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Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe
Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe

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5 75
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Creamy, flavorful and so easy to fix, this meal-in-one will wow family and friends. Get ready for recipe requests for this easy chicken casserole! —Laura Kayser, Ankeny, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cups equals 612 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 111 mg cholesterol, 829 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 42 g protein.

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Transfer to two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil; sprinkle over casseroles.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
Originally published as Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles in Simple & Delicious May 2010, p59

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cups equals 612 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 111 mg cholesterol, 829 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 42 g protein.

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

Reviews for Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles

AVERAGE RATING
   (93)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (82)
4 Star
 (8)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (2)
1 Star
 (1)
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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2015

"A delicious recipe! I used bow tie pasta instead of penne to have a cuter look lol! I will for sure be making this again!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 10, 2015

"This was really good and so quick to make. I didn't have crushed tomatoes so I used a 14 1/2 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes and that worked fine. We eat small portions so this made 3 8-x-8 casseroles for us. I lined my casserole with plastic wrap, a sheet going in each direction and extending beyond the sides, filled the casserole and then brought the extended pieces up to wrap the casserole ingredients. Finally, I wrapped it all in aluminum foil and labeled it for the freezer. To prepare, unwrap it and put it in a casserole the night before it is to be served and thaw in the fridge overnight. It takes up less room in the freezer and frees the casserole to use in the meantime."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2015

"This was easy to make and very tasty. All of the ingredients are readily available unlike some other recipes that I have tried. I didn't have 2% milk, so I used 1% and it turned out fine. Love that the recipe includes another night's meal. I did have to cook it longer than stated, and took the cover off for the last 10 minutes hoping to crisp up the breadcrumbs which didn't happen. This was the only thing about the recipe that I didn't like as they were somewhat soggy. I might try mixing the breadcrumbs with butter next time to see if that will help."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2015

"This is my husband's absolute favorite dish that I make! What makes this recipe even better is that it makes 2 casseroles so that you can freeze one and have it later and it still tastes just as good. Amazing recipe!!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2014

"It was very tasty but I added onion for more flavor. I used homemade pesto and to save time I used canned chicken. I like that it makes a double batch that you can freeze. I divided it and froze three 2 serving portions."

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