Chicken Noodle Bake

With the cost of food escalating, it’s more important than ever to get the most from your grocery dollar. It costs too much to waste any part of the organic chicken I purchase. I’ve found that I can turn one chicken into at least THREE meals.

MEAL ONE: I purchase the largest chicken I can find. That way I’ll have more meat, than bone. I roast the chicken (click here for my Roast Chicken recipe).
Take the bones and make Almost Free Bone Broth (Click Here for the Bone Broth recipe). There is usually at least two cups leftover chicken with which to make
MEAL THREE: Chicken Noodle Bake. This recipe works equally well with left-over turkey.

The beauty of Chicken Noodle Bake not only is 2 cups of cooked chicken turned into another delicious meal, but it utilizes two items I purchase in a large containers at Costco (I’m sure Sam’s Club has the same items): mushrooms and spinach. Chicken Noodle Bake makes use of 1/2 of each container. Both the mushrooms and spinach are utilized in other recipes and again there is no waste. (Click Here for my Tomato and Spinach Medley recipe.)

Chicken Noodle Bake

6 ounces thin egg noodles, cooked (about 2 cups uncoooked), drained
6 tablespoons (1/2 cube)  butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
1-2 minced cloves of garlic
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup flour or arrowroot
1 2/3 cups chicken broth (or bone broth)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked diced chicken
8 ounces fresh spinach
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (divided)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to directions. Then drain.
2. In large skillet or saucepan over low heat, melt butter; saute onions for about 5 minutes add mushrooms saute until tender.
3. Take 1 cup of chicken broth add the flour and whisk until lumps disappear. Add to the onions, minced garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir in remaining liquid and heat until bubbly and thickened.
4. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Add cooked chicken and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and the cooked and drained noodles. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over top.
5. Bake chicken noodle casserole 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Note: This recipe can be made in advance. Prepare according to directions, up to baking.  Store the prepared dish in the refrigerator. The baking time will need to be lengthened (an additional 10 to 15  minutes), because the ingredients will be cold when the dish is placed in a preheated oven.

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