lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

It is almost Christmas and I cannot believe it! I know it’s a cliché, but time just seems to go by faster and faster every year. I remember the years when it would feel like forever before Christmas came around. Right now, I feel like I should still be wearing flip-flops and tank tops.

Well, I suppose I could. I just might be a little cold.

I love casserole dishes when it starts to get chilly outside. They just feel so homey no matter what gets thrown into them (within reason, people). I had never heard of poppy seed chicken until I saw it on Bev Cooks, but as soon as I spied it, I knew I needed to make it.

Long story short, I am very happy I did. It’s creamy with a little crunch from the breadcrumbs and a bit of tang from the roasted red peppers. Plus, I love poppy seeds (recall those little ham and swiss sliders with poppy seeds on top?).

So, two more days until Christmas. I hope everyone is prepared and done wrapping presents. We are almost done here, just a few more things to finish and then time to relax. Just in time to unwrap all that hard work. I did get an early Christmas present: an admission letter from Saint Louis University School of Law notifying me of my acceptance.

That was right before I smashed my head in the car door. And grabbed a pan I just pulled out of the oven. Without a potholder. Oops. I guess Mother Nature just needed to balance out the good news with some pain.

So, merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all enjoy this time with family and friends and take in all this special season has to offer.

Plus eat lots of good food.

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

Serves 4

2 raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 10-oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 jarred roasted bell pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
½ cup panko
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Fill a large pot with water. Add peppercorns, garlic, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in chicken breasts. Return to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover for 15 to 18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and white in the center. Remove to a separate plate to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 °F.

In a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and yogurt. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl along with spinach, sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, poppy seeds, and plain breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish (I used an 8”x8” square dish).

Mix butter and panko and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until heated through.

Source: Adapted from Bev Cooks


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