Rotisserie Chicken and Parmesan Bake

Rotisserie chicken is one of the tastiest things ever, and I’d heard that it’s great for recipes. I decided to see if it lived up to the hype this past week. During our regular shopping trip, we stopped at Dillon’s and picked up a chicken for about five dollars, and I was the lucky one who pulled as much as I could off the bone. I’m okay with it…it beats touching raw chicken.

The rotisserie chicken didn’t yield as much meat as I thought it would, but it was still enough for about two meals. We were going to stretch it into three, but I think two meals in a row is going to be about right for us.

One of the recipes is something I named a Chicken Parmesan Bake, though I’m not sure if that’s accurate. I tweaked the Sour Cream Noodle Bake to add more pasta sauce, and I used the chicken instead of ground beef (in the future, I’m going to try this with italian sausage and ground pork).

For your recipe pleasure, here are the deets on this dish (sorry for the blurry bowl shot, as I failed at taking a finished product pic).

Hot, delicious, mess!
Hot, delicious, mess!

Chicken Parmesan Bake with Rotisserie Chicken

* Shredded Rotisserie chicken (2 cups? I just eyeballed it)
* Pasta sauce (1 jar)
* ½ teaspoon salt
* fresh ground black pepper
* 16 ounce package penne pasta
* ½ cup sour cream
* 1¼ cup small curd cottage cheese
* Parmesan cheese
* ¼ teaspoon onion powder
* garlic powder (eyeball it)
* 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Simmer chicken and pasta sauce in skillet, ½ teaspoon salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper (if using onion powder and garlic powder add it now) and parmesan cheese. Add to noodles and stir.
5. To assemble, add a third of the noodles to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Top with a third of the sauce mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated mozzarella. Repeat with noodle, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.


This was so good! The only change (besides trying different meat) I’ll make in the future is to add some minced garlic. Fresh garlic would be good too. I love lasagna, and this was an easy way to satisfy that craving.


Recipe: Tuna Noodle Casserole

This past week was a banner week in our household. I cooked dinner twice!

Even better than the sour cream noodle bake was the tuna noodle casserole I made on Tuesday night. I love TNC. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, but I’ve only had it a handful of times as an adult. In my normal aversion to cooking, I always thought the dish was too complicated. So many ingredients, so much to do, so much kitchen drama!

That’s not the case. This was easy to make, and while I wasn’t as super suave in the kitchen as I had been with the first casserole, I still managed to put it all together without setting anything on fire. I used bits and pieces of old recipes I’d been given to hodge podge this together. Now it’s probably going to be one of my go-to recipes.

Under that layer of chips is cheesy tuna goodness.
Under that layer of chips is cheesy tuna goodness.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
6 ounces egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste, I use 1 teaspoon)
3 -4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
onion powder
1 (6 1/2 ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked
Shredded cheddar cheese
Potato chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

2. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water; drain and toss with 2 tablespoons butter.

3. In a sauce pan, mix together undiluted mushroom soup, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in tuna to sauce mix.

5. Combine the mixture with the cooked egg noodles.

6. Pour everything into casserole dish.

7. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar cheese, then with crushed potato chips

8. Bake for about 25 minutes.

I was surprised at how easy this was and how delicious it tasted. Jon likes his things spiced up, so he added hot sauce to his. The recipe is versatile, so you can add whatever spices or sauces you want to give it some kick.

This coming Sunday I’m trying two recipes: crockpot cheeseburgers and crockpot dump cake. Wish me luck!


No, I Really Can’t Stand the Heat

Cooking stresses me out, yet for some reason, now that we have a “real” kitchen, I have the urge to keep trying it.

I’ve made two meals so far, both which turned out okay and will be used again with some minor tweaks. It’s not really the meals that stress me out. It’s just the kitchen experience. Growing up, I never had any interest in cooking or meal planning. Now I go through phases, and those phases are normally brought on my a change in living space. They run their course fairly quickly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to get my time’s worth out of them when they do come around.

The first dish I made wasn’t horrible. It was a Dorito Taco Casserole and it turned out well. The thing with anything Mexican, though, is that I like it to have crunch, so I had to add a few extra tortilla chips since baking chips in saucy ingredients tends to soften them up.

Last night, I made a Southwestern Tuna Noodle Casserole. Tuna noodle casserole is one of my favorite meals. My mom swore it was one of the easiest things to make, but I never tried to make it for myself before now. I tweaked the southwestern version a little bit. Instead of using the chopped green chiles it called for (I couldn’t find them at Aldi), I seasoned with red pepper flakes.

What I failed to realize is that while red pepper flakes are good for some heat, you  need something else to season it and bring out the flavor. I didn’t use anything. In fact, I forgot to salt the noodles. So while there was some heat on it, it was also kind of bland in the taste department.*

I don’t stress over whether the food will come out well. For me, it’s the practice of getting around a kitchen. I have a minor fear of heat and fire, so I’m a bit uncomfortable when it comes flame. Whenever I put something in or pull something out of the oven, I know I’m going to burn my fingers on something (I rarely do, in reality).

I constantly drop things and knock into things, so spills are normal.  Raw meat squicks me out. Tuna fish is gross when you drain it from the can.** 

I can never seem to handle pans and dishes well. I’d like to blame it on small hands, but I’m sure it’s because I’m just uncoordinated.

If it’s a stovetop meal, I get splattered with grease, or I freak out if something boils over. If it’s an oven dish, I worry if it’s cooking too much or not enough. Pork and chicken scare me because I’m in a constant state of worry that it’ll be undercooked and I’ll get food poisoning.

Having said all that, I still like looking at recipes and I still like the thought of being able to cook. Over the past few days I’ve used Pinterest to Pin all kinds of recipes that look really good and probably wouldn’t pose much of a challenge if I wanted to try them out. It would give my husband a reprieve since he’s the main cook in our house.

Besides, practice makes perfect. Maybe one day I can get to that point where cooking actually relaxes me.

*The leftovers two days later were actually really good though.
**Also, our roommate’s cat lost his stuff over the tuna smell, a fact I didn’t take into consideration before making the dish. Sorry, Kitty!