musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comforting Chicken Casserole

Tis the season for comfort food. Heck! Every season is the season for comfort food. Sometimes, we just need a little comforting and only a good, hot, casserole will do.  Yes, that's right, I said casserole. And here's one you're really going to love - I promise!

Italian Chicken Casserole

1 lb boneless chicken breast, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. tube-shaped pasta (penne, elbo, etc.)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) Alfredo sauce
1 (8 oz) jar pesto sauce
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and add cubed chicken,

 Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt and pepper. 

Cook until juices run clear and no pink remains.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add pasta.  Cook pasta according to package directions leaving 'firm to the bite'. Drain well and set aside.

While chicken and pasta are cooking, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and olive oil in a small bowl until evenly moistened, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine Italian cheese blend, baby spinach, crushed tomatoes, alfredo sauce, pesto sauce, milk.

Add prepared chicken

And pasta

Spoon mixture into prepared pan and top with (optional) mushrooms

Sprinkle reserved bread crumb mixture over top

And place in preheated oven for 40 - 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

That makes me feel warm and loved by just looking at it!  Total time from start to finish will take about an hour.  Not too bad, eh?

Thank you Hubster for yet another delicious meal full of love:-)

Have a Comforting kind of a day ~

Robin Z

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