I wish I'd thought to take a picture of this delicious, down-home-cookin' casserole before it got finished up -- I purposely bake it in a 9x13 dish because it makes such yummy leftovers and we really enjoy having it for lunch -- but I didn't think of it until too late. I suppose I could take a picture of my empty baking dish as proof that we enjoyed it very much? No? Oh well.
This is pure, sentimental, 1950s, back-of-the-mayonnaise jar kitschy comfort food, first baked back in the days when Mom wore an apron over her dress while she cooked; I can't eat this without thinking about June Cleaver and Marian Cunningham. I don't want to think about the calories and fat content; all I know is that is tastes good, feeds everybody and makes enough for multiple meals, so here goes:
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole (oven version)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Cheez-Whiz (or half a large jar, whichever is easiest)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 soup can of hot water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked (either white or brown will work)
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 can water chestnuts, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 bags frozen broccoli cuts, thawed (or fresh, if you'd like that better)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
2 cups crumbled Cheezit crackers or similar, stirred with 2 tablespoons melted butter (for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. In the baking dish, stir together the mushroom soup, Cheez-Whiz, mayonnaise, water and lemon juice. Add the rice, onion, celery, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add in the broccoli and chicken; stir to coat.
Place casserole dish in oven and bake for forty-five minutes or until bubbly. Top with crushed crackers and bake for ten more minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
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