Eating sandwiches for lunch tends to get old FAST. Because of this, I like to start off the week with a large meal so we have plenty of leftovers to reheat for lunch (mmm…leftovers!). This week, I tried the a recipe called “Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta”. With noodles, chicken, and a tomato sauce, it’s comfort food at its best! Plus, it’s only approximately $1.88/serving (6 servings) so it won’t hurt your wallet–an added bonus!
I would rate this recipe a “medium” difficulty simply because it does involve fresh ingredients and a food processor. But other than that, it’s pretty simple and was a huge hit with the hubby. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta:
1 large (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 cups chicken stock (or chicken broth—either will work!)
12 oz Shells (or any other pasta you would like)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (if you want a breaded taste, use chicken tenders instead!)
Fresh or Dried Basil (for garnishment-I used dried basil since I had it on hand)
- Begin by adding the entire can of tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
You don’t want to pulse too much because it will turn into a liquid consistency (which we don’t necessarily want). I used my small processor, since the big one is a hassle to get out and it was only one can.
- Pour mixture into a 2qt skillet (or larger). Turn heat on medium-high. (I put mine on number 6 out of 10.)
- Rinse out processor and add 6 garlic cloves. Pulse until “minced.” Add minced garlic to the tomato mixture.
- Add oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix and let the pan heat just those ingredients for about 30 seconds.
- Add water, chicken stock, and pasta to the skillet. Mix and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15-18 minutes depending on your pasta. I reduced the heat to a 5 (medium) at this point. Stir frequently, but at this time you can leave it alone and work on the chicken.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees so it can heat up while you are finishing up.
- Cut chicken breasts into small pieces about the size of small cherries. Cook on medium-high (7/8 out of 10) until no longer pink in the middle. (I use about 1 tablespoon of olive oil when I cook chicken, to keep it from sticking to the pan.)
- Once fully cooked, drain on paper towel-covered plate until sauce and pasta is done.
- When pasta is tender, add ¾ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the pepper, and the cooked chicken. Stir until mixed well.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. I used a 3qt round casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese and the entire 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the mixture
- Pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes (mine took 7 minutes), until the cheese has melted and is slightly bubbly.
- Garnish with basil and serve!