What’s For Dinner?
Chicken-Vegetable Casserole With Shells
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
Southern Recipe Restoration Project
This recipe is a variation on the original, Mrs. Holmes' Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, listed separately, to which the contributor refers.
The contributors: La Tarsha Mills-McKie of College Park and her mother, Blanche Mills of East Point.
The story: “This recipe originated from Mrs. Holmes. She was the wife of my former pastor at the church I attended as a child. ... I adopted Mrs. Holmes as a grandmother, and she cherished her role in my life.
“When I graduated from college, like most families, we had dozens of family members come to celebrate. By this time, Mrs. Holmes had passed, but she had shared with my mother, Blanche Mills, a delicious, easy and quick recipe . It’s simply called chicken casserole."
— As told to Deborah Geering,
for the Journal-Constitution
Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 6
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or 4 thighs)
1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
8 ounces medium shells
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sear, without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Then stir the mushrooms and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the shells in the remaining broth or in a fresh pot of salted, boiling water. When the pasta is cooked, drain. Combine cooked pasta with chicken, condensed soup, vegetables and reserved cup of broth; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased 2-quart casserole or 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned