Friday, October 11, 2013

Taco Chips? Chicken? Cheese?

Sometimes, being a lunch lady is a thankless job. Especially when trying a new recipe. I suppose some of the kids might think I'm mean because I try to make a casserole once a week--partially because casseroles are an oddity to many kids. And because, although I'm sure they'd like it, I can't serve chicken nuggets every day.

Yesterday I made one of those new casseroles. My projected count was low--as usual for a casserole day. However, way too many of my young lunchers chose the alternative main dish (a chef salad or the ever too popular peanut butter sandwich).  And many of those who had casserole on their trays, wouldn't even try a bite. Not one bite!

However... some brave little souls did take a bite. Then came back and told me...
"If I could get seconds, I'd have thirds." 
"I really liked your casserole."
"The casserole is great" (with a thumbs up)


Those are the moments that warm a lunch lady's heart.

The casserole the kids were leery of was, however, a hit with the teachers! And many have asked for the recipe, so here it is... (returned to an at home size.)

Taco Chip, Chicken and Cheese Casserole

 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 medium size bag of taco chips, any flavor, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread the bottom of the pan with half of the chips. Reserve one cup of cheese. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour this mixture over the chips. Top with the remaining cheese and chips. 

Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.

notes: 
*use a rotisserie chicken to make this even easier
*for the casserole at school I used a cheddar/jack mix of cheese 
*depending on how salty your chips or seasoning on the chicken are, cut back on the salt to taste
*if you like cumin, just a bit in the chicken mixture would be tasty