Sunday, March 10, 2013

Copycatting a Stouffer's Oldie but Goodie.

Before every food company converted their frozen meals to be microwaveable; the containers were aluminum and the plastic or cardboard covers needed to be removed first before heating. One of my very favorites was Stouffer's "Escalloped Chicken and Noodles"; chunks of white meat chicken, veggies and egg noodles in a luscious, creamy sauce. Alas, Stouffer's went the microwave route also; the containers became thin plastic with plastic wrap covers that stayed on, and the food stuck to. Not only that, the portions became smaller, but the prices almost doubled; now what the heck is that all about!?!

So in 2007, I decided I'd had enough of this nonsense, and set upon making a copycat version of my own.  I purchased one more entree, heated it up and then analyzed it...the taste, textures, smell, what ingredients I could readily see or taste.  I'm sure if I was a scientist in a lab, I could have come up with an almost perfect copycat recipe; but I'm not and I'm still happy with the end result.

Using canned creamed soups saved me the trouble of using heavy cream which could break in a sauce if not cooked properly.  Adding chicken broth provided extra moisture for the egg noodles, so they did not harden up during the baking process.   I used fresh onion, red bell pepper and mushrooms, so their flavors are prominent in the dish now instead of just hinted at.  If you're looking for a quick and easy casserole, I believe you'll enjoy this one.

Escalloped Chicken and Noodles


4 Tbsp butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced red bell pepper
4 Tbsp flour
4 cups cooked and shredded white meat chicken
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 (8 oz) package medium width egg noodles, cooked
1/2 cup plain, fine bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 F. and spray a 3 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.

In 10 inch skillet, medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté mushrooms, onion and red bell pepper until softened, but not browned; add flour and mix well. 

In large mixing bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, chicken, pepper, broth, creamed soups and noodles.

Spread mixture into casserole dish; sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake 30-35 minutes; until sauce is bubbling and bread crumbs are golden brown.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour