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Monday, November 7, 2011

Recipe for Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta. Secret Recipe Club!

It's that time again!  I'm really enjoying the opportunity to participate in the Secret Recipe Club.  It is a collection of bloggers who secretly pick a recipe from another's blog and cook and post about it.  Not only is it fun to spook around on someone else's blog but it is also a treat to see who had your blog for the month and what they picked to cook.

This month my assigned blog was The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch authored by Shelby, a wife and a mom to two grown boys, Justin and Christopher. Now, coincidence or what?  I'm a wife and a mom to two grown boys, Justin and Christopher.  Okay, Shelby lives in NY and I live in Maui, so not everything is spookily the same but, I'm just sayin'! 

Shelby has some awesome recipes on her site.  Like I've been into an Indian kick lately, she's been into an Asian one.  I definitely have plans to try her honey and sesame chicken some time soon but for today I chose her cheesy chicken penne pasta.

Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

·         8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
·         1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
·         1 TBSP olive oil
·         Salt and pepper
·         1 shallot, chopped
·         1 clove garlic, chopped
·         1 cup organic vegetable broth
·         ¾ cup fat free half and half
·         6 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded, divided
·         1 cup frozen English peas
·         1/3 cup homemade breadcrumbs
·         Cooking spray

·         Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
·         Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
·         Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and when hot, add chicken that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
·         Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes, until browned.
·         Add in shallot and garlic and lower heat to medium and cook 5 additional minutes.
·         Add broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
·         Add half and half and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
·         Stir in 5 oz. of the cheese and cook until melted.
·         Stir in peas and drained pasta.
·         Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and add pasta/chicken mixture.
·         Top with breadcrumbs and then remaining cheese.
·         Bake for 25 minutes or until top has browned and casserole is bubbly.

I made very few changes to the original recipe, which Shelby adapted from another blogger (isn't recipe blogging great!), the main one being using fat free half and half instead of heavy cream.  We really enjoyed this casserole!  I used 365 Organic Whole Wheat Penne which we find to be very tasty and with none of that cardboard taste some whole wheat pasta has (unsponsored). 

If you wanted to make this a bit more decadent, I think adding in some bacon would be amazing and make it reminiscent of a carbonara.  Enjoy!

Printable recipe