I came up with this recipe out of ingredients I had on hand when I didn't want to go to the store, but wanted something warm and comforting for dinner. The recipe is easy to make and is a one dish meal; all you need to add is a green salad or fruit salad for a hearty meal.
You could substitute cooked shrimp, cooked chopped ham, or even leftover cooked roast beef for the chicken if you'd like. And instead of the peas, use chopped bell peppers, broccoli florets, or even carrots that have been cooked until crisp-tender.
This is also a great make-ahead recipe. Make the entire recipe but don't bake it. Cool it completely in the refrigerator, then refrigerate up to 24 hours, or freeze it up to 3 months. Bake straight from the fridge if it's just chilled, adding about 10-15 minutes to the baking time. If you freeze it, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake. Enjoy every bite.
- 1 1/2 packages gemelli pasta
- 1 package/16 ounces peas (frozen)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 cups chicken (cooked, chopped or shredded)
- 1 jar/16 ounces Alfredo sauce
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup honey dijon salad dressing
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon thyme (dried leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups provolone (shredded; or fontina cheese)
- 1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese (cubed; or Havarti cheese)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cook the pasta until almost al dente (it will cook more in the sauce as the recipe bakes in the oven). Drain the pasta over the peas that you have placed in a colander, and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and heat through.
Add the Alfredo sauce and milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Then add the salad dressing, mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, and shredded cheese. Cook over medium heat until the cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the cooked and drained pasta and the peas. Then fold in the cubed cheese.
Pour the mixture into a 13" x 9" glass baking dish and top with the Parmesan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the top starts to brown.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||41 g|
|Saturated Fat||19 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||11 g|