About the Blog

Some people create to enjoy the finished product. I get my greatest satisfaction from the process of creating. This blog is my attempt to share that process with others.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipe: Pesto-Chicken Pasta Casserole

Description: combine lots of yummy pre-prepared ingredients in a bowl, bake as a casserole, and prepare for recipe requests!

Servings: 6

  • 8 oz. pasta (Recipe called for penne; I used bow-tie. I boil pasta ahead of time and freeze in 8 oz. portions for re-heating and use)
  • 3 c. cooked chicken (I bought a hot rotisserie chicken from Walmart, removed the skin, and tore the meat into small pieces/strips/chunks)
  • 2 c. (8 oz.) shredded Italian cheese blend (I used an Italian 3-cheese blend from Whole Foods)
  • 1.5 c. fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 of a (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a (15 oz.) jar prepared Alfredo sauce (I used a light Alfredo I found at Walmart)
  • 1/4 c. 2% milk
  • 1/2 of a (8.1 oz.) jar prepared pesto
  • 1/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs (or plain breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning mixed in)
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsp. olive oil (I used Monjuni's seasoned olive oil)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, combine in a large bowl: chicken, cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk, and pesto.
  4. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture; toss to coat.
  5. Transfer to a greased 8-inch square baking dish.
  6. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  7. Cover and bake at 350 for 40-45 min or until bubbly.
My Rating: 5/5 - you can't beat pesto, cheese, alfredo, and pasta; the spinach and tomatoes trick you into thinking it's healthy. I'm very sad that I only have 1 serving of this casserole left.

Note: recipe can be easily doubled to make 2 casseroles. An unbaked casserole may be frozen for up to 3 months, thawed in fridge overnight, and baked covered at 350 for 50-60 min until bubbly.

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