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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chicken-tot Casserole

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 bag frozen tater tots 
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut raw chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pan fry with a small amount of olive oil until cooked through.  Salt and pepper can be added in this phase for added flavor.  Add onions and celery, and remove from heat when onions are translucent.  This was a prepare-ahead meal, so at this point, I allowed the chicken and veggies to cool. You could also prepare and bake right away. 
Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with Pam, and add the chicken. Try to make it as even as possible. Spread mushroom soup evenly over chicken. (Feel free to add milk or broth to make more gravy, but I thought it was perfect without additional liquid). 
Next, completely cover chicken and soup with a layer of tots. Sprinkle cheese on top of the tots. 
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Then remove foil and increase heat to 375. Bake until the tater tots are golden and crispy. Serves 4-5. 

Notes: Good freezer-meal option (thaw first), make early-bake later, or prepare at meal time. Just be aware that frozen tots will extend baking time. For big families, double the recipe and use a 9 x 13 baking dish. Buy gluten free and dairy free products for an allergy-friendly meal. 

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