2-3 cups, cooked, diced chicken
1-1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup butter or oil
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1- 1 1/2 cups milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste (or some Mrs. Dash)
3- 3 1/2 cups grated cheddar, I prefer sharp
half of a 12 oz. bag of wide egg noodles
Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add the noodles and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in large dutch oven, heat the butter or oil and add the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Saute until lightly browned and tender. Sprinkle the flour on top of the cooked vegetables and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in the chicken broth, stirring until thickened and smooth. Stir in the milk, starting with about 1 cup and cook until it is like a thick gravy, adding more milk to get the right consistency. Stir in one cup of the grated cheddar cheese and stir until incorporated into the sauce. Add the chicken, the noodles and season to taste. Spoon into a nice baking dish and cover with the remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees about 30-45 minutes. It should be bubbling and the cheese melted. If you like, you can brown it just a little bit. Cool slightly before serving.
Options: replace the chicken with about 2 cups drained chunk light tuna. Everything else is the same.
If you want to make a vegetarian casserole, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. Then stir in a couple cups lightly cooked vegetables to your taste.