This recipe goes out to all of you rad parents with kiddos heading back to school this week. You asked for quick and easy recipes in our recent reader survey here. And let me tell you, this one’s a keeper. If you were a child of the 80’s like me, you can even pop it in your Trapper Keeper to hold onto for busy school nights ahead. Ohhh yeah. Seeing all of the cute first-day-of-school kids pop on Facebook with new backpacks and lunch boxes has totally made me a nostalgic for those annual load-up-the-shopping-cart, try-to-convince-Mom-to-buy-us-new-everything, back-to-school supply shopping trips!
CHICKEN ALFREDO BAKED ZITI
Delicious chicken and ziti are tossed with a lighter alfredo sauce and baked up to cheesy perfection.
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINS PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME: 30 MINS
CHICKEN BAKED ZITI INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces ziti (or any pasta shape)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)
1 batch alfredo sauce (see below)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2% low fat)
(optional toppings: additional shredded Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley)
ALFREDO SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
*This isn’t a super-saucy dish, so if you like a lot of sauce, you might want to consider doubling this recipe. If you don’t have the time to make your own sauce, one standard-sized jar should be enough.
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN BAKED ZITI:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of well-salted boiling according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken and alfredo sauce. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Pour half of the pasta into a greased baking dish (either an oval baking dish, as pictured above, or a 9 x 13-inch baking dish will work). Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
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