Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stephanie's Best Casserole




This is a quick and easy weeknight casserole dish that we recently enjoyed! It makes a big casserole dish full, and I enjoyed the leftovers at work (it reheats well in the microwave)! The blend of cheeses was nice - the cheddar cheese offers a slightly different taste than a traditional spaghetti sauce / noodle casserole. You can change up the vegetables however you'd like. I chose mushrooms and peas, the original recipe calls for broccoli rabe.

This goes well with a nice fresh salad and some toasty garlic bread for a complete and filling dinner!

We are trying to work on using pantry items as we're getting closer and closer to our closing date for our new house. I have to work on finding the last of the necessary paperwork for the mortgage company today and we have to sign and scan back a bunch of paperwork to them. The living room is full of boxes (mostly from the local liquor store, so we look like a bunch of alcoholics right now.) I got a few things packed up from the dining room yesterday, and want to get more from that room done today. We don't use that room very much, and it's mostly overflow from the kitchen (extra serving platters, bowls, cookbooks, etc.) so nothing that we can't live without for 2 - 3 weeks. I keep looking around and seeing how much there is left to do, even though we've been slowly chipping away for the past couple weeks! If I can get one room at least mostly cleared out I will probably feel better. So I'm going to make a good effort today!

In the mean time, dishes like this one are perfect to use up things we keep stocked in the pantry / fridge / freezer and come together quickly on a busy night! I am hoping we can pretty much avoid the grocery store in the next couple weeks except for the very essentials (like Lindsey's whole milk!) We'll see. I'll do my best!

Stephanie's Best Casserole adapted from CRAZYBOUT98VETTES on AllRecipes

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta (or other small, tubular pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce with mushrooms (more to taste / preference)
1 12-oz pkg frozen peas (or broccoli would work well)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in the skillet 20 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Add the mushrooms for the last 10 minutes to allow soften and release most of their moisture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish.
  4. In the prepared casserole dish, mix the cooked pasta, cooked chicken and mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, peas, and mozzarella cheese  - add more spaghetti sauce to your personal preference / taste (we added about another 1/4 cup to get the right "wetness" for our tastes). Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top.
  5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly brown.


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