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Best casserole ever

Would you believe casseroles are among the most popular comfort foods? When a casserole bakes, its aroma wafts out of the oven, filling the house with a tantalizing promise of flavors yet to come. – Pat

Farmhouse chicken

2 packages (6-oz. each) stuffing mix

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

2 cans (10-3/4-oz. each) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted

1 cup milk

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions; set aside. Place the chicken in a greased 13×9-in baking dish. Combine the soup, milk, celery, onion, salt and pepper until blended; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.

Sloppy Joe pasta

1 pound ground beef

1 envelope sloppy joe mix

1 cup water

1 can (8-oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (6-oz.) tomato paste

1 package (7-oz.) small shell pasta, cooked and drained

1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the Sloppy Joe mix, water, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in pasta. Spoon half into a greased 2-1/2 qt. Baking dish. Top with cottage cheese and remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubble and cheese is melted. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Smoked sausage potato bake

1-3/4 cups water

2/3 cup milk

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

½ teaspoon salt

2-2/3 cups mashed potato flakes

1 cup (8-oz.) sour cream

1 cup (4-oz.) shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage links, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in slices

1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

In a large saucepan, bring water, milk, 4 tablespoons butter and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in potato flakes. Let stand for 30 seconds or until liquid is absorbed. Whip with a fork until fluffy. Stir in sour cream and cheddar cheese. Spoon half into a greased 2-qt. Baking dish. Top with sausage and remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese. Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs; sprinkle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and edges are golden brown. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Broccoli tuna bake

1 can (10-3/4-oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 can (12-oz.) Albacore tuna, drained and flaked

1-1/2 cups cooked rice

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 package (10-oz.) frozen broccoli florets, cooked and drained

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the soup, milk and lemon juice. Stir in tuna, rice and pepper. Transfer to a greased 10-in pie plate or quiche dish. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with broccoli; sprinkle with cheese, bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Creamy bean goulash

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cans (15-1/4 -oz. each) butter beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (10-3/4-oz.) condensed tomato soup, undiluted

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese and minced fresh parsley, optional

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the beans, soup, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and sour cream. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with cheese and parsley if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

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