Chicken and veggies
Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press/TNS

It seems that over the last few decades, the trend has been to spend less time in the kitchen with easy-to-make recipes. Cooks seem to be depending more on commercially prepared products to get dinner ready in a hurry. However, it is very important to keep in mind that you should NEVER sacrifice flavor for ease of preparation.

If you have some cooked chicken, the variety of casseroles is limitless. The following Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Casserole is from a great new cookbook by Trish Rosenquist titled “100 Creative Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken.” This recipe takes a much-loved classic and turns it into an elegant casserole.

My Easy Baked Chicken and Veggies would be a good choice if you have children who would like to help with a special lunch for Dad on Father’s Day. If Dad prefers pork, it should work well in this recipe without having to make changes.

Slaw served with my special pepper jelly dressing would complement this menu. This is a dressing you have to try to appreciate. If you want a dressing with a little kick, use a hot pepper jelly.


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 can (10 ¾ ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 8 ounces grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked
  • 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 8 ounces cooked cubed ham

For the topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray, then set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat in large saucepan. Stir in cream of chicken soup, evaporated milk and white wine. Continue stirring until mixture is completely combined, about 2 minutes.

    Whisk in the cheese and continue stirring until completely melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard and white pepper. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat.

    In a large bowl or pot, combine the cheese sauce, cooked pasta, chicken and ham. Stir well to evenly coat all ingredients; you want the cheesy goodness throughout the entire casserole. Pour into prepared baking pan.

    For the topping: Combine the melted butter, panko, paprika and parsley in a small bowl. Stir until the panko is evenly coated; it will turn a nice golden color once mixed. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 22 to 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Allow casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


  • 4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups fresh green beans, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • Sliced red or gold potatoes
  • 1 envelop zesty Italian dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts down the center of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Spoon beans on one side and potatoes on other side. Sprinkle with dressing mix and Cavender’s. Pour melted butter over top of chicken and veggies. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.


  • ¼ cup pepper jelly
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed

Microwave jelly about 30 seconds to melt. Add ginger and vinegar. Whisk to blend. Gradually add oil, whisking to blend. Stir in mayonnaise and celery seed. Refrigerate.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at