Easy Casserole for Everyone
Obviously, you can mess with the quantities here to fit the size of your crowd or your dish. These quantities fit a standard 9 by 13-inch (3 quart) casserole.
About 8 cups total of stuff like leftover chicken, peppers, pine nuts, water chestnuts, pineapple (pineapple and cheese casserole is one of life's greatest treats, so hush), greens, beans, pickles, or any other food you need to make disappear. Frozen vegetables also work.
Something to fill out your casserole, like rice, pasta, or cubes of stale bread (particularly delightful), if you're short on other ingredients.
1 can of cream of something soup or 1 1/4 cups of DIY Kanned Cream of Mushroom Soup for Dummies.
1/2 cup of something creamy, like mayonnaise (recommended), sour cream, Greek yogurt, whatever. Even silken tofu.
3/4 cup grated cheese, or a mix of bits and pieces of cheese that don't seem to match. It'll be fine.
Salt and pepper to taste, plus any other seasonings you think are appropriate.
1/2 cup or more of something crunchy, like crushed potato chips, bread crumbs, Ritz crackers, saltines, Corn Flakes, or toasted quinoa (but please don't use quinoa, just use the crackers).
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a casserole dish.
Fill your dish 3/4 full with whatever you found in the fridge, as simple as chicken and broccoli, as complicated as literally 1/4 cup of every little bit of food you find. This includes pasta or rice if you need to fill the dish.
Heat the can of mushroom soup (or about 1 1/4 cup DIY Kanned) in a pot on the stove until it's liquid, but not bubbling. Turn off the heat and stir in mayonnaise or other creamy thing, along with cheese, salt, pepper, and other seasoning.
Pour over ingredients in dish and top with crunchy stuff.
Cook at 350ºF for about 30 minutes, and turn it up to 375ºF at the end if you want to top to get a little crunchier.
When adding ingredients to the dish, don't pack them down. The liquid should be able to flow between ingredients to hold them together.
If casserole filling exceeds dish volume, grab another dish and make a second casserole along with the first. (You may need to increase the liquid ingredients to have enough for the second dish.) Freeze it or take it to a friend.
If using pasta, cook al dente before adding to dish, as it will cook a little more as the casserole cooks.
If adding tougher greens to casserole, wilt first to reduce the volume.