About this Recipe
Just a couple of nights ago I was hungry for a quick meal and was thrilled to find a portion of this cheesy chicken pasta casserole recipe frozen and waiting. It freezes VERY well. It went straight from the freezer and into the pan on a low heat with lid to slow defrost and then warm up. This Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole is satisfying meal that adults and children both seem to love! This Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole recipe can be made with a classic dairy cheese sauce or with the vegan version that we provide in the link below.
1. The easiest way to make this casserole is to basically mix together a few meals that are already cooked and ready to go . Of course you can also make all the pieces in one night and combine into the casserole.
2. The cooked chicken can be done in an instant pot, crockpot, oven, or bought pre-cooked and then cut into bite sized pieces for the casserole.
3. You can substitute the pasta for rice also for a delicious rice casserole.
4. This meal is delicious served with either of these recipes: Creamy Pea Salad Recipe and this Creamed Corn Recipe. I warmed all three dishes up together and marvelled at the genius of this last minute decision. In fact, it was so tasty that I am now tempted to make all three recipes again and on the same date and host a dinner party.
Makes: Makes 6 servings
6 cups cooked pasta - How to Cook Pasta
2 cups cooked carrots - Basic Boiled Carrots
2 chicken breasts, cooked - How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot
2 cups creamy cheese sauce - Creamy Cheese Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil to grease the dish
This casserole combines the above recipe links plus the oil and chicken broth. Note - You can also use pre-cooked chicken, or your own versions of the above recipes.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Have ready a casserole dish. Lightly grease with oil.
3. Gently stir all the ingredients together in the greased dish.
4. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil and put into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and serve.
Casserole recipes are a good way to get all your nutrition in one dish, and this chicken breast recipe combines everything you need for a family friendly meal idea in one dish. Another benefit of casserole recipes is that they are easy to make, and there is less clean up afterwards. This casserole recipe is versatile too, with a dairy and dairy-free options, and can be cooked in a crockpot, Instant Pot, or oven. You can also substitute the pasta for rice for a gluten-free casserole. If you have leftovers, this casserole recipe freezes well so that you can enjoy some later.
It seems today there are more chicken options than ever before with everything from organic, antibiotic and hormone free, cage free, and free range. It can get a bit overwhelming to know which one is the best, so it helps to know a little bit about each category. Honestly, the best way we have found personally is to MEET the farmer, check out the farm, talk to the farmer and personally feel good about how the chickens are raised, killed and what they are fed.
Understanding your choices from Chicken Farmers of Canada:(1) 1) Organic chickens must follow the standards of the Canadian General Standards Board as well as the Organic certification board. Organic chicken must be fed organic feed that does not have animal by products, antibiotics, or any other supplementation that does not meet the cerfication body. 2) Free range chickens MUST be allowed access to the outdoors. There is no legal definition of free range in Canada, however, so this can vary from farm to farm. 3) Free run chickens do not necessarily need to be raised outside, but they must be allowed to move freely in their barn. Technically, in Canada, all chickens are considered free run. 4) Halal, if you can find it, implies that the animals are well rested and handled in a way that minimizes suffering.
References: (1) Wheel of Chicken: Understanding your choices from Chicken Farmers of Canada. (December 12, 2018) Retrieved from: http://www.chickenfarmers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Wheel-of-Chicken_final.pdf