Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake

I wish I had a catchier name to call this recipe but my mind is drawing a blank.  Trust me, it tastes much better than it sounds and even looks!  My family and I aren't normally broccoli lovers.  Usually when I eat broccoli, it's in small pieces.  I've either steamed it and chopped it into bits or pureed it so it's almost liquified. 

Something about eating little trees with that strong odor just puts me off!  But I'm no fool.  I know how great it is for you and the calcium in it alone should cause us women to eat it daily.  So here's one way I've found to eat it and enjoy it, through this recipe.   Best of all, you probably have nearly all these ingredients on hand and you can throw this dish together in a short amount of time too! 

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake
(Serves 5-6)

3 cups of whole wheat pasta (I used a combo of rotini and bow-tie that I had on hand)
1 cup of pre-cooked, diced chicken (I often use leftover BBQ chicken or cut up an extra breast from another recipe I'm making)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup, fat free
4 oz of cream cheese, reduced fat
1/2 cup of milk, reduced fat
1 cup of pureed or finely chopped broccoli
1 and 1/4 cups of shredded cheese, reduced fat, any variety
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease a 2 qt (11x7 inch) baking pan with cooking spray.  Set it aside.  Cook your pasta according to the package directions. Drain when done.

Meanwhile, spray the cooking oil in a skillet and sautee your chicken and broccoli for about five minutes.  Add in the cream of mushroom soup, cream cheese and milk.  Simmer until the cream cheese has melted and all liquids are incorporated, about ten minutes.  Add in the onion and garlic powder with a dash of salt and pepper too.  Stir several times.  Remove from heat then add in the 1 cup shredded cheese and all of Parmesan cheese.  Set aside.

Place the drained, cooked pasta at the bottom of the greased 2 qt baking pan.  Pour the chicken-broccoli and mushroom-cheese sauce over the pasta.  It will look like this:

Now sprinkle the pasta sauce with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, like this:

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let it cool for about five minutes before cutting and serving.  Enjoy! 

And remember, we're not big broccoli fans in my family but we really enjoyed this recipe!  Sometimes it's good to branch out, even when it's broccoli bunches you're reaching out too!  Often the meal may surprise you for the better :-)  Plus I'll be reaching for a cookie or bite of ice cream after I'm done with this meal anyway! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recipe!!! Love it

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