Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicken Pesto Bake

I am starting to realize that I may have an addiction to pesto sauce, but I can't help it, I LOVE it!  It's so versatile, it can be plain, creamy, mixed with pasta, used as a pizza sauce, in a sandwich, so why not in a casserole?  I had some bell peppers that needed to be used up and my pesto sauce in the freezer, so I went for it!

Chicken Pesto Bake

3 cooked chicken breasts (chopped or shredded)
2 bell peppers (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup pesto sauce (homemade or prepared)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt and pepper
1 lb pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to directions (if I'm baking the pasta in a casserole, I usually cook it one minute less than the directions call for to avoid soggy pasta), drain, but don't rinse.   While the pasta is cooking, saute bell peppers and onion in olive for about five minutes, then add the garlic in for about a minute, remove from heat.  In a sauce pan melt butter and add flour, cook for about one minute and then slowly whisk in the milk.  Cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, then add the cheese, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the pesto sauce, chicken and veggies, stir and pour over pasta.  Pour mixture into a large baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

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