Nothing But Comfort Casserole Recipe Who says you need fresh ingredients to whip up a comforting and scrumptious casserole? This recipe is perfect for those days when you’re relying on pantry staples and freeze-dried goodies. Let’s get cooking! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chicken (12.5 oz): Shelf-stable and protein-packed!
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10.5 oz)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (10.5 oz)
  • 1 cup freeze-dried mixed vegetables: Think peas, carrots, and corn.
  • 1 cup freeze-dried broccoli
  • 1 cup instant rice: Or any quick-cooking rice you have on hand.
  • 1 cup shredded freeze-dried cheese: Cheddar works great! But I prefer the zip of Thrive Life’s Pepper Jack Cheese Freeze Dried Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk: Use shelf-stable milk.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crushed crackers or bread crumbs: For that crunchy topping! (I Foodsaver Ritz crackers and they last quite a while!)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (I use Thrive’s Butter.) Thrive Life's Butter Powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. (This works great in a solar oven, by the way)
  2. Rehydrate Freeze-Dried Ingredients: Place the freeze-dried vegetables and cheese in a bowl. Add water according to package instructions (usually about a 1:1 ratio) and let them sit for a few minutes until rehydrated. Drain any excess water.
  3. Mix the Base: In a large bowl, combine the canned chicken (including the liquid), cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, instant rice, rehydrated vegetables, rehydrated broccoli, water, and milk. Stir well to combine.
  4. Season and Stir: Add the garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper to the mixture. Give it another good stir to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
  5. Assemble the Casserole: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  6. Top It Off: In a small bowl, mix the crushed crackers or bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
  7. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly.
  8. Serve: Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your hearty, shelf-stable casserole!

This casserole is perfect for those nights when you need a quick, comforting meal made from ingredients you can always have on hand. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile—feel free to swap out the veggies or the type of cheese based on what you have available. Bon appétit!