Friday, September 16, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
Inspired by: Taste of Home
Yield: 1 casserole for dinner and 1 for the freezer!

1 (16 oz) package of penne pasta
6 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes - *I used diced Fire Roasted tomatoes instead
1 jar (15 oz) Classico Alfredo sauce
1 jar (8 oz) Classico Pesto sauce
1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bake your chicken in the oven - I season mine and bake it on 400-425 for about 20 minutes. Cool and then cube it. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine: chicken, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, alfredo sauce, milk, and pesto. Drain the pasta and add to the chicken mixture; toss to coat.

Transfer to two greased 9x13 inch baking dishes. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the casseroles.

Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.

To reheat the frozen casserole; thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking cover and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
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