A couple of weeks ago while desperately collecting leftovers and miscellaneous ingredients out of my fridge, I happened to put together an original recipe that delighted my whole family. It was such a hit, in fact, that I served it to my mom and sister when they came to dinner and they too declared it delicious.
The last time I made it I took pictures along the way so I can share it with you too. It's super-duper easy and turns out so yummy!
Boil shell pasta or any kind of pasta until you end up with about 4 cups cooked. The measurements in this recipe are approximations since I never measure but hopefully the pictures will help.
While the pasta is boiling bake two chicken breasts in the microwave. I take frozen chicken breasts and stick them in with a couple of tablespoons of butter and some garlic salt for 8 minutes, turning them halfway through so the middle part goes to the outside of the plate.
Cube the chicken. They will be a little underdone, but will finish cooking in the casserole.
After the chicken is all cubed, I set it back in the butter while I put the rest of the casserole together.
I have used a jar of sauce like this, or made sauce using a packet. One time I only had some leftover sour cream and milk, so I made a white sauce with that, butter, salt and a little flour to thicken it.
Grate about 6 cups of Mozzarella cheese. (I think this was Monterey Jack because I misread the label in the grocery store. But it still tasted good.)
I also add a cup or two of broccoli. Depending what I have on hand, I'll use fresh or frozen.
These.... these are the star of the show! Spices make this dish special! Use them liberally. Garlic salt, black pepper, parsley, oregano, marjoram. I'll also sometimes throw in some paprika or basil.
Assemble the casserole in layers.
3. Half of the cheese (3 cups)
4. Chicken, including juices and butter
7. More spices
8. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
After baking for an hour, uncover the casserole and top with the rest of the cheese. Brown under the broiler until the cheese makes a nice crispy browned crust.
Let stand for five minutes. Serve with garlic Parmesan toast (here using up leftover Hoagie rolls).
Voilà! There you have it! This is so easy and quick to put together and it's a great way to make leftover chicken or veggies interesting again. This is also one of the only dishes that my Hubby will take to work for lunch the next day.
Hooray for Baked Alfredo!