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Growing up in the Midwest gave me a few habits that set me apart from my coastal peers, including a firm conviction that "Ope!" is a real word, a tendency to begin and/or end every sentence with "sorry," and an intense and unshakable love of casseroles. I can't imagine how anyone gets through winter, or large family get-togethers, without a big dish of Kentucky hot brown or an enormous tuna-noodle casserole with crushed potato chips on top.
If you need a dish that can sit on the passenger seat of your car while you drive across town in an ice storm, without worrying about it sloshing onto your upholstery, a casserole will be your best friend. If you want one big pan of meat, carbs, and vegetables that you can make all at once and eat for lunch and dinner for the rest of the week, or throw in the freezer and save for winter, a casserole will always be there for you. And if you grew up with casseroles as the ultimate winter comfort food, but have turned into an adult fan of quinoa and kale, you should check out this creamy chicken, quinoa, and broccoli recipe as soon as possible.
Many classic casseroles rely on canned cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup, but this one gets its creamy, velvety flavor from a homemade cream of chicken soup. Start with chicken broth, milk, all-purpose poultry seasoning, and a bit of flour and simmer until you have a thick sauce that looks like the cream of chicken soup we all know and love. Next, mix that sauce with quinoa and bacon, then add it to a casserole dish and cover it with sliced chicken breast. After about 30 minutes, stir in some blanched broccoli florets and top with cheese, then give it a few more minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Then you'll have a made-from-scratch casserole dream that will remind everyone why they love casseroles so much in the first place.
Get the recipe: Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole from Pinch of Yum