck.

  16. This sounds just yummy!! And I think with a pot of rice it just might be enough to feed my clan…

    Mary, mom to 10


    Dinner tonight…and I didn’t have to plan it.

    Did I say thank you? Thank you!

  18. i like food

  19. Talk about synchronicity (actually you didn’t talk about synchronicity but I’m about to) – I posted an incredibly simple recipe on my blog and now PioneerWoman is doing a recipe posting thang also – and here is real live food recipe on BooMama – woo hoo! I think Natalie Witcher said it best – i like food – yep – just downright synchronous (you can tell I did a vocabulary puzzle this weekend huh?)

  20. Ummm…our family eats out 90% of the time. I know, I know, eating out is not the healthiest but what can I do? My husband hates eating in and refuses to cook. I work FT and don’t have the energy to come home and cook. Like you, I’d be perfectly content with a bowl of cereal for dinner.

    This casserole looks pretty simple though. I may have to try it out this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Crispy cheese, eh? Oh lordy. This sounds too good to resist. We have company coming in a few weeks and this will definitely be on the menu! Thanks.

  22. That sounds sooo good. I’m going to add it to my menu for next month. Yum! I’ll have to leave out the mushrooms though. Hubby has a thing about eating fungus’. He’s weird that way. =0)

  23. Hi – I am new here and this cracked me up! I am good with Cheez-It’s and tuna fish. :) My 3.5 year old tells me he wants PB & J for all three meals. This sounds yummy and I will have to give it a try!

  24. I just printed that one! Sounds so yummy!

  25. Mmmm is there anything quite as delicious as cheesy deliciousness. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. I’m just wondering if this was in the Freezes Beautifully section of your cookbook??

    Sounds YUMMY!!

  27. Oh mercy, that sounds so good!

  28. That recipe sounds good.I’m always looking for new ways to make those veggies!
    Have a great weekend!

  29. This sounds absolutely delicious but the other two that live in my house ( the big boy and the little boy ) wouldn’t eat it if their lives depended on it. I’ll just have to make it for my dad. He and I share the asparagus love.

  30. Sounds yummy and I’m sure hubby and I would love it. But the children…


    However, if it is half as good as your cheesy shrimp casserole (which I have made four times, BTW)… Well then- it ROCKS!

  31. I could’ve sworn cheeze-its were one of the food groups. Your post indicates maybe they’re not? LOL

    I found you through Melanie’s blog roll.

  32. This sounds fabulous! I am so glad to read that I am not the only Mommy that finds cereal an acceptable dinner on occasion (perhaps many occasions).

    I agree that leftovers can be great. We had porkchops tonight….you’ll never guess what we are having tomorrow night?!?!

    I found your site through the LPM blog.

  33. Oh be still my heart. I wonder how many points are in that dish…oh the heck with it. I am making it anyway.

  34. Why, thank you for the compliment!

    But I have 14 in my family, not 10.


  35. Your five year old sounds a lot like my husband. If left to his own devices, he would probably eat Oreos all day too.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who slacks on the meal planning every once in awhile. That casserole sounds delicious but I have to be honest – anything with more than 5 ingredients makes my eyes cross. Maybe one day I’ll work up the courage to try it.

    Love your blog, by the way.

  36. That does look yummy! Thanks!

    I hate cooking when my husband isn’t going to be home. I always feel like the kids would prefer scrambled eggs and cereal, too. Or rather ice cream. But one has to have some limits.

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  37. Thanks for the great recipe! I love recycleable (is that a word?) leftovers.