Prep 25 mins
Cook 20 mins
Adapted to our tastes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Delicious, and freezes wonderfully! I've included freezing instructions at the end. The preparation time can vary - I've seen comments on the original recipe where people took a full hour to assemble, but after making this a few times I've done it in about 25 minutes easily.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs broccoli florets
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
- 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 1⁄3 cups Ritz crackers, crushed (or 1 sleeve)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- During last 2 minutes, add broccoli to pot and blanch while pasta finishes cooking.
- Drain all and set aside.
- Wipe pot dry and add olive oil. Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
- Stir in flour to make a roux.
- Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to prevent lumps, and cook until thick.
- Add cream and bring to simmer to thicken.
- Add chicken and mozzarella and stir until cheese melts.
- Add pasta and broccoli, then stir to combine.
- Transfer to 9x13 baking dish.
- Toss crushed crackers with melted butter.
- Top casserole with cracker crumbs.
- Bake about 20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.
- To freeze: assemble casserole but do NOT top with cracker crumbs. Wrap for freezing, label, then tape cracker crumbs (in a plastic bag) to the outside of the package. Freeze. When ready to bake, thaw, top with crumbs, and bake at 400 for approximately 30 minutes.