Monday, January 18, 2010

Make me a Meal Monday - Chicken and Pasta Baked Casserole

Chicken and Pasta Baked Casserole

aka Glorified Mac and Cheese or known even better at my house as "Congrats, you had a baby, do you mind if I come over and see your new bundle of joy, and I will bring you dinner meal?"

3/4 pound whole wheat pasta shells or penne
salt, to taste
1 small rotisserie chicken (you can also just use chicken breast)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 bag fresh leaf spinach, chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated (use the real stuff - not the powder stuff - just bagged shredded cheese)
4 ounces fresh Vermont cheddar (I use Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated - I use the whole bar (because lets face it more cheese just means more deliciousness - right?)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter/spray a large, rectangular casserole dish

Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions. Drain, toss with a two tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.

Chop onion, dice up chicken (or shredded it if you prefer), and grate the block of Vermont White Sharp Cheddar Cheese (yes I said grate...)

Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet or wok. Saute the onions and a bit of salt for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, then spinach, cooking for approximately 20-30 seconds.

Remove skillet or wok from heat and stir in almonds.

Combine spinach mixture with pasta in a large bowl and carefully stir.

When chicken is done cooking, slice and add. Set aside. (If you like to sneak in more veggies, I’d recommend sliced mushrooms which I have also added before)

Combine cheeses (Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar and Mozzerella) in a medium bowl. Begin by adding a layer of pasta to the casserole dish, followed by a layer of cheese.

Continue alternating layers, finishing with a layer of cheese. Sprinkle just a dash of cayenne and paprika over the top.

Cover dish with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes.


Ker said...

Found your blog from Kelly's Korner comments -- This looks GREAT - thanks so much for sharing!! I need to try it!

Beth McC. said...

YUM! I cant wait to try this! thanks for sharing! Happy Friday!

Anonymous said...

Also popped in from Kelly's Korner. This looks easy and delicious...gonna have to try it and add those mushrooms b/c I LOVE em! :) Thanks for sharing!

Angela in SC