Warm, comforting and totally satisfying, chicken and mushroom casserole gets a healthy twist with whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breast and creamy plain yogurt.
Compared to the average family Midwestern family, we didn’t eat a ton of casseroles growing up. However, there are two casseroles my mom makes quite frequently that I inevitably crave when temperatures plummet: tuna noodle and chicken mushroom. Since we are in operation #Last10Pounds, I decided to give her recipes a nutritional face-lift by making a few changes:
- Swap Egg Noodles for Whole Wheat Bow-Ties: Egg noodles are totally delicious but essentially they are pure sugar. Whole wheat bow-ties are fun to eat and give the dish added protein, fiber and other minerals. These added nutrients help stabilize your blood sugar and helps prevent a post-casserole energy crash.
- Skip the Canned Cream Soups: God bless Cream of Mushroom/Chicken/Celery soups but friends, making your own takes less than 10 minutes and is SO much more flavorful. Plus, you get to control the quality of ingredients when you make your own. I know those cans are cute and make you feel warm and fuzzy but don’t let clever marketing trick you into thinking you can’t make your own cream soups.
- Use Plain Low Fat Yogurt: Technically, this isn’t a change from my mom’s recipe. She has always added plain yogurt to her casseroles for adding creaminess and a subtle tanginess that adds tons of flavor to the dish. Low fat plain yogurt is also high in protein, low in sugar and packed with calcium and other vitamins.
The end result? Ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness that takes nothing like health food. Jacob had 3 servings himself which is always a good sign.
Speaking of dairy goodness, remember when I traveled to Ohio a few years ago on an ExtraordiDAIRY Adventure? My dear friends from the American Dairy Association Mideast are doing something really special this holiday season by partnering with Feeding America to deliver highly-desired and nutrient rich gallons of milk to hungry families in need.
For every “like,” share or comment of my recipe photos on the ADA Mideast Facebook page from Giving Tuesday (Dec. 2) through Dec. 12, ADA Mideast will donate $1 to the GAMD, which is run through Feeding America. Then, the country’s dairy farmers and milk companies will match the total donation, doubling the gallons of gifts!
- 1 pound whole wheat bow-ties (or short pasta of choice)
- 1 tablespoon butter - unsalted
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 celery stalks - diced
- 2 teaspoons salt - divided
- 2 garlic cloves - grated
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth - low sodium
- 3 cups cooked chicken - diced (rotisserie works well!)
- 32 ounces plain low fat yogurt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese - divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup panko
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat until melted. Stir in onion, celery and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until softened, 3-4 minutes before adding garlic and mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are soft, 3-4 additional minutes.
- Sprinkle flour into the pan and stir for 30-60 seconds or until flour is absorbed into the pan. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, 7-9 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta with diced chicken, plain yogurt, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, half of the cheese (1 cup), lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Add in reduced mushroom sauce to the bowl and stir again.
- Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer.
- In a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 cup cheese with panko and olive oil. Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the casserole.
- Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45-50 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving to let the casserole settle.
Save the Date! Please join me and my other dairy-loving blogging friends for a special #GiveGallons Twitter Chat on Wednesday, 12/3 at 9PM ET! Prizes, recipes, fun and more! It’s going to be MOOvelous!
Monte Cristo Lasagna – Climbing Grier Mountain
Eggnog Latte – Shugary Sweets
Gingerbread Steamer – In Katrina’s Kitchen
Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites – The Law Students Wife
Hot Bruschetta Dip – Lemons for Lulu
Slow Cooker Reuben Dip – Garnish with Lemon
Cheese Platter 101 – Eat2gather
Skinny Chocolate Peppermint Mousse – Dessert for Two
Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip – Inside Brucrew Life
Sausage Cheese Breakfast Casserole – Love Grows Wild
Disclosure: I have been compensated for my time to create this recipe for ADA Mideast. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. As always, all thoughts are 100% my own.