Popular lunch casserole type of dish???

arlinekOctober 22, 2012

Anyone recommend any particular type of luncheon dish that's not too expensive to prepare? Probably, but not required, a casserole type of dish would be fine. I'm just sick of everyone always picking up a bowl of lettuce from the grocery store and bringing it to our group - because that's the easiest and quickest for these non-working women who don't want to cook but have no problem eating the nice foods of those that DO (prepare a nice dish)!! I could use a few recipes for variety - I refuse to bring salad.

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I belong to a bridge group that meets for lunch at someone's house once a month.....these are some of the things I remember serving or eating.
Chicken salad, with grapes and cashews,
Chicken salad with apricots and pecans, chicken salad with curry and ginger.... (do you sense a theme here?)
Baked ziti...something called inside out ravioli, lasagna.
Quiche of all sorts, broccoli Quiche Lorraine, crab and shrimp. mushrooms etc.
Chicken strudle, a rolled spinach souffle, Salad nicoise.
Fritattas, chicken breast baked with a bechamel sauce....
Most of those recipes are searchable....the chicken with apricots is called "coronation chicken salad"....one of our members is allergic to shrimp and another to crab...so those things are not served.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Hot chicken salad is popular.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Here in the south, we often make chicken spaghetti for events like this. It's inexpensive, easy and easy to keep warm or reheat.

Around here, the noodles would be cooked in chicken broth. For diehards, Velveeta is the only acceptable "cheese," but I have been known to sneak in a blend of other cheeses. The breadcrumb topping isn't usual here, either, but most of us would eat it if the cook was feeling fancy :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Southern Living's Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 9:37PM
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A good friend of mine made this recently for a lunch and said it was delicious, easy, inexpensive, and pretty. I would probably use a different pasta shape for ease of eating and serving.

Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes


500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)

1 pound chicken breast fillets (sliced into 1 inch chunks)

For the chicken marinade:

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to saute the marinated chicken)

- Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinade for 20 minutes (if making this dish in pronto) or over night (if making this dish the next day... much better).

- Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.

For the garlic gravy:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cups whole cherry tomatoes

- Place saute pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
- Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.

- Add the flour and cook for a minute.

- Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.

- Season with salt and pepper.

- Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.

- Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).

Makes 5-6 servings

Here is a link that might be useful: The link and photo.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:28PM
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A nice fritata can be served cold or at room temp. Eggs and cheese and whatever veggies you might want to add.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:07AM
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Thanks everyone; some great ideas for me!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:39AM
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In the colder months, how about a hearty soup (like minestrone) in a crockpot with some parm cheese and breadsticks?? Or a vegetarian chili and cornbread. Soup is usually inexpensive to make and tastes so good in the fall and winter.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:02AM
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This is a favorite in my family - but my quilting group loves it too. Easy and not terribly expensive.

Hamburger Noodle Bake

1 lb hamburger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
16 ounces tomato sauce
3 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package noodles, cooked and drained

Brown hamburger until cooked. Drain off fat. Stir in salt, pepper, sugar.
Add tomato sauce and simmer 15 minutes.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions.
In 2-quart casserole, put 1/3 noodles, 1/3 cream/green onion mixture, 1/3 meat mixture. Repeat layers again.
Sprinkle cheddar on top.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serves 4-6, unless you are serving my family!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:00AM
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I made this vegetable strata twice this summer for potlucks, & plan to make it early next year for a womens' lunch. It needs to be prepared the night before (a plus for me)& is pretty with the red, green & baked golden of the cheese. I posted it here last August.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Cheddar Strata with Broccoli

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Hi again, Arlinek. Another dish I want to suggest is Southern Tomato Pie which happyintexas posted here last July. I haven't tried it yet, but she is enthused about it, & I like the ingredients. I also like the idea of being able to make it in a 9x13, & that it serves 10-12.

You might also check the other recipes in that post as they are all tomato tart/pie dishes - always good for a lunch.

Here is a link that might be useful: Southern Tomato Pie

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:21PM
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How many are you cooking for, Arlinek? Depending on the weather, chicken pot pie is nice, filling, easy and relatively cheap, although I really like Seagrass' suggestion of soup and bread. too.

Pasta and/or rice is inexpensive, filling and fast, something like a tettrazini might be nice or that chicken/broccoli/rice type of chicken divan.

Quiche would be good, or a strata, you could use eggs, cheese, meat or not, whatever you have on hand and think would be good, so it could remain relatively inexpensive.

A bowl of lettuce, huh? I think I'd have had to start packing a lunch!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:51AM
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OH! Some wonderful ideas, suggestions and recipes. Thank you all so much; I needed this badly. And Annie, the count can be between 12 and 20, in general.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 2:34AM
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How about this?
Valdosta Casserole

5 large potatoes, peeled, sliced
1/2 head shredded cabbage
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
6 to 8 thin slices eye of round or other thinly sliced beef
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, thyme, basil
1 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 to 2 cups Fontina cheese, sliced thin

Butter a large shallow baking dish
Saute onions in 2 tbs. olive oil and 2 tbs. butter until carmelized. Add garlic and seasonings, then white wine and let reduce slightly.
In the meantime, put a layer of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of baking dish, season with salt and pepper, then a layer of cabbage, then the onions, garlic and wine reduction. Then add another layer of cabbage, then the meat, drizzle a little olive oil on top of it, then another layer of potatoes and more salt and pepper. Add the broth, it should not cover everything, it should just touch the bottom of the top layer of potatoes, if you don't have enough, just add water. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 2 1/4 hours. Take out of oven and add the cheeses on top and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:33PM
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I agree with that quiche would be a good choice and many types freeze well and can be made quite a ways ahead. The same with soups. I have a bazillion great soup recipes if you're interested.

Here are a couple T&T casserole-type dishes that feed a crowd.

Three-Cheese Baked Spaghetti

Yield: 6 servings

Pasta Ingredients:
8 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese*

Sauce Ingredients:
8 ounces ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese, optional

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions (al dente). Drain and return to pan (remove from heat though!). Add butter and stir until butter is melted. Add remaining pasta ingredients, stirring to combine. Spread pasta-cheese mixture in the bottom of a greased 8-inch square baking dish.

2. Brown ground beef with the garlic and onion. Drain grease and return to pan. Add pepper, spaghetti sauce, sugar, and Italian seasoning. Stir well and then pour over the pasta, spreading evenly. Sprinkle cheese on top if desired.

3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until top cheese is browned and spaghetti is bubbly.

Additional Notes:
*If desired, substitute part of the mozzarella cheese with shredded cheddar cheese.

<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL671/4578521/9688658/404372094.jpg"  />

Chicken Caesar Lasagna 

9 dried whole wheat or regular lasagna noodles   
2 10\-oz. containers refrigerated light Alfredo sauce   
3 Tbsp. lemon juice   
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper   
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast\*   
1 10\-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained   
1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped I roast my own\-easy and much tastier!   
3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese 

1\. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain again. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine Alfredo sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, spinach, and red peppers. 

2\. Lightly coat a 3\-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles in bottom of dish. Top with one\-third chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover; bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Makes 9 servings. 

3\. \*Note: For chopped cooked chicken, season 2 pounds raw skinless boneless chicken breast halves with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium\-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink, turning halfway through cooking. Cool chicken slightly before chopping.   
Source BH&amp;G 8/07 

Chicken Divan

1 head broccoli, cooked and cut into florets
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 c slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour; add chicken broth and stir until thick. Then stir in � c parmesan, cream, sherry or wine, salt and ground black pepper. Stir until cheese melts and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.

Place broccoli crosswise in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour 1/2 of the cream sauce over the broccoli and top with chicken slices, pour remaining sauce over the chicken slices. Sprinkle top with 1/2 c parmesan and slivered almonds.

Bake 30 minutes at 350F, then broil 5-8 minutes to brown top. Serve hot over rice or orzo pasta.

Or how about pulled pork sandwiches? 

<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL671/4578521/9688658/397779911.jpg"  />

Crock Pot Pulled Pork And Coleslaw Sandwiches   
From Tastykitchen submitted by Mrswilliams 

1/2 cups Ketchup   
1/3 cups Cider Vinegar   
1/3 cups Packed Brown Sugar   
6 ounces, weight Tomato Paste   
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce   
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard   
1\-1/2 teaspoon Salt   
1 teaspoon Onion Powder (didn�t have, subbed 1/2 small onion,minced)   
3 pounds Pork Sirloin Roast, Cut Into 3 Pieces   
1 package Sandwich Rolls/hamburger Buns 

1 bag (14 Oz. Bag) Cole Slaw Mix (shredded my own fresh cabbage and carrot)   
1/2 cups Mayonnaise   
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil   
1/4 cups Sugar   
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar   
1/4 teaspoons Salt   
1/2 teaspoons Celery Seed   
1 teaspoon Onion Powder (didn�t have\-subbed 1/2 small onion, minced) 

For the pulled pork: mix together ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, salt, and onion powder in a crock pot. Add pork and turn pieces to coat with sauce. Cover, and cook on low for 6\-8 hours. Once done, shred pork and stir to completely incorporate in the sauce. 

For the cole slaw: mix coleslaw mix, mayo, canola oil, sugar, cider vinegar, salt, celery seed, and onion powder well in a large bowl. Cover and let chill for 1\-2 hours.   
Once pork is done and cole slaw is chilled, make sandwiches! Put some pork on your bun and top with cole slaw. Enjoy! 

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Thanks so much for those recipes and pictures. The baked spaghetti and chicken caesar lagasna are perfect for my muffin dinners!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:59PM
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This is not T&T but I have it on my "to be tried list". I think they would be a clever change up. There are also some interesting other option on the same link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lasgana cupcakes

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Although it seems like it's been around forever, I really like a good quiche for lunch. It can be made ahead of time, baked and frozen and then heated up in the oven at a later date. That and some fruit cup and I am happy for the afternoon.

I often serve a bowl of soup (or a choice of two) and a selection of tea sandwiches for lunch. I can make the soup a couple of days in advance and get my sandwich fillings ready the night before.

There were four of us for lunch at a friend's house last week. She served a platter of classic turkey club sandwich quarters and cups of homemade cream of potato soup. For dessert, made an 8" square dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Very simple and delicious and not too expensive.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:23PM
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