Recipe by PSU Lioness
This recipe is a nice change of pace from the typical pasta with meat, cheese and tomato sauce routine. It is reminiscent of macaroni and cheese but the pesto definitely offers more depth than the traditional version. All three of my kids (including my 2 year-old) cleaned their plates and that is a feat in itself! Serve with a side salad to get your veggies! (This is my adopted and revised version of Pesto Chicken Mostaccioli. I changed so many things, including halving the recipe to feed my family of five, that I figured a new recipe post was in order.)
- 8 ounces penne pasta (we used whole grain)
- 2 (8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt (or fat free sour cream)
- 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup prepared pesto sauce
- 1⁄3 cup fat-free half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (you can sub sprinkle Parmesan but it's not as good)
Directions See How It's Made
- Cook penne according to package instructions.
- While penne is cooking, heat a large skillet over Medium-High heat.
- Add chicken, onion flakes, garlic powder and seasoned salt and cook until chicken juices run clear or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
- Drain pasta and add chicken to the pasta pot. Gently toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, pesto, half and half and shredded Parmesan. Mix well.
- Pour pesto mixture into the pot with chicken and pasta. Stir gently until well coated.
- Pour mixture into a 7x11 glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup cheese over the penne mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly.
- Turn oven to broil and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Watch it carefully because it can burn easily!