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Well, who’s ready for a great-tasting casserole made with poached chicken and baby portabellas?  Since I can’t hear you, I’m hoping you just said, “yes!” If you’re not a newcomer here, you are probably well aware that my wonderful husband loves casseroles.  He’s also a fan of canned green beans, but don’t let that deter you from trying out this recipe (no canned beans, I promise).  When he comes home from work and sees that glass Pyrex on the second shelf in the refrigerator you can almost see his smile.  Whereas if I mentioned I lovingly prepared a goat cheese tart with fresh herbs, he’d probably mumble something like, “Oh that sounds good.”  And I can tell you it would be totally insincere because he’s really looking for a casserole (or a steak).

{Note to self for future blog post: capture happy husband’s smile upon seeing a casserole in the frig.}

I placed 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a large stock pot to poach.  You’ll only use 2 for this recipe.  I’ll be making a totally delicious chicken salad from the other two this week.

I used 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/4 tsp of whole black peppercorns, 1 garlic clove and some celery to flavor the chicken while it poaches.

I shredded two of the poached chicken breasts which yielded about 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken for the casserole.  I’ll be posting the technique I used to poach the chicken breasts this week.

I chopped half of a Vidalia onion to get about 1 cup, which I sautéed in 2 tbsp butter until the onions were translucent.  Then I added in the 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper and sautéed over medium heat for an additional 3-5 minutes.

My willing slightly willing assistant worked hard to clean the entire 10 oz of baby portabella mushrooms, which I then sliced.

After slicing the baby portabellas add them to a 12-inch skillet that has 2 tbsp of melted butter.  Add 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and a pinch of ground black pepper. Your skillet should be on a medium-high heat.  Add 1/4 cup of white wine to skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes or until no liquid remains and mushrooms have reduced in size.

Some recipes for baked spaghetti call for par-boiling the spaghetti before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.  I found I didn’t need to do that step and the spaghetti seemed to have the right consistency once the casserole had been baked.  For this recipe, you’ll need one 16-ounce package of dried spaghetti.

I whisked the 2 containers of condensed Portobello mushroom soup with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid from poaching the chicken.  You could also use homemade stock or canned broth in place of the poaching liquid.

I added the onion-bell pepper mixture to the soup and then the spaghetti.  I broke the spaghetti up into 2-inch pieces.  This part is a little tricky, so just do the best you can.  Using a very large mixing bowl will make this step much easier.

I topped the casserole with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and covered it with aluminum foil.  I then baked it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Finally, I uncovered it and baked it for an additional 10 minutes.

{So, what do you make for dinner that makes your husband smile?}

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Baby Portabellas


1 cup chopped onion

4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

10 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup white wine

2 11-oz containers condensed cream of portabella mushroom soup

2 cups of reserved poaching liquid (or chicken stock or canned chicken broth)

1 16-oz package dried spaghetti, broken into 2 or 3 inch pieces

2 1/2 cups shredded chicken

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


Add 2 tbsp butter to 10-inch skillet and saute onions over medium heat until translucent.  Add bell pepper and continue to saute until peppers are tender, approximately 3 minutes.

Add remaining 2 tbsp butter to a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, salt, pepper and wine and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes until mushrooms have cooked down and no liquid remains.

In a large mixing bowl, blend condensed soup with reserved poaching liquid using a wire whisk.   Add vegetables and stir with a wooden spoon.  Then add spaghetti and stir again, trying to cover spaghetti with soup mixture.

Spread shredded chicken evenly into a 9- x 13-inch baking dish which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Add soup and spaghetti mixture, spreading evenly over chicken.  Using the back of a wooden spoon press spaghetti down into soup mixture.  Top with shredded cheddar cheese and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serves 8-10

I’m linking to thrifty101 today.