Friendship Casserole

By now you might be catching on to a little trend. I LOVE cooking for other people! There is just something so special to me about being able to fill people’s bellies and have them really appreciate and enjoy a meal that I’ve made.

It’s probably also due to the fact that my children generally dislike just about everything I make (although they’re slowly coming around) and so I’m over the moon when people are excited about my cooking. I think my friends, the Bishops, have learned this pretty well. Praise Jessica excessively for her cooking and meals will show up at our home. They’re my favorite people to cook for and I treasure being able to show them kindness in this way.

If you’re needing to extend some kindness to a friend, Tina from Mommy’s Kitchen, has the perfect meal with the perfect name… Friendship Casserole! I’m so glad Tina is whipping up recipes with “cooking for friends” in mind.

I make a few little tweaks to Tina’s recipe, but whether you include my additions or not, you and a friend are in for a real treat!

I start out by prepping:

1/2 c of bell pepper
1/2 cup of onion
3/4 c of mushrooms
1 chopped zucchini
1/4 tsp of onion powder
1/4 tsp of  garlic powder
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (I like the powdery kind for this particular recipe)

I’ll also be using:

2 lbs of turkey meat
16 oz. egg noodles
1-2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 c butter
3-4 c of mozzarella cheese (depending on your affinity for cheese, you can use more or less)

It helps me to have everything prepped and ready to go before I start cooking. I also start my water boiling for the noodles. I prefer that my boiling water be waiting for me, and not the other way around!

I use turkey meat for this instead of beef and I also add some Italian Seasoning to this step. Once the meat is browned, I drain it and set it aside.

I saute my veggies for a few minutes then add in the meat. I’ll stir to combine and sometimes I add a dash of salt and pepper at this point. I love to layer on my seasonings as I go.

Add your jars of sauce and let that simmer for about 20 minutes. How delicious does that look! Take a little taste and adjust your seasoning as needed.

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While that is simmering, cook your egg noodles. Once those are done, add your cheese, onion powder, garlic powder and 1/2 cup of butter to a bowl. Toss your egg noodles in that mixture. Yum!

Now you’re ready to assemble. I use a little olive oil spray in the bottom of 2 casserole dishes. You can use your class ones, but sometimes I like the foil ones…especially if I’m delivering the meal to someone from church. Then they don’t have to worry about washing and returning it to me.

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Place a small layer of sauce in the bottom, then add your noodles. Top with the remaining sauce. Last is your mozzarella cheese on top.

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I put a layer of plastic wrap on top before putting my lid on. If you don’t have a lid, you can do a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Write your cooking directions on top. Pop one in the freezer for another night, deliver one to a friend, invite friends over and eat both…however you decide to work it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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