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Casserole comfort

By Constance Smith 

Snuggle in with these comforting casserole recipes this winter.  

Mamaw’s Chicken Casserole 

Diced chicken in a creamy sauce, topped with seasoned cornbread dressing, you’ll love this recipe from MamawAs an added bonus, this dish can be made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey rather than chicken, if you like! 



3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 


1/2 tsp. salt, divided 

1/2 cup onion, finely diced 

2 stalks celery, finely diced 

6 Tb. butter, divided 

1/4 cup flour 

4 cups chicken broth, divided 

1 1/2 cups milk 

1 tsp. thyme, divided 

1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided 

3/4 tsp. sage, divided 

1 package (14 ounces) dry cornbread dressing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm) 




  1. To begin, place the chicken breasts in a saucepan. Cover with water and add 1/4 tsp. salt to the water. Bring this to a boil over mediumhigh heat. 
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. When it is done, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  4. Finely dice the onion and celery. 
  5. In a saucepan, melt four tablespoons of the butter. 
  6. Add in the onion and celery and simmer over mediumlow heat until they are tender. 
  7. Scoop half of the mixture into a mixing bowl. Set aside for a moment. 
  8. To the saucepan, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Over medium low heat, melt the butter. 
  9. Sprinkle in the flour. Whisk it in and let it cook for just a minute. 
  10. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and the milk. Add in 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of sage and salt. Stirring continually, bring it to a gentle boil, and it will thicken nicely. Remove from heat. 
  11. Dice or shred the chicken. 
  12. To the onion mixture in the bowl, add the cornbread dressing, 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, sage and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 
  13. Pour in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and stir to combine. 
  14. Spread your cooked, shredded chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 or similar baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the gravy over the top. Spread the dressing mixture over all.  
  15. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the dressing on top is golden and crisped. 

Sweet Potato Casserole 

Homemade sweet potato casserole is a classic side dish that graces the table of most holidays. 


4 averagesized sweet potatoes 

2 eggs, beaten 

1/4 cup sugar 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. vanilla 

1 cup milk 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup flour 

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans 

1/2 tsp. cinnamon 

6 Tb. cold, unsalted butter  


  1. Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for about 90 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted in the middle fairly easily. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool at least 20-30 minutes or until you can handle them. 
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. 
  3. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. The dish should be no more than three inches deep. Set it aside for now. 
  4. Cut potatoes in half and scoop insides into a large bowl. Add eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and milk. 
  5. Mash together with a potato masher. Mix until it is well combined and somewhat smooth. Little lumps are fine. Pour into the baking dish. 
  6. In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, pecans and cinnamon. Add in the butter. Mix until it is a crumbly, doughy mixture. This is most easily done by hand.  
  7. Crumble it over the top of the potato mixture. 
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.