The Great Indoors: Recipe a great intro to hotdish contest

A couple of weeks ago, after having John Wheeler out to my house to make his famous "John Wheeler Burgers," I was reminded of all of the wonderful recipes given to me by former co-workers at WDAY-TV.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole
The Forum Watch host Tracy Briggs prepare Marv's Chicken Tortilla Casserole on this week's edition of "The Great Indoors" on

A couple of weeks ago, after having John Wheeler out to my house to make his famous "John Wheeler Burgers," I was reminded of all of the wonderful recipes given to me by former co-workers at WDAY-TV.

One of my favorite co-workers (in fact, just about everyone's favorite WDAY friend), was former anchorman Marv Bossart, who passed away earlier this year.

Marv was a foodie, and he loved to share his favorites with us. One of them was his famous "Chicken Tortilla Casserole." I've made it countless times over the years, and it's always a hit.

It's pretty rich, but you can lighten it up by using lower fat cream soups, sour cream and cheeses. I suggest mild chilies instead of hotter ones. (I almost burned off the tongues of some nice Concordia College students who ate this casserole a few years ago.) You also can garnish it with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and guacamole.

I think Marv would be happy to know we're using his casserole to kick off part two of our Great Indoors Community Cookoff Contest -drumroll please - "The Best Hotdish in the World!"


We couldn't hold a cook-off contest in Fargo without including the hotdish. These beloved concoctions usually are made with either noodles or rice, meats and cream of something soups.

They are as synonymous with life in the Upper Midwest as ice hockey and church basement ladies. Most of us probably grew up eating them on school nights. I know I did. But because my parents are from the East Coast, we called them "casseroles."

However, being a girl who likes to fit in, I eventually learned to call them hotdishes. (I also learned to say "pop" and cheer for the Vikings, but that's another story.)

It doesn't matter what you call them, we just want to hear from you. Submit your best hotdish/casserole recipe, along with a photo of it, to our blog at The deadline is Sept. 25.

Like we did last time in our summer salad recipes, we'll narrow the entries down to three finalists. The public will get to vote on those three, and the winning entry will be invited to appear on The Great Indoors and prepare the recipe with me! (We hope to shoot the segment sometime the week of Oct. 7-11.) Only digital entries will be accepted.

I'm looking forward to seeing your recipes. In the meantime, give Marv's Chicken Tortilla Casserole a try. It's almost as fabulous as he was!

Marv's Chicken Tortilla Casserole



1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 small cans green chilies (mild)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 pint sour cream

1 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese

4-6 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1 large bag of tortilla chips, coarsely crushed


Mix together the first 5 ingredients. Set aside. Spray an 8-by ½-by 11-inch pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with almost half broken tortilla chips. Then, put about half the chicken on top of the chips, followed by half the cheese, then half the sauce. Repeat the layers until you run out. Try to save a few chips for the top. Refrigerate for 24 hours to allow it to set. It's fine if you don't have time, but the extra day allows the flavors to really come out. Bake at 350 degrees, covered for 45 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes Serves about 10-12 people.

Tracy Briggs is an Emmy-nominated News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 35 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
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