Creamy Lemon Turkey Casserole

Turkey: Jeremy Keith on Flickr

Cooking, eating, entertaining, having a good time… it’s why I collect recipes and share them. Plus I’m half Hungarian.

Get Out Your Casserole Dish and Bake This Tonight

Casserole baked in an old style Pyrex baking dish.

My Family’s Favorite Comfort Casserole

Many years ago, a dear friend sent over a meal after I had given birth to my second son. It could be frozen for later or eaten that night.

Indescribably delicious to this nursing mother, whose appetite was ravenous!

When I asked for the recipe, was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was. Consisting of just a few common ingredients, it can be thrown together and simply heated through: a home cooked meal with almost instant preparation time.

This turkey dish became a staple at my house, a favorite of all my children, and a company dish as well. I passed on the kindness when I, in turn, made this dish for the families with new arrivals in the following years.

It is the kind of meal where an addition of a simple salad, some steamed green beans, and a homey apple pie for dessert is just about the perfect All American meal.

Vary It

You can also use this as a base for variations. Try adding some chopped, cooked onion, some steamed broccoli florets, or steamed medley of vegetables.

Serve it over mashed potatoes or stuffing, if you don’t care for noodles, or make it with the addition of rice and some sautéed garlic. There are many ways to vary this, but my favorite has always been its yummy, basic self.

Delicious with Chicken, too.

This is the perfect dish for sharing, as well as good comfort food for your family on a winter’s evening. As if that weren’t enough, it is the ideal way to use up leftover turkey from the Thanksgiving feast.

If you were wondering what to take to the potluck or wanted a good recipe for a buffet repast, start with this easy, economical, casserole dish.

Try Any Poultry

Not just for turkey- it is equally delicious with chicken.

Family Style, From Oven To Table

Corningware French White III Oval Casserole with Glass Cover, 1.5-Quart
Corningware French White III Oval Casserole with Glass Cover, 1.5-Quart

Use a good looking casserole dish to serve what is sure to become one of your favorite recipe. This white covered dish is a classic, making any food look great on the table or buffet.

I’ve used Corningware for years and they keep their good looks and work hard for you family cooks! Easy to clean, and bake up a casserole in superb style.

This is the baking dish I would use for Lemony Turkey Casserole.

What I Love About This Recipe

  • It is easy.
  • It tastes delicious.
  • It uses economical ingredients.
  • Everybody has loved it.
  • You can make it for two or for twenty.
  • You can choose what to serve it with: noodles rice, over toast, with potatoes.
  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and diced turkey meat
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream
  • Juice of one fresh lemon (about 3-4 T)
  • 1 package Ritz crackers
  • zest of lemon, optional

Instructions

  1. Mix the soup, lemon juice, optional lemon zest, and sour cream in a large bowl; add cooked turkey.
  2. Pour into oven-proof casserole dish.
  3. Crumble Ritz crackers (I use a rolling pin to crush them) and cover the top of the turkey mixture.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until heated throughout in a moderate oven. Heat at 325 degrees F.
  5. Serve over cooked noodles.
  6. Tips:
  7. Medium width egg noodle is good for getting the sauce along with the turkey in delicious forkfuls.
  8. Healthier substitutions for condensed soup include making a “white sauce” with chicken broth base.
  9. Thin down and create more sauce with a splash of milk before adding to the chicken.
  10. More calories? Pour a bit of melted butter over the cracker crumbs.
  11. Directions for white sauce if you find the condensed soup too processed for your taste. Good substitution for Cream of Chicken soup.

<h2″>You Will Love This Recipe

Suggested Variation and Sidedishes

Because this is a favorite of my family, I plan to freeze some ahead for the busy week before Christmas. It is an ideal casserole to make ahead and have ready to pull out of a freezer and heat up in the oven on a busy evening. Add some green beans or a salad, cook up noodles, and it is all ready in about 30 minutes.

____________

Sometimes I use the zest from the lemon to add a little more lemon flavor, and will often reduce the amount of sour cream and add a little milk to make a lighter sauce. This is a very forgiving recipe, and the sour cream could be completely replaced by yogurt for a much lighter version.

Elegant Buffet Dish for a Crowd

Like I said, this is good enough to serve for company buffets and get togethers. It looks special when served in sleek buffet dishes. The recipe is easily doubled for plenty of home-cooked goodness!
Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet ServersCuisinart Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers

Because this recipe is ideal to make in large quantities to serve a crowd, this server is the ideal way to keep it warm. It is an exceptionally elegant way to serve the humble casserole.

Fresh Figs


figs

I love the look of fresh figs, they are sumptuous in look and subtle in color, but it is the luscious taste that is the big attraction.

If you have access to these delights, try them in delicious new ways.

Who doesn’t love pizza? Try Pizza Bianca

From Italian Food Forever.

An appetizer I know I would love to eat.

Caramelized Figs with Crispy Prosciutto, Mascarpone Cheese & Arugula Pesto
Caramelized Figs with Crispy Prosciutto, Mascarpone Cheese & Arugula Pesto
From Fargo Monthly

Try Fargo Monthly’s Caramelized Figs with Crispy Prosciutto, Mascarpone Cheese & Arugula Pesto ? From Chef Eric.

The World Is Your Oyster

I consider oysters such a treat. That would number me in the minority of my family, but maybe part of a much greater group in the world. This post has to do with that bivalve, the oyster genus Ostrea, that should be enjoyed on many levels- the first being its delicious eating.

Oysters can be difficult to describe in what makes their flavor something some of us like so well. Have you ever wondered how to shuck a fresh oyster? I have. Always buying them prepared and in containers at the grocery store, it was with interest that I clicked on the video further down in this post, from “The Brooklyn Kitchen”.

How do you enjoy oysters? One of the ways my late Dad and I liked them was in turkey stuffing. My mother used to make oyster stew, but my favorite was steamed oysters from an oceanside shop in Florida (the Apalachicola oyster, “Shack Style with onions and colby cheese). Pick up the recipe before you surf on…
Here is something similar- just add a bit of Colby cheese:

Oyster Sauté

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup celery, sliced thin
1 12-ounce container Florida oysters, drained, reserve liquid
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preparation

Heat skillet on medium-high; add butter, onions and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent and beginning to turn brown. Add oysters, garlic and remaining ingredients except cornstarch; mix well. While mixture is cooking, dissolve cornstarch in oyster liquid; add slowly to skillet, stirring until thickened. Serve in 8-ounce gratin dish or over cous-cous, pasta or rice.

Ever wonder where that saying, “the world is your oyster” comes from? Circa the year 1600, William Shakespeare wrote his play “The Merry Wives Of Windsor’; and in Act 2, scene 2, 2–5 we find Pistol declaring: “Why then the world’s mine oyster/Which I with sword will open.” It is the equivalent of “Carpe Diem” or a declaration that all one wants is within ones grasp.


There are types of oysters… they are not all the same!
Apalachicola are my favorites. They are from the “Apalachicola Bay—thirty miles of shallow oyster paradise on the Florida panhandle—produces 90 percent of Florida’s oysters…it takes the oysters about three years to reach three inches. Apalachicola is the last place in the United States where wild oysters are still harvested by tongs from small boats.”
Read all about oysters at The Oyster Guide, where you can also profile “What Kind of Oyster Eater are You?”

My friend Joanne created the perfect Kitchen magnet (from Zazzle) for oyster lovers:


Of course, oysters are not just for eating, they produce pearls! At least a certain type that are not true oysters, produce pearls, and that has made the cultured pearl industry our main source of these beautiful sea gems. I have to say I would take a pearl over a diamond any day.

We will have to save the topic of pearls (also good mood helium), for another day….

Fresh Baked Bread

fresh bread

The smell of fresh-baked bread is a happy thought, and a bite of a slice spread with butter is even better.

A saying:

Rye bread will do you good,
Barley bread will do you no harm,
Wheaten bread will sweeten your blood,
Oaten bread will strengthen your arm.

Fresh Baked Oat Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Flour
  • ¾ cups Oats (instant or old fashioned)
  • 2¼ teaspoons Instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup Warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly
  • 2 Tablespoons Old Fashioned Oats

Instructions

  1. In your Kitchen Aid, Bosch or in a large mixing bowl combine the Oats, Flour, Yeast and Salt.
  2. Heat your milk and butter until melted. Allow to cool until warm. Then stir in the honey and water.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture until it comes together to form a dough. Knead by hand or with a dough hook on your mixer for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Place your dough in a oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).
  5. Shape into loaf and place it into a 9x5 loaf pan. Cover with a towel and allow to double.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add an empty pot or pan to the lower rack to heat up. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add to pan.
  7. When your loaf is raised to double the size, heat up your honey and spread a layer over the top. Sprinkle with topping of oats.
  8. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes until the bread is a nice dark golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan and cool completely before eating.

Freshly baked Honey oat bread sounds like a perfect weekend treat. Recipe from Karrie.