Italian Chicken & Pasta Casserole

Dude, my 8 year old chef in training, dreams of someday being on Chopped Kids.  So he asked me to set up a practice for him today.  That way, when he’s old enough, he’ll be all ready to compete!

We set him up with a basket of mystery ingredients and even taped him revealing his ingredients and cooking.  It was adorable!

I, of course, was with him every step of the way, but I tried to leave all of the decision making up to our little chef.  It was fun to see him come up with ideas and put his flavors together!

Here’s Dude:

 I cooked it by my self and my family liked it! I was the chopped champion!

Italian Chicken & Pasta Casserole

Mystery Basket Items:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in chunks
2 cups homemade Garlic-Herb Tomato Sauce
1 large crown broccoli, cut in florets
Fresh herbs (basil & parsley)

Pantry Items:
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, & garlic
½ red onion, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
8 oz farfalle pasta, cooked al dente
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup turkey pepperoni
1 cup French fried onions, crushed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken, onions, and carrots.  Season generously with garlic, salt, & pepper.  Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the onions and carrots are softened.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain once done.

Once the chicken and pasta are cooked, add the pasta, tomato sauce, pepperoni, 1 tablespoon of parmesan, and half the chopped herbs to the skillet and stir to combine.  Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Mix together the crushed French fried onions and 1 tablespoon of parmesan and sprinkle over the top of the entire casserole.  Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the onions are browned.

While the casserole finishes, steam the broccoli (we use a microwave steamer).  Drain and stir in the remaining herbs and tablespoon of parmesan.

Serves 4-6


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