- 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
- 6 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
- 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
- 1 jar (8.1 ounces) prepared pesto
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk and pesto. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture; toss to coat.
- Transfer to two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil; sprinkle over casseroles.
- Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
- To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
Reviews for Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles
"Very good. Made several times for potlucks and always asked for recipe and to bring next time."
"Good casserole to feed a family! Once you've cooked the penne, everything else is just mixed together, so it's a very easy dish to make. Would have liked it to be a bit more saucy, so next time will increase the Alfredo and tomatoes. Since I'm not a huge fan of seasoned bread crumbs as a topping, next time I'll try panko bread crumbs tossed with a little parmesan and fresh parsley. The spinach is a nice addition. I like the fact that you can make one and freeze one!"
"My family enjoyed this . I've also used the mexican mix of cheeses they sell at Sams Club and that worked well, too. It was what I had on hand one time."
"Yum Yum Double Yum"
"have made this dish so many times"
"Like other's said, this is delicious. After reading the reviews and then first trying it, I was a little disappointed. But after several more bites, I realized this is definitely a keeper. I cut this recipe in half, cooked the chicken beforehand, and as another reviewer suggested, used (undrained) petite diced tomatoes instead of crushed. I actually measured out the ounces instead of estimating "oh, this looks like about half a jar of pesto". I was able to get half of this recipe into a 9.5x9.5 dish, but it was near the top. Not sure how anyone could fit half of this in an 8x8. Secondly, a couple minutes before it was to be "done", I turned on the broiler, waited a few minutes, and stuck the dish back in, uncovered. That gave the bread crumb topping a little bit more crunch (not much, but some). For me and my husband, half of this recipe was WAYYYY more than enough. There are a lot of leftovers, but I'm not really upset about that :)"
"I made this and my family loved it. I made it on the stove top instead of in the oven. I also added peas and mushrooms but I made the sauce according to the recipe and it was delicious!"
"Excellent casserole! It's just me, so I was going to halve it, but then decided to share it with a friend and just made one casserole in a 9x13 pan. It was a big casserole!!!! More than filled the pan! I think next time, I will halve it and then bake it in a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Loved the flavor of the pesto!!"