April 9, 2014

Chicken Parmigiana Pasta Casserole


Along with spring cleaning our diets, we've been working hard at spring cleaning our budget.  We'll be moving to a new house next year, God willing, so cutting corners with spending has definitely been a priority.  We've worked hard to maintain a debt-free life, so one of the most logical ways for us to cut corners in our budget is (please hold for a second while I cover CookingCreation.com's ears) in the food department.  *gulp*  I really, really, really love to splurge at the grocery store, so this takes a lot of commitment and sacrifice on my part.  Challenge on!

On average, we enjoy a rotisserie chicken about once every week or so for dinner.  It's so delicious on its own for a meal, but I love that I always end up having leftover chicken to use in a meal another night that week.  It definitely saves me both time and money.  I wanted to try to stretch out the leftover chicken even more and make two additional meals out of it.  First, I made a yummy Chicken & Vegetable Soup from scratch using the chicken carcass and skin to make a homemade broth (step-by-step recipe to come!).  That was delicious!  I also took 1 cup of the remaining chicken to make a second meal, this Chicken Parmigiana Pasta Casserole.  It's so easy to make and so flavorful!      



Ingredients:

  • 1 c cooked chicken, chopped or shredded  
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz bow tie pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 1/2 c tomato sauce plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 
  • 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley 
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 
  • Pinch sugar 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread 2 tbsp of the tomato sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the chicken, butter, and bread crumbs and toss to combine.  Season with pepper, to taste.  Add the cooked pasta, 1 1/2 c of the tomato sauce, 1/2 c of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 c of the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, and sugar.  Stir well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  

Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c of mozzarella cheese and the remaining 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese evenly on top.  

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Enjoy!


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