From leftovers, you can make a great dinner!
I don’t like to dump food in the trash, and most of the time I just keep it for a few days in the fridge until I figure out what I can use it for.
I tent to make always too much pasta, so this kind of dinners often find a place on my dining room table. During the week I made pasta twice. Then, surprisingly we bought two rotisserie chickens that we didn’t finish.
My slow cooker sure makes a grand entry back to the kitchen when I have a whole chicken. I can make the most amazing bone broth after 16-18 hours of slow cooking.
Anyhow, this lunch or dinner is done in no time. My family absolutely loved it.
I am lucky that all my kids love peas, cheese, chicken and pasta. Put everything together, bake and there you go, dinner on the table that no kid would refuse to eat. You can switch and/or add any veggie of your choice.
What I love about this is that it’s nice and creamy, a perfect combination of flavor, and yes I did use Ragu Double Cheddar Cheese from Jar but I also made a base sauce which was perfect.
It is really optional so you may use one or the other. Also,
You can design this meal to please your own preferences. Cooking is about enjoying the process and experimenting what works the best.
I know what you gonna say, but my son loves Ragu cheese as much as he loves ketchup. So, if that will make him eat more veggies I am all for it. Those are two products “must have” in my fridge. So here what we made with things that we found in my fridge.
If you make them, please tag me on Instagram @sandraseasycooking and make sure to use hashtag #sandraseasycooking so I could see your delicious creations.
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Baked Pasta with Chicken Casserole
Easy, simple and delicious recipe.
- 1 lb Macaroni type of pasta Any smaller pasta could do
- 1 1/2 cup Rotisserie Chicken, pull apart white and dark meat, skinless
- 1 cup Frozen Peas or any vegetables; broccoli or similar
- 1 cup Ragu Cheese Double Sauce optional
- 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 1/4 tablespoon Guar Gum or similar you may use flour, Xanthan gum, etc.
- 6 oz Half & Half
- 1/2 cup Milk more if needed
- 8 oz Shredded Cheese I used Tillamook Mexican Blend
- 3 slices Fontina Cheese or any cheese that melts well, like mozzarella
- 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 tespoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Dash Salt or to TASTE
- 1 cup Fried Onion Rings optional
- 1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley optional
- 2 slices Bacon, crispy and chopped optional
Preheat the oven on 375F
Heat a skillet or a frying pan and add butter. When butter melts add a thickener like flour. I had Guar Gum so I used that.
As you add a thickener, mix it with a wooden spoon until the texture is smooth. At the same time start adding liquid – half and half/heavy whipped cream and milk.
Keep mixing into circular motion until smooth.
Add cheese and mix until the sauce is formed. If you need more milk or cream just add to make it more liquidy.
In a separate large bowl combine pasta, chicken, peas. Mix well.
Pour cheese sauce and ragu double cheese over the pasta mixture. You do not have to add ragu cheese but it tastes really good if you can find it in your store.
Now, add everything to the baking dish. Pack it very well, then add a handful of shredded cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes in preheated oven, then add fried onions and bake for an additional 10 minutes. It is optional so you do not have to add fried onions.
**Cook some bacon and chop it and sprinkle on the top. A great addition to this casserole.
**Sprinkle some chopped Italian Parsley.
*You can use any types of pasta for this dish as long as it’s precooked.
*Chicken can be grilled,Â sauteedÂ or baked before combining it with pasta.
*You may use anyÂ vegetablesÂ that you desire. Peas are a great addition to this dish.
*You DO NOT have to add any vegetables. If you don’t like it, then you do not have to add any additional vegetables. You can serve it on the side.