Recipe Exploration: Chicken and Veggie Casserole
I love casseroles. No. I don’t think you understand. I looooooooooove casseroles. I love them so much I would marry them if it was legal. I’m lobbying for it so fingers crossed.
But the main problem with casseroles and my weight loss plan is that a normal casserole’s calorie content would equal two meals for me so I’ve been avoiding them with sadness.
It took me six months to realize, I should Google healthy casseroles. What is wrong with me! So I went on a quest. It took one minute. Success! \
I modified the original recipe a bit as you can do with this. Casseroles are very forgiving in substitution which makes them wonderful yet again. I listed the recipe exactly as I prepared. Feel free to be creative. Let me know your favorite modifications!
Chicken Veggie Casserole
Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to cook: 20 (15 if you break it up into separate containers)
Number of Servings: 6
Nutrition (per serving)
- 2 tablespoon margarine
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon dry parmesan cheese
- 7 oz whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 tablespooon oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves of garlic if you use fresh)
- 4 1/2 ounce can of mushrooms
- 12 oz good quality canned chicken (Canned works great for casseroles, I’ve found. If you use fresh, chop it.)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Tony’s Chachere’s Spicy seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)*
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)*
- whipped cream cheese**
- 3 slices pepperjack cheese *
- 3 stalks green onions chopped
- nonstick cooking spray
*If you aren’t a fan of spicy things, omit or lower the amount of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes and replace the pepperjack with a different kind of cheese. Also because I used three small containers, you might need more pepperjack cheese to cover the top.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Start preparing the sauce by melting the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the butter foams up (it won’t take long), add the flower. Stir immediately and continuously for 1 minute.
- Add milk and parmesan cheese and continue to stir until it starts to bubble.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Add a handful of salt and a tablespoon of oil to the water. Drain.
- In a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of oil and heat to medium heat.
- Add in garlic and onions and saute for 1 minute.
- Add in peppers and saute for another minute.
- Add in canned mushrooms and canned chicken. Stir until mixture is heated up.
- Turn down to low heat.
- Add pepper, italian seasoning, Tony’s seasoning, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes to white sauce while stirring continuously.
- If the mixture is too thin, use whipped cream to thicken it. I ended up using 1 tablespoon 1/3 less fat Italian seasoned whipped cream cheese.
- When all spices are incorporated, pour sauce into chicken mixture stir well.
- Add in pasta until all pasta is covered.
- Spray a 9 x 13 oven proof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used three small crocks.) Pour pasta into dish.
- Bake for 20 min (lower time for smaller containers), adding the cheese during the last few minutes until melted.
- Add green onion on top of cheese