We are gearing up for our annual trip to the beach and I am so excited! To have all of our kids and grandkids under one roof for seven nights is so much fun! Add the sun and sand and ocean and it is a perfect combo!
When we went with adult children, we loved cooking together and having long, relaxing meals, lingering over the table…but…add seven children 11 and under to the mix and the scenerio changes just a little bit. Nobody wants to cook and mealtime needs to be as simple as possible.
My very favorite time to be at the beach is sunset. If we take our food in the form of casseroles that can be stuck in the oven and warmed up while we take in those last rays of sunshine and long relaxing walks on the sandbars, it is a win, win!
I was looking for an Italian casserole that included penne pasta and chicken and found this. I tried it out this week and oh my goodness! It is a hit! So I have one down and a few to go. We don’t eat casseroles all week, we cook out some and have our annual Shrimpfest, but those nights when dinner is already done are my favorites!
So, here it is! Enjoy!
- 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
- 6 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
- 1½ cups 2%milk
- 1 jar (8.1 ounce) pesto
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions. meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk and pesto. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture, toss to coat.
- Transfer to a greased 4 quart baking dish. In small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil. Sprinkle over casserole.
- Cover and freeze casserole for up to 3 months. If serving, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly.
- To bake frozen casserole, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 12