Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti (Or What To Do With Leftover Pasta)

Here's an easy weeknight dish that can be prepared ahead of time or doubled and shared with a friend. It was inspired by something I saw in Southern Living a while back (you just can't go wrong with SL!). I did not use the broccoli, but I did use the mushrooms. We are hard-core mushroom lovers in this family.

Serve this casserole with a salad (or roasted green beans, as was our case) and some rolls and you are set.

You can cover and refrigerate the casserole overnight, and sprinkle with cheese before baking. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly.
1/2 package of uncooked spaghetti (yes, you may go whole-grain)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)
1-2 cups broccoli, cooked (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes, un-drained (and chopped if using stewed)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided (I used a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Mozzarella, and a small amount of Cheddar)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (frozen is fine as long as you thaw it)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic (and mushrooms, if using); sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, seasoning, and salt; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes--adding broccoli during the last 2-3 minutes, if using. Stir in 1 cup cheese, cooked spaghetti, and chicken. Continue to cook until heated through.

Spoon into a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray (I used an 8x8 dish).

Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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