While the word "casserole" has its origins in France, the Amish have adopted the word and the dish as all their own.
In all the years I have been visiting Amish communities, I have seen plenty of casseroles on menus. There are probably hundreds of varations of "chicken casseroles", but each one is a little different with its own flavor and flair.
⛪ The Amish After-Church Meal
Amish church services are typically followed by a hearty meal and plenty of fellowship. Often there are plenty of carry-in dishes for such a meal and casseroles are a favorite. But casseroles are not the only favorite at Amish after-church meals: side dishes, salads, homemade bread, jam, coffee, and more are found at these amazing meals. And, of course, the desserts...wow, the desserts! Usually the meal begins around noon and everyone leaves feeling full.
There are usually a few ladies who are cooking and preparing the food during the church service. So while everyone is sitting there listening to the sermon, the smell of fried chicken or buttered corn begins to waft into the air. Bellies begin to growl and people shift in their seats in anticipation of the amazing meal.
🍲 Why Are Casseroles Popular?
There are a few reasons why casseroles are popular among the Amish.
- Casseroles are economical. They can be made with inexpensive ingredients, such as ground beef, pasta, and canned soup. This makes them a practical choice for families on a budget or large families like the Amish tend to have..
- Casseroles are easy to make. Most casserole recipes are simple and straightforward, and they can be made ahead of time and frozen for later. This makes them a convenient option for busy families.
- Casseroles are hearty and filling. They are typically made with protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables, which provides a balanced meal. This makes them a good choice for large gatherings, such as church potlucks and family reunions.
- Casseroles are comforting. They are often made with familiar ingredients, such as chicken, beef, and vegetables. This gives them a homey and nostalgic feel.
- Casseroles are very portable: They are easy to transport on a bumpy buggy ride.
❓ Why Are Chicken Casseroles So Popular?
Most Amish families have access to a steady supply of chicken. This makes the meat cheap and accessible and plentiful. And, well, everything takes like chicken, right? Other reasons chicken is king when it comes to the casserole:
- Easy to make: Most chicken casseroles are relatively easy to make, even for beginner cooks. They often require just a few simple ingredients that you may already have on hand.
- Versatility: Chicken casseroles can be made in a variety of ways, so you can easily find a recipe that suits your taste and dietary needs. There are chicken casseroles that are creamy, cheesy, and hearty, as well as those that are lighter and more delicate.
- Kid-friendly: Chicken casseroles are often a hit with kids, thanks to their creamy, cheesy, and flavorful nature. They can also be a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables, as many chicken casseroles include vegetables such as carrots, peas, and broccoli.
- Comforting: Chicken casseroles are often associated with comfort food, and they can be a great way to warm up on a cold day. They are also a popular choice for potlucks and other gatherings, as they are easy to transport and feed a large group of people.
🥣 5 Favorite After-Church Chicken Casseroles
Sunday Church Casserole: This popular Amish Sunday church chicken casserole recipe was sent to me by an Amish woman in Ohio who said that this is a favorite dish for the after church meal. I can see why, because it is hearty, easy, and feeds a bunch of people. Perfect for the church crowd!
Amish Church Committee's Chicken Stuffing Casserole: This Amish Chicken Stuffing Casserole is a classic, hearty casserole that has found a following in Amish kitchens so I thought I'd share it. Butchering chickens is a common task on Amish farmsteads and this is a recipe where you can use up chicken broth, base, and chicken meat.
Amish Cheddar Chicken Casserole: casseroles like this Amish Cheddar Chicken Casserole, these are hard to go wrong with. These pile-in-one-pot casseroles where chicken is sort of the protein foundation, and the rest just packs in all the flavor are so popular, especially at the after-church meals.
The Bishop's Potluck Chicken Sage Casserole: Chicken is usually plentiful and combine it with some noodles and you have a winner in this potluck chicken sage casserole. Casseroles like this Chicken Sage are just the best for feeding a crowd because people can just spoon it out onto their plate in a serving line and the meal is very portable, easy to transport in a buggy or in the basket of a bike!
Amish Communion Casserole: Amish Communion Casserole is popular on the long services held a couple of times a year.