Welcome back for recipe #2 from In the Kitchen with the Real Farmwives of America & Friends and Gooseberry Patch!This is the first time I have cooked with chicken in a long time… We have freezer beef and freezer pork, so I don’t buy (or cook) much chicken. This time, I did! (And it was kind of a nice change.)First, measure out 4 cups of uncooked pasta, and cook according to package directions. I used whole grain pasta, but no one says you have to. (The 13.5 ounce package I bought was the perfect 4 cup measurement.) Boil the pasta, drain, and put into a large bowl.
I had planned to use pasta sauce that we had canned last summer, but I only had pint jars left. This recipe calls for 3-1/2 cups, and a pint is only two cups, so I pulled this pinch-hitter out of my pantry at the last minute. Again, I just used the whole container. It was pretty close to 3-1/2 cups.
Then, grate up 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. The pre-grated stuff is fine, too. I like to use any excuse to get out my fancy cheese grater!
Add the sauce (canned, jarred, or otherwise) and the parmesan to the cooked pasta.
Mix it all up…
And put half the pasta in an 8×8 baking pan. Then put 1 cup of cooked, diced chicken on top of the pasta layer. (This is one chicken breast, boiled, and diced. It’s kind of a boring way to cook chicken, but the chicken is not the star in this dish – this is all about the pasta and the cheese!)
Layer the rest of the pasta on top of the chicken.
Grate up 1/2 cup Velveeta cheese (I prefer the 2% milk variety)…
And get yourself 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (this was pre-shredded).
Spread the cheeses over the top of the pasta dish.
I didn’t think that looked like quite enough cheese. So I added extra mozzarella. Hubby Doc thinks I should have added even more.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly. (In my stoneware, it took 35 minutes. Another 5 and the cheese should have gotten that pretty brown color.)
I served this to my girlfriends with Garlic Bubble Bread (recipe coming this weekend!) for our girls’ night in. The girls loved it. (Although the bread took center stage!)Don’t worry, we ate our vegetables too. We had a veggie platter to pick from all night long. Just none of them made it on the plate… Whoops.
While we did enjoy the pasta, I would recommend a few slight changes. We all thought there could have been a little more sauce – maybe a can of diced tomatoes for a bit more texture? And you can never go wrong with more cheese… I will definitely make this again, but I might tweak it, just a little…
Update: Here’s the printable recipe card!
Free Printable Ground Beef Buyer’s Guide
Have you ever gotten confused at the grocery store when you’re trying to pick out ground beef for tonight’s dinner? We can help! This Ground Beef Buyer’s Guide has everything you need to know about buying ground beef, plus you can download a free printable cheat sheet to keep handy in your kitchen or your purse!
Tools for Cooking with Ground Beef
Every kitchen needs a few basic tools… These are ones that I use all the time when I’m cooking with ground beef!