Our Jalapeno Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is a spin off of a very popular and delicious recipe. I enjoyed it at a luncheon recently and it’s been on my mind ever since. According to an internet search, it seems to have been recreated at least a bazillion times. Here’s our version, based on ingredients already in our fridge and pantry.
If you’ve been following Lemony Thyme for a bit you may know that we cook a whole chicken each week. We enjoy a wonderful roast chicken dinner on day one, then use the leftover chicken to make soups, salads, casseroles and of course Homemade Chicken Broth. This week’s whole roasted chicken was prepared on our new smoker grill. It was fantastic. Just look at that beautiful bird.
We had so much meat leftover and an insatiable urge for comfort food that in about 30 minutes we were chin deep in Jalapeno Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole without a care in the world.
Most of what makes comfort food so comfortable is not having to rush to the grocery store for ingredients, not to mention the money you save every day you can avoid walking through those doors. I have so many friends tell me that their family won’t eat leftovers. My answer, stop feeding them leftovers. Turn last night’s dinner into something new and fresh.
We had leftover chicken and a little cooked pasta on hand. From there we worked with available ingredients. If you don’t keep cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup on hand, Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup is really easy to make from scratch with simple ingredients. We’ve got two very productive jalapeno plants growing in one of our porch pots, so we added in a bit of fresh diced jalapeno to our sliced mushrooms. You could substitute or add sautéed onions, carrots, celery…all would be great additions. We used sour cream, but half as much cream cheese would work as well. The key is to work with what you’ve got on hand.
Bottom line, savory ingredients combined with a creamy sauce, topped with buttery cracker crumbs is pretty hard not to love. Jalapeno Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole may not be made the same way twice, but it will always be delicious.
Jalapeno Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
- 3 cups cooked chicken cubed
- 2 cups cooked pasta we used corkscrews
- 1 Tbl. butter
- 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1-2 jalapenos fine diced
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 Tbl. poppy seeds
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 can cream of chicken soup or see link in post for Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 Tbl. butter melted
- 2 cups crushed buttery crackers
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole with olive oil.
- In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and jalapeno in 1 Tbl. butter and thyme until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add in almonds, poppy seeds, sour cream, and chicken soup. Stir well to combine, then fold in cooked chicken and pasta. Pour into baking dish.
- In a small bowl combined cracker crumbs with 1 Tbl. melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over chicken mixture. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until bubbly.