HOT TURKEY OR CHICKEN SALAD CASSEROLE
- 2½ to 3 cups cubed or coarsely chopped cooked turkey or chicken
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ cup coarsely chopped slivered blanched almonds or cashew nuts
- ½ cup chopped sweet red pepper or roasted sweet red pepper
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- ½ cup chopped peeled onion
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise or reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¾ cup shredded Swiss or other desired shredded cheese
- Crushed crisp pita or tortilla chips as desired
- ½ cup slivered blanched almonds or ½ cup whole or halved cashew nuts for garnish (optional)
In a medium to large bowl, combine turkey or chicken, celery, chopped almonds or cashew nuts, sweet red pepper or roasted sweet red pepper, green pepper, and onion. In a 1-cup measure, combine mayonnaise and lemon juice, blending well; add mayonnaise/lemon juice to turkey/chicken mixture, tossing lightly to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Turn turkey/chicken salad into a 1 ½ to 2-quart casserole lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray. Evenly sprinkle cheese and then crushed chips over casserole. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 25 minutes or until bubbly hot, cheese is melted, and chips are lightly browned. May sprinkle slivered almonds or cashews over the top of the casserole during the last 8 minutes of baking, if desired. Serve immediately and garnish each serving as desired.
Variations: Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to turkey/chicken salad mixture.Add ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms to turkey/chicken salad mixture.
Add 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh thyme leaves (no stems) to casserole mixture.