I can’t say enough beautiful things about this sauce ... this is most definitely a casserole you could serve for a dinner party ... and it would be a huge hit for a potluck!


You can make this casserole a day in advance - and you could swap out the broccoli for a vegetable of your choice.  You could even swap the chicken for turkey!  And I think even changing up the pasta choice would be fun - maybe use baby shells that would cradle all the heavenly sauce inside!


This is a hybrid (or a blend) of 2 different casseroles in “The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever” by Beatrice Ojakangas.  I love her casserole book - because it’s perfect on busy days when you want something homemade but you are too tired to create something after a long day ... make it the day before and just bake when you want to serve and eat!


Here’s the recipe that I made:


Casserole:


  1. -8 oz egg noodles, cooked 1 minute shy of package directions and drained

  2. -Leftover, cooked and diced chicken breast - I had about 1 1/2 - 2 cups for mine shown

  3. -1 large onion, chopped

  4. -2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed


Sauce:


  1. -3 tablespoons butter

  2. -3 tablespoons flour

  3. -1 cup water

  4. -1 teaspoon chicken base

  5. -1 teaspoon mushroom base (you could use all chicken if you don’t have or can’t find)

  6. -1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks form

  7. -1/2 cup mayonnaise

  8. -3 tablespoons dry sherry (not cooking sherry)

  9. -2 teaspoons lemon juice

  10. -1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  11. -1 teaspoon dried tarragon

  12. -1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  13. -(For topping) 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs, mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter


If baking immediately, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.


I started by whipping the 1/2 cup of heavy cream - it comes together pretty quickly even doing it by hand!


Then I began the sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium to large saucepan.  Then I added the 3 tablespoons of flour and whisked that together for a couple of minutes until lightly golden.


Next, I slowly added the milk, whisking to avoid any lumps.  Next I added the water and chicken base and mushroom base.  I allowed that to cook until thickened and the base(s) had dissolved into the sauce.


Once the sauce was thick, I stirred in the mayonnaise, dry sherry and lemon juice.  I also mixed in 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


I set the sauce aside to cool for a few minutes and then I gently folded in the whipped heavy cream.  Once here - taste for salt and dried tarragon.  I added another small amount of chicken base and dry sherry - but this is strictly to taste and optional.


Next I took my sliced/diced onion and placed on a microwave safe plate and microwaved the onion until soft - about 2 minutes.


Then it was time to assemble the casserole ... I buttered my casserole dish.  Then added my cooked egg noodles, thawed broccoli and softened onion.


Next - I poured the heavenly, creamy, dreamy sauce over the top and kind of stirred so the sauce got all the way down to the noodles on the bottom.


Then I topped with the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  And it was at this point that I covered it with foil and placed in the refrigerator to bake later on in the day.  You can assemble this up to 1 full day in advance (yay!).


When ready to bake, mix 1/2 cup of fine, dry breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole.


Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes, until bubbly.  Add 10 extra minutes if starting with a refrigerated dish.


Have a wonderful Holiday weekend!  Happy Thanksgiving!