Hearty Chicken Noodle Casserole

Our version of this all-American comfort food is loved by both kids and grown-ups alike, feeds a crowd and freezes well. Prepping this dish is a little bit of a process; you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to speed things up. This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 0 minutes

For the casserole:
6 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cups celery, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup parmesan, grated
1 15-ounce package egg noodles
4 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1" pieces

For the topping:
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 6 minutes. Drain immediately after cooking and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to medium. Add butter, onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until onions become translucent and vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add poultry seasoning, nutmeg, pepper and flour. Cook for 2 minutes, until flour begins to slightly brown. Add sherry (if using), milk and stock and cook until mixture begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas and cheeses.

Combine vegetable/cream mixture, noodles and chicken in a large bowl and transfer to a greased, 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Sprinkle topping ingredients over casserole and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping begins to brown. Serve warm.