When compassion calls, what’s your go-to casserole recipe?

The Rev. Amy Jo Cook, pastor at Loudon United Methodist Church, wrote the following on her Facebook page. I had to share with you:

-Rev. Amy Jo Cook and her son Jackson-

“How does bringing chickens help people being sad?”

Excellent question from my little professor when bringing food (including two kinds of cooked chicken, none still scratchin, as granny may describe) to a house where they awaited the passing of a precious patriarch.

I had the same question at his age. My Maw-maw said, “Food is love, life and family when people are knowing loss, death and feeling all alone.

No. She was not United Methodist, but would have made a good one. It helped me understand why my mom fed every widow within 20 miles, and it helped me feel connected, empowered and called when I went with her.  

I hope Jackson did.

I hope you have a few casserole recipes or a deli nearby in case of emergency, friends.

After reading Amy’s post, I started thinking about the casserole recipe I would turn to in such a situation.

But I wanted to hear from Amy. So I asked her, “What’s your go-to recipe when someone needs to feel ‘love, life, and family’ in the form of a homemade warm dish?”

Amy’s recipe is below. But I want to put the question to you, too: What’s your most reliable casserole recipe when compassion calls? Respond below or email to annettespence@holston.org. We’ll share your responses here soon.

Amy Jo’s Casserole


  • About 3 cups cooked chicken or browned beef  (I combine ground sage sausage and beef)
  • Corn chips or soft tacos
  • Paprika, Sage and cilantro. Taco seasoning is also good.
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large jar of salsa
  • 1 large package of shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer meat, chips, tomatoes, and salsa in 9 x 11 baking pan. Cover with cheese. Repeat layers and top with more cheese. Top with another layer of cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle on seasonings. Remove foil and bake uncovered 10-15 more minutes.  

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