Eating well is all about being prepared, which usually means making meals in advance. In order to cook more efficiently, you also need to be prepared. When chicken breasts were on sale at my Price Chopper for $1.99/lb., I bought a large package. Then, I boiled the chicken and shredded it, and put it in the freezer in 2 c. portions. I used one container for the Chicken Enchiladas I made a couple of weeks ago, and another for today’s casserole. It saved me a lot of time.
I know that summer doesn’t generally equal ‘casserole’, but those of us who work in climate controlled environments often still like a hot lunch. I was inspired by Recipe Girls’s Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, which she had lightened up considerably. I lightened things just a little further, and this still turned out to be a rich, cheesy casserole. There is also a lot of it, which means I have no excuse for not bringing lunch this week.
Chicken Pasta Casserole
6 oz. whole wheat penne
1 T canola oil
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 (10 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 cans 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 c. skim milk
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken breast
8 oz. 2% Colby Jack shredded cheese
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta al dente. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat oil, and add onion. Cook for 15 minutes, until onion begins to get soft and browned. Add mushrooms and broccoli, and cook for 15-20 minutes more. Add soup and milk and stir until blended. Add chicken and stir. Add cheese and stir until melted in. Cook on Low for 5-10 minutes until heated through.
Coat a 13″x9″ dish with cooking spray. Place pasta on bottom of dish, and then top with chicken/vegetables mixture. Stir to coat. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling.