Hello, fellow chicken cheesy delicious tasters! I’ve been asked for this recipe below by the wholly awesome Dr. Westman, along with friends awhile back. Why the wait? I wanted to, as per usual, perfect it before sharing. I get seriously creepy persnickety when I know I’m sharing with friends.
For starters, I am a fan of the penne pasta (pictured above), but it doesn’t cook through as easily as the corkscrew pasta I recommend for this dish (you can still use the penne, but be sure to definitely and thoroughly stir the dish part way through to ensure the noodles cook through).
We absolutely love this dish and eat it often. In fact, I usually have to literally double the dish in a huge casserole pan or it’s gone the first day. Adding to the home lovin’, it’s perfect to take to banquets. No one will ever suspect it’s not the usual high-carb meal. You’re a cooking Ninja!
If you want to go gluten free, sub out noodles for your favorite veggies (I’m thinking cauliflower florets and broccoli).If you’d like to cut back on the dairy, you can check out subbing part (or all) of the cream with coconut milk or almond milk.
Don’t have six cheeses, or you’re not feeling as hard-core as your friends at Your Lighter Side? No worries! You can use less cheese. Just aim for the 3 cups. Hint: You can use marscapone or cream cheese as one of your cheese choices, too). No matter what, when you make this dish, you are automatically inducted into my Wisconsin family.
Gourmet Six Cheese Chicken Casserole
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 box uncooked Dreamfield’s rotini pasta
6 prepared slices of bacon, chopped coarsely
¼ cup fresh, chopped, chives (or green onions)
¼ cup minced purple onion
½ cup roasted (or fresh) red peppers, chopped fine (about a jar)
2 cups heavy white cream
½ cup organic chicken broth
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley leaves
4 cups shredded cheese:
½ cup cheddar
1 cup chopped aged (sharp) cheddar or feta cheese
¾ cup mozzarella
½ cup feta
1 cup shredded Parmesan, set aside ¼ cup
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (the canned kind)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Toss cubed chicken, bacon, roasted red pepper, chives and uncooked noodles in an ungreased casserole pan (9X13). Set aside.
3. Melt butter over medium heat on the stove in a 4 quart saucepan.
4. Add onion to the sizzling butter and cook until transparent, about 3-5 minutes. (If you go for the powders in lieu of onion and garlic, add powders to the cream along with the other spices and skip steps 4 and 5.)
5. Add garlic and cook for no more than a minute.
6. Add heavy white cream, chicken broth, salt, pepper, parsley and any other spices to the saucepan and stir until heated throughout, about 5-7 minutes.
7. Stir in cheddars, mozzarella, sharp cheese (feta) cheese and 3/4 cup of the shredded Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly melted, about 5-7 more minutes.
8. Pour cream mixture over chicken mixture in the bowl and toss to coat chicken mixture evenly. Por mixture into the pan and lightly stir to incorporate the chicken broth.
9. Bake, covered, in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes to make sure all noodles are coated evenly.
10. Mix grated canned Parmesan cheese with remaining shredded Parmesan in a small mixing bowl, toss. Set aside.
11. Remove from oven and stir one more time to coat noodles. In a small bowl, toss remaining ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese with grated Parmesan cheese and chives. Sprinkle over casserole and return to oven, uncovered, for up to 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden.
Serve warm. This recipe can be frozen, doubled, and served the next day/reheated. If you do freeze or prepare ahead, be sure to add the noodles right before baking, as the low carb noodle matrix is only intact for the first baking of the product. Don’t worry–your family will eat it and none will be left for leftovers anyway.