A skillet casserole dinner

Cancer and Cooking Recipe Series: Easy Casseroles

Last updated: May 2022

When you are on a cancer journey, sometimes the thought of food is not pleasant. Some of us struggle to have an appetite while others have sensitive systems and have to be very particular about what we eat. As we embark upon full-blown winter, I wanted to share a couple of my go-to recipes that are not only easy but delicious and make a ton to save for later.

Family favorite recipes

I remember growing up and my mother always preparing dinner. We lived way out in the country and didn’t eat out much. My mom would cook full-blown meals every single night. Chicken and Rice as well as Spaghetti Casserole were two that she made quite often. Chicken and Rice was my dad’s favorite. She made hers’ on the stove and cooked it with bone-in chicken. I must say there was something special about that dish. Perhaps, it was the old iron skillet that made it special.

I love preparing these dishes because they are super easy, and my family loves them both. You simply just dump it all in a bowl, stir it up and sling it in the oven. They smell amazing cooking and there’s no standing over the stove. You just set a timer and head back to your recliner and wait. When I am needing something warm, these recipes come to mind. These are simple dishes to make for other people as well. Both casseroles reheat in the microwave very easily. I pair both with a side of Blistered Green Beans and call it dinner.

Let’s get to the recipes, shall we?

Chicken and Rice


  • 1 rotisserie chicken (4 cups cooked chopped chicken)
  • 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups instant rice, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, fresh or green can


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Remove skin from rotisserie chicken and discard. Remove chicken meat from bones and chop.
  3. In a large bowl, combine, chopped chicken, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, water, milk and instant rice.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes.

Spaghetti Casserole

Another casserole that my mom passed down to me and one of which I prepare often for my family is what we called Spaghetti Casserole. I enjoy cooking this because it is so easy, and it makes a lot. Not to mention that it warms up very nicely for leftovers and is often better the next day. This casserole also freezes well. I like to serve this with green beans or a side salad. You could also add some garlic toast if you wanted. This is also a perfect dish for gifting someone a meal.


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small package of angel hair spaghetti
  • 1 (10 oz) can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Brown meat and onion together. Drain.
  3. Cook Spaghetti pasta per packaging instructions.
  4. Mix browned meat and onion, spaghetti, cream of chicken, Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, water together.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350ºF for 45 minutes.

Blistered Green Beans

Here is the recipe for the Blistered Green Beans that I mentioned above. These are so good and add an extra punch to what can often be a bland side. Plus, a very simple side. Who doesn’t love simplicity in the kitchen, right?


  • 1 can of cut green beans drained (can use frozen or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (fresh or jar)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced onion (dehydrated in jar)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. Drain green beans.
  2. Add olive oil to pan, add green beans and seasonings.
  3. Cook until desired blistering—usually about 10 minutes. The minced onion and garlic will brown and adds such a good flavor.

Hope you enjoy these recipes from my home to yours’. If you have any family favorite casseroles, share your recipe in the comments!

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