Helping Hands in the Kitchen: Salads & Sides Part 2

August 23, 2022

This week, we are bringing you more ways to turn salads and side dishes into a full meal. Salads & Sides Part 1 can be found in last week’s blog.

Example of chicken casserole


My mother shared this casserole recipe with me. It was one of her favorites, and it truly is delicious!


This is best made a few hours or overnight before serving. Great for crowds too!


  • Lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 1 ½ cups Miracle Whip
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled


  1. Line the bottom of a 9×13” dish.
  2. Line dish with bite-sized lettuce of your choice.
  3. Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped green pepper and ½ cup chopped red pepper (or 1 cup green or red peppers), ½ cup red onion diced (or green onion sliced), ½ cup chopped celery.
  4. Add 1 package frozen peas, uncooked.
  5. Pour on 1 ½ cups Miracle Whip in which 2 T. granulated sugar has been added, over the top. DO NOT STIR!
  6. Add 1 cup shredded cheese and 6 slices crisply cooked bacon which has been crumbled.
  7. Cover and let stand in refrigerator 24 hours before serving, if possible.



  • 1 large chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 package Cheddar Cheese (2 cups shredded)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ½ c. chicken broth
  • Rice for 6-8 people


  1. Boil the chicken in salted water, remove it from the bones, or use a cooked chicken or leftover chicken.
  2. Mix soups, Rotel, and broth.
  3. Layer chicken, onions, rice, cheese, and soups. Repeat layers.
  4. Add more cheese to the top layer.
  5. Bake covered at 350 degrees F. for approximately 40 minutes or until bubbly.


This dinner has a nice mix of textures and flavors! Easy to make, delicious to serve. You can make the Chili Rellenos as spicy as you like.

Example of corn salad


You can use corn cut off the cob or frozen corn.


  • 3 cups whole kernel corn, no liquid
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 8-ounce carton French onion dip
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small jar chopped pimento peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients and chill for several hours.
Example of chili rellenos


Serves 8.


  • 1 12-ounce can of chopped green chilis (or use mild whole green chilis that have been trimmed and ribs and seeds removed)
  • 1 12-ounce Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 12-ounce cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 10-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 4 egg whites


  1. Combine grated cheeses and chilis.
  2. Put in bottom of a 13x9x1” casserole dish.
  3. Blend flour, egg yolks, evaporated milk, and pepper.
  4. Beat egg whites stiff. Fold egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and pour over the casserole.
  5. You can top with a little shredded cheddar cheese if preferred.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F. or until top is golden brown.
  7. Cut into squares and serve.


This meal is probably best for one of those times when you need some energy. My aunt shared the hot chicken salad recipe with me. I make it a lot!



  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into medium-sized pieces
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 Tablespoons pimento peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Miracle Whip, or mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sliced almonds (toasting is optional)
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups coarsely broken potato chips


  1. Blend all the ingredients except the cheese and potato chips together.
  2. Place in a casserole dish and top with cheese and chips.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 25-30 minutes.
Example of crunchy mac and cheese



  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for the baking dish)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups flaming hot crunchy cheese snacks
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces unprocessed American cheese, strips
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13” casserole dish.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente – about 3 minutes.
  3. Add milk to saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer.
  4. Place 1 cup cheese snacks in cheesecloth or clean cotton dish towel – gather together and secure with kitchen twine to form a pouch. Put in warm milk and steep for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove and discard.
  5. Add butter to 6 qt. Dutch oven and let melt. Add flour to make roux. Whisk until smooth then cook until blonde in color, about 2-3  minutes.
  6. Whisk vigorously – slowly add milk. Bring to simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally about 2 minutes more.
  7. Add cheeses and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix in pasta until fully coated.
  9. Transfer to the butter casserole dish.
  10. Crush the remaining cup of cheese snacks in a resealable bag using a rolling pin.
  11. Top mac and cheese in even layer. Bake until bubbly and gooey, about 15-20 minutes.

I hope you enjoy these unique pairings!

Bon Appétit
With Love,

Granni K

Download the recipes here.