I was fortunate to inherit my grandmother’s recipe book, which includes the recipe for this rich and cheesy casserole. I’ve been eating it for years and still can’t get enough.—Joseph Sortor, Tampa, Florida
- 12 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 13 bacon strips
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1-1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Cook penne according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon in batches over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 4 teaspoons drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.
- Saute chicken in butter and drippings until no longer pink. Add onions; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheeses, peas, pepper, thyme and bacon.
- Drain penne; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Bacon-Swiss Penne in Taste of Home August/September 2011, p36
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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