leftover bbq chook?| chicken pasta bake

Sunday night at home. A pasta bake bubbling away in the oven; girls in their jarmies; glass of rose in hand; my first ever sourdough loaf proofing and the new season of Homeland out on Netflix! Life is good.

This humble recipe stems from The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook and makes a regular appearance in Nee’s kitchen in Boorowa. It can easily be thrown together if you have some leftover barbecue chook in the fridge, or simply replace the chicken with a tin of tuna.

It is brilliant served with a big, leafy, green salad and a cold glass of wine. It’s filling, comforting and there might even be some leftovers to take to work tomorrow! (If you’re lucky).

I make a different pasta bake using a homemade white sauce, which is delicious. To be honest with you, I never really liked the idea of using a tin of soup. In saying that though, the use of the soup means that it is even quicker and easier to cook. Perfect for those nights when you’re exhausted after a busy day and don’t feel like being in the kitchen for long.

I know it’s heavy on the carbs, (the crunchy topping is the best part!) but there are plenty of veggies hidden in there (feels good knowing that the kids are getting part of their 5 a day) and served with a salad means that it’s a lot healthier then ordering takeaway.

easy peasy chicken pasta bake (serves 2 ravenous adults, 2 hungry kiddies + (hopefully) some leftovers

400 grams of spiral pasta
1 tin of Cream of chicken soup, or Cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen peas
I large carrot, diced
I tin of corn
1 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup of broccoli, chopped in to small florets
1 capsicum, diced (or 1/2 a yellow and 1/2 a red capsicum)
Fresh parsley (if you have it) or otherwise, dried parsley is fine
1-2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup of grated cheese (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (I usually like to make fresh breadcrumbs but store-bought crumbs are fine here)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Boil the kettle, for the pasta to cook in.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. (Be careful not to cook the pasta for too long. You want to take it off the heat and strain the pasta just before it is ready as it will continue to cook in the oven). Make sure you reserve some of the pasta water in a mug as you will need this to loosen up the sauce.
  • In a fry pan, heat a little bit of olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften.
  • Add the capsicum, carrot, broccoli, peas and corn and cook until softened. You may want to add a little bit of the pasta water to help speed up the cooking process. (I have a soup ladle on hand for this). 
  • Once the veggies are well on their way to being cooked, add the tin soup, milk, parsley, chicken and season with salt and a good amount of freshly cracked pepper. Stir.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
  • Strain the pasta once ready and put it back in to the saucepan that it was cooked in. Transfer the contents of the fry pan to the pasta and stir to combine. Add a dash of pasta water to loosen up the sauce and add the grated cheese.
  • Spoon in to a shallow, oven proof casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs and leftover grated cheese on top.
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the top and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden on top.

Serve with a salad of leafy greens, cucumber, tomatoes and Spanish onion.

Lo’s tips

  • This pasta bake can also be made with tuna instead of chicken. If you are using tuna, I would use the Cream of mushroom soup instead of the Cream of chicken.
  • If you want to make a larger casserole (using more pasta) you should use two tins of soup or add a cup of cream so that the casserole is moist. You don’t want it to be dried out on the inside.

Now, off to watch Netflix!

If you cook this meal, I’d love for you to post a pic on Instagram and tag #los_kitchen.

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