Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
This recipe comes from Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals. This actually turned out to be a much lighter version of a family favorite that used a whole stick of butter! Comfort type food that can be made ahead for a quick meal! You can use leftover chicken or purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local deli. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup roasted red peppers which we omitted for family preference. Mushrooms would be a nice addition!
- 1 (16 ounce) package thin spaghetti or 1 (16 ounce) package vermicelli
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen green pea
- 32 ounces cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (4 cups)
- 12 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1.5 cups)
- Break pasta into 3 or 4 inch pieces. Cook according to package directions.
- In a large non-stick pot coated with non-stick cooking spray, saute the green pepper, onion and garlic until tender.
- Mix in the flour.
- Add the tomatoes, milk, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. stir until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
- Lower the heat mix in the green peas, mixing well.
- Add the pasta, cheese, chicken. Mix well and heat through. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish (we used a 9x13) coated with non stick cooking spray.
- TO PREPARE AND EAT NOW: Preheat oven to 350°F Bake for 20 minutes. It's ready when it's bubbly.
- TO FREEZE: Do not bake before freezing. Cool to room temperature, wrap, label and freeze.
- TO PREPARE AFTER FREEZING: Remove from freezer to defrost fully. Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350°F oven which has been preheated.
I made this last night and split it between two 8 X 8 pans. We ate one last night and I froze the other for a late work night. DH will just have to pull it out and bake. DH does not usually like "healthy" dishes that contain veggies, but this one he likes! He went back for seconds so I know it is a keeper. I used whole wheat spaghetti and threw in a handful of shredded carrots otherwise I prepared it just as stated. I will definately make it again.
I just finished making this and now, I have 2 casseroles tucked in the freezer. I used full fat cheese(all I had), and added a tablespoon of canola oil to saute the vegetables in. I was a little worried about the tomatoes and milk curdling but, the sauce came together smoothly! I am looking forward to pulling this out and popping it into the oven on a night when I'm too tired to cook !!!