My daughter made this delicious casserole for me the last time
she visited. I thought it was one of the best! This week I made
it so I could take pictures and blog the recipe. My version is adapted
from the original recipe in a Southern Living magazine.
I chose to bake the chicken breasts with olive oil and
After baking, slice and cube the chicken.
While the chicken is baking, saute the onions, red peppers
and garlic. The next step is preparing the sauce.
The recipe calls for cheese-and-spinach tortellini which I
could not locate so I used a three-cheese variety.
I love a casserole where the ingredients pretty much retain their
original identity. They compliment each other rather than
dissolving into a blend.
A gentle mixing of chicken, tortellini and blanched broccoli with
the tasty sauce ... already yummy!
Spoon into a deep casserole baking dish, making sure the
tortellini is submerged. Some of mine that were at the top
got a bit crisp. I might try layering it next time to solve that problem.
Buttery crackers used in the topping gives it a perfect covering.
Spread the crumble evenly over the top.
Not everyone in the family enjoys nuts ... easily solved ...
sprinkle only on one half.
This is wonderful but I must confess, my daughters'
was a wee bit tastier! Must have added a secret spice
when I wasn't looking. Actually it was probably because
I loved eating someone else's cooking.
CHICKEN PASTA BAKE
1/3 cup butter
½ cup chopped sweet onion
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high
heat; add onion, peppers and garlic. Saute 5 - 6 minutes or until tender.
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1½ cups half-and-half
1 tbsp. white vinegar (or dry white wine)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground red pepper
Add flour to butter mixture, stirring until smooth.
Whisk in broth, half-and-half, and vinegar.
Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat; add cheese, salt and red pepper, stirring until cheese is melts.
1 (20 oz. or 350 g) pkg. refrigerated cheese-and-spinach tortellini
4 cups broccoli cut into bite size pieces, blanched
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
Stir tortellini, broccoli and chicken into sauce.
Spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
20 round buttery crackers, crushed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. melted butter
½ cup chopped pecans, optional
Mix crumbs, cheese and butter, sprinkle over casserole.
If desired, sprinkle with pecans.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50 - 60 minutes or until bubbly.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings