Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole

One of the homiest and most comforting casseroles I had as a kid was the Best Ever Turkey Casserole. And the name doesn’t lie—to me it was and still is the best casserole ever! After making it myself for a few years, I have changed things around a little bit: instead of using Uncle Ben’s rice mix, I use plain wild rice; and rather than using a ½ lb of processed cheese, I substitute shredded cheddar and just a couple slices of what my husband and I affectionately call “fake cheese”.  I hope this recipe has you wanting a warm blanket, a fireplace and a game of scrabble--or  maybe just a long nap.

Best Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole
1 cup uncooked wild rice
2 cups leftover turkey breast, or 1 lb chicken breast, cooked
12-14oz bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
½ cup light canola mayo
½ cup light sour cream
4 slices 2% milk processed cheese singles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup French fried onions
Parsley and pepper

Cook your wild rice following the package directions. While the rice is cooking, break up the leftover turkey into small pieces in a large 2 qt. casserole dish. Steam the broccoli until it is cooked but still firm in either the microwave or on the stove. Drain the broccoli completely and pour into the casserole. Drain the rice and toss the three ingredients together gently with your hands.

In a mixing bowl, combine the condensed soup, sour cream and mayo until well mixed. Add a dash of pepper and parsley. Spread the soup mixture over the top of the rice/turkey/broccoli mixture like a frosting coating the entire top of the casserole.  Tear the processed cheese slices in half and space evenly across the top of the soup mixture. (It’s ok if there is open space between them—when they melt they will become a cheesy sauce with the soup mixture.) Top with the cheddar cheese and cover with foil.

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the French fried onions on top. Bake uncovered another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and an internal temp of at least 165 is reached. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Turkey Tuesday!

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