Ham and Broccoli Casserole
My best friend has three children. When she was expecting her second child, she and her husband decided that their oldest, a girl who is just as stubborn as her mother, needed to break free from the chicken-nugget-and-hot-dog cycle. She and her husband made “Hotdish” which was basically a tater tot casserole and tried to feed it to her. Their daughter was NOT having it — not one little bit. My best friend and her husband stuck to their guns, though, and insisted that if she didn’t want it for that meal, she could eat it for the next one. And the next one. And the next one…until her serving was gone. It was pretty much a battle, between my (very stubborn) best friend and her (very stubborn) daughter. Genetics are a wonderful thing, no?
I can imagine recoiling against a casserole — especially as a child. As I mentioned before, we weren’t really a casserole family — but I did learn to enjoy them, and every now and again, I’m excited to rock a casserole in our kitchen. I always feel a little goofy making them, especially since casseroles are usually meant to feed giant families and there are only two of us in our household, but this particular recipe was meant to be divided into two smaller casseroles, each one making four servings. Marc and I enjoyed a serving for dinner and we’re each taking a serving to work tomorrow for lunch. Yum.
This recipe came from our tried-and-true Cooking Light Weeknight cookbook. It uses lighter ingredients, and fresh vegetables, which is a departure from the canned veggies in other casseroles. The recipe makes two casseroles in 8″ casserole dishes. You can make them ahead and freeze one (or both), for future dinners. The casseroles keep for up to 3 months, which is great in our house, especially when we don’t know what to do for dinner.
Ham and Broccoli Casserole
adapted from Cooking Light Weeknight
- 4 1/2 c. uncooked medium egg noodles
- 2 c. broccoli florets
- 1 c. fat-free milk
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed, reduced-fat, reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted.
- 2 c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 (6-ounce) tub light cream cheese with chives and onions, softened
- 2 c. lean ham, chopped
- 2 c. carrots, chopped
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- Lemon garlic seasoning (optional)
1. Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water for 2 minutes. Add broccoli, cook 3 minutes. Drain.
2. Combine milk, soup, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Stir well with a spatula. Add noodle mixture, ham and carrot and stir well. Divide noodle mixture evenly between 2 (8-inch) square baking dishes with cooking spray.
3. Combine remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese, seasoning and bread crumbs and toss well. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over casseroles. Wrap unbaked casseroles with foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Place casserole dish in oven. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Yield: 2 casseroles, 4 servings per casserole (1 cup servings)
Fat: 14.6 grams
Fiber: 1.8 grams
Weight Watcher Points: 8 (not bad for something creamy….)