I know I’ve been posting a lot about healthy foods, and healthy lifestyle tips lately, but sometimes you need a little cheat meal. And this meal isn’t so much a cheat meal, as it is good ol’ fashioned comfort food.
While I was serving my mission for my church, the mission president’s wife (we called her our mission mom) would make a version of this casserole on Sundays after church. It was such a delicious meal. Whenever I make this meal I think of her and the good women I served with. That’s the definition of a comfort meal, right? Something that brings good memories and makes your belly feel happy.
As you may know from other tetrazzini recipes, there’s a lot of cheese and cream, not to mention all the carbs in the noodles. And as I have mentioned before, my husband is lactose intolerant. In fact, our youngest has a slight case of lactose intolerance. He just feels better when he doesn’t consume a lot of lactose.
I took my mission mom’s recipe, tweaked it a bit to enhance the lemon flavor, and make it lactose free.
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic sea salt
1/2 tsp rosemary
8 oz spaghetti noodles
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp butter*
4 Tbsp flour
1 c canned coconut milk
1 c chicken stock
1 c mayonnaise
1 can cream of chicken soup*
1 c Parmesan Cheese*
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Slightly different flavor, but helps with the lactose free issue. You can use margarine or coconut oil in place of the butter if your family is sensitive to butter, mine isn’t.
Start with the fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Sprinkle pepper, garlic sea salt, and a little rosemary over both sides of the chicken. Place in a slow cooker. Slice the lemons into thin slices and place them on top of the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it.
Once the chicken is done cooking you’re going to pour the chicken broth from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice once it starts boiling. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and place in the boiling chicken broth. Add a little water if you need to cover the noodles better. Allow to cook until al dente. You don’t want them to cook too long, or they have a bad texture in the casserole.
Whisk together the butter, flour, chicken stock, and coconut milk in a pan over medium heat, continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the mayo, cream of chicken soup, parmesan cheese, 1/4 c lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt.
Add the shredded chicken and cooked spaghetti noodles. Stir everything together and pour into a prepared 9 x 13 pan. It will fill the pan to the top, so be careful. Sprinkle the top with more parmesan cheese. Place into a preheated 350 oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
This recipe provides 8-10 large portions. You can put half in an 8×8 pan to bake, and the other half in a different 8×8 pan to freeze. It also makes a great meal for neighbors!