Chicken Penne Casserole by Rattaya Nagorski

Chicken Penne Casserole.jpg

This recipe, from the Taste of Home Cookbook, is very versatile. You can substitute a few things in the recipe and you'll still have an easy weeknight meal. The prep work is quick, and most of the it is done in the oven, so you can certainly prepare a side salad or garlic bread in the mean time.

Unfortunately, the dish is a bit bland, so add more seasonings to your liking, but it works well to feed the whole family. It's not on the top of my baked pasta dish,  but it works for a beginner cook. 

GATHER:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup EACH chopped onion, green pepper, and sweet red pepper
  • 1 tsp EACH dried basil, oregano, and parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 each garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked penna pasta
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups (8oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

MAKE:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saucepan, sautΓ© the chicken, onion, peppers, and all seasonings in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, process tomatoes and tomato paste in a blender; add to chicken mixture. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduct heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 2-qt baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheeses. Repeat layers.
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through.
β€œYou can substitute the dried basil, oregano, and parsley flakes with Italian seasoning. Penne pasta can be substituted with large macaroni or corkscrew, and the cheese can be substituted with Italian blend.”

Yield: 4-6 servings