Hey, everyone!!! I’m Jenna from 24 Cottonwood Lane, a DIY and lifestyle blog. I’m a frequent stalker of Practically Functional and a repeated linker at the weekly party. And I’m super excited to be guest posting for Jessi today!
Today I’m sharing a surprise pasta and chicken bake with all of you. It’s a surprise, simply because my boys (3 and 4) actually loved this dinner. These guys don’t like much of anything, with the exception of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and gold fish crackers. So when they cleaned their plates, I figured this was a meal worth sharing.
This dinner came together as a result of panic and lack of planning. We’d been away all weekend and I forgot to get groceries. The meal I had lined up didn’t exist because 3 out of the 4 ingredients weren’t in the pantry. I trolled around Pinterest until I found a few different ideas for what we did have…canned tomatoes, chicken broth, red wine, chicken breasts, and bow tie pasta. The end result is a combination of 5 or 6 different recipes and adjustments we made along the way to compensate for things we didn’t have. (Which was a lot!) I also added all sorts of veggies to the dish that the boys didn’t notice. Winning!
Chicken Pasta Bake with Hidden Veggies
- 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 pound of bow tie pasta (or any pasta really)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 cup of chopped raw cauliflower (frozen would probably be fine)
- 1 chopped onion
- 1-2 cups of other vegetables, chopped fine (we used carrots, broccoli, and more cauliflower)
- 1 28 ounce can of chopped or crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup each of red wine and chicken broth or 1 cup of just chicken broth (the alcohol does cook off)
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 2 TBSP of Italian Dressing Seasoning (the dry stuff- either homemade or from a packet)
- 2 cloves of garlic or one teaspoon of garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups of shredded mozzarella or other shredded cheese
- Cook pasta according to directions along with raw cauliflower. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil and saute chicken until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside
- Add butter, onions, and other raw vegetables and cook until soft and onion is translucent.
- Add garlic and cook one minute, ensuring garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to de-glaze.
- Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, along with the Italian seasoning and cooked chicken and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes. Add the milk and 2 cups of cheese a few minutes before the end, stirring to blend.
- Place pasta/cauliflower combination into a large baking dish (13×9) and pour the sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese and heat in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted.
Serve with a salad (which the boys won’t eat) and some fresh bread (which they will) and you’ve got a pretty tasty dinner.
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If you liked this recipe, check out these other simple recipes!