Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole is a simple little casserole that works out well with any cooked or leftover Ham, Chicken or Turkey. This is nothing fancy, just “down home” cooking, and it is a great “learner” dish for a child or teenager. There are also a few upgrades if you’d like to make this a completely or partially from scratch casserole.
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for an easy option to use up any leftover holiday ham or turkey or even leftover chicken if I have it and this recipe delivers.
About Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole:
Casseroles like this have won their place in the hearts of American families – easy, fast and a great way to stretch a few ingredients into another meal.
This one is loaded with veggies, has a creamy, cheesy sauce and a biscuit topping. In other words, its a full meal on its own and pure comfort food!
Making Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole:
While we like this recipe as written, three relatively simple “improvements” can be made, and the first, as far as taste and appearance, I think is most important. Frozen veggies, while easy to toss into a casserole, can water your casserole down and when baked, often result in mushy veggies.
- Lightly steam fresh vegetables rather than using a frozen product
- Substitute a cream sauce for the canned soup
- Use a simple home-made mixture instead of the Bisquick.
The directions for variations to the Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole are in the recipe, below, in the notes. If you have trouble with casseroles or are a new cook, these ideas can easily translate to other recipes.
Saving Money on Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole:
Almost any casserole is easily adapted to the use of leftovers, primarily because many of the ingredients need to be precooked. A great way to save money and time on a casserole like this is to use leftovers from a Holiday meal, turkey or ham. This is also a cost-effective way to make use of leftover chicken breast and I often bake a little extra chicken to have for leftovers in casseroles. Any leftover vegetables that would suit the flavor profile would be good in this casserole as well.
Buy frozen veggies during the fall and winter months when the warehouses are full, sales are the best and the coupons are out there. Keep in mind, although convenient, frozen vegetables are not always the bargain most people think they are – even the brand names are often inferior to fresh and a pound of frozen broccoli, for instance, is only 10 ounces of broccoli and the rest of the weight is 6 ounces of water.
If you’re interested in making your own cream of soup for recipes like this, check out my post on Cream of Anything Soup. You’ll avoid additives. If buying canned soup, stock up from fall on when the prices for soup are often lower. I have a post on making your own Bisquick Substitute, too.
Easy Ham, Chicken or Turkey Casserole
- 2 16 ounce packages frozen broccoli or broccoli/cauliflower florets, thawed and drained or your choice of about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fresh vegetables (see notes)
- 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup or a white sauce (see notes)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup chopped cooked ham, chicken or turkey (about 5 ounces)
- 1 cup Bisquick baking mix or substitute (see notes)
- 3/4 cup milk (possibly a bit more)
In an ungreased baking dish (8 x 8 or similar size) mix broccoli, soup, cheese, the half cup of milk, choice of protein and onion powder. For a better presentation, with a clean, damp dishcloth, wipe off any excess that has slopped onto the sides of a dish. Gently smooth the top of the vegetable sauce mixture with a spatula.
In a medium bowl, mix Bisquick (or substitute) and the remaining 3/4 cup of milk. Look for a thick but pourable consistency, and add a little extra milk if needed. Pour evenly over the mixture in the pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 27 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes and serve, but be aware that the vegetables keep cooking under the biscuit crust – if leaving for any longer, cut the crust through into serving pieces so the steam can escape.
Note on Frozen Vegetables: Thaw and drain before using or you’ll have a watery dish. The last broccoli I used was a pound, 10 ounces of broccoli and six ounces of water. The Bird’s Eye Steam Fresh I had planned on using here was 12 ounces, five ounces of vegetable, 7 ounces of water.
Notes on substituting:
To steam fresh vegetables, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the broccoli stems, then the rest of the vegetables. Cover, reduce to a simmer and pan steam several minutes until crisp/tender. about five to six minutes. They will continue to cook as the casserole bakes. Fewer vegetables are needed when using fresh.
To use a cream sauce instead of the canned soup and milk: Omit the soup, 1/2 cup of milk and onion powder. Instead: saute in 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup each of diced onion and celery until just tender. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk for a moment to cook flour. Stirring constantly, blend in 2 1/4 cups of milk, and cook, stirring until thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Use the spoon test: Dip a spoon in the mixture, then run your finger down the back of the spoon. If a distinct line stays, it is ready. Add salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, blend in grated cheese.
To use a homemade Bisquick Substitute, use 1 cup of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cut the butter in, using a knife, food processor or fingers, then combine with the milk. Slightly more milk may need to be added.
Nutrition: Per Serving: 276 Calories; 12g Fat (39.6% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 1086mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.