Ham, cheeses, and artichokes add flavor and interest to this hearty chicken and pasta casserole. Use bowties, rotini, or macaroni in this tasty dish. Serve this pasta bake with crusty rolls or French bread for a delicious family meal.
- 8 ounces mini farfalle pasta (Alternatively use bow ties or similar pasta)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 pound chicken breasts or chicken tenders (cut into small pieces)
- 4 to 6 ounces ham (diced)
- 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (or seasoned salt)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk or part chicken broth
- 1 can (approx. 15 ounces) artichokes (drained and coarsely chopped)
- 2 to 3 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup, divided)
- 8 ounces shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups, divided)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
Heat oven to 350 F.
Grease a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish.
Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and celery until onion is just tender. Add chicken and diced ham and Creole seasoning. Saute, stirring, until chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in the milk and continue cooking, stirring, until thickened.
Stir in the artichokes, about half of the Parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of the Cheddar cheese. Stir in parsley, if using. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the chicken and ham mixture, then combine with the drained pasta.
Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses.
Combine the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter; toss to blend well. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden-brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately.