Baked Mozzarella Chicken Pasta

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Pasta

YIELDS: 8 Servings PREP TIME: 15 mins COOK TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 35 mins

2 cups penne pasta
2 cups chicken cooked and cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 package frozen spinach, thawed OR 3 cups fresh spinach
2 cups milk (skim, whole, or almond)
3 tbsp flour
1 cup pesto (see recipe below if you want to make your own)
1 cup shredded mozzarella OR fresh buffalo mozzarella, pinched into small pieces
Homemade Pesto
3 cups fresh basil
3 tbsp pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
⅔ cup grated parmesan
⅔ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Tools
Large pot 
Large skillet 
Blender 
Casserole dish 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the penne pasta until al dente.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until softened.
  4. Add the cooked chicken, mushrooms, spinach, milk, flour, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and stir until thickened.
  5. Add the pesto and cooked pasta. Stir until well combined then transfer everything to a casserole dish.
  6. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
  7. For the homemade pesto, combine everything except the olive oil in a food processor or blender.
  8. Blend until mixed and smooth.
  9. With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until just combined (you don't want it to be soupy).