My sister is still going strong with her vegetarian lifestyle which is starting to become a real challenge for me. I’m not a veggie lover and for me the more meat in a meal the better. I love that her new lifestyle choice has made me step outside my comfort zone and try different recipes. With this baked ziti I was able to split the casserole between two dishes adding the chicken
Ingredients: (*Optional-skip if making vegetarian)
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts*
- 2 T. Olive Oil*
- 2 T. Butter*
- 1 t. Garlic Powder*
- 1 t. Onion Powder*
- 1 t. Kosher Salt*
- 1 t. Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Bunch Asparagus (tips only)
- 1/2 C. Frozen Peas
- 4-6 oz. Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 2 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (separated into 1 C. measurements)
- 1/2 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1 T. Butter
- 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 Roasted Red Peppers (diced)
- 4 T. Flour
- 1/2 t. Onion Powder
- 1/2 t. Garlic Powder
- 2 t. Cajun Seasoning
- 1 1/2 C. Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 C. Skim Milk
- 1 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Kosher Salt
Prepare chicken first:
- Butterfly chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan.
- Add in seasonings.
- Add in chicken and cook for about 5-7 min until golden brown.
Prepare your pasta and Veggies:
- Cook Pasta noodles al dente according to box instructions, strain then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Steam your asparagus and mushrooms for about 5-7 min until tender.
- Use cooking spray to grease a deep casserole dish and set aside.
Next Make your sauce:
- Heat Olive Oil and butter in a large dutch oven.
- Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min).
- Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until a past forms.
- While continue to whisk add in broth, milk and peppers.
- Add in garlic and onion powder.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Mix in parmesan and mozzarella cheese and continue to stir until thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Bring it all together:
- In dutch oven stir in noodles and chicken until coated with sauce.
- Add in frozen peas, asparagus and mushrooms and stir until combined.
- Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of the greased casserole dish.
- Top first layer of noodles with one cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Pour remaining half of mixture on top of the cheese layer.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake uncovered for about 20 min.
- Turn on broiler to give the cheese a golden brown crust, only cook for a min or two until golden.
inspired by: www.gimmesomeoven.com
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