Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lighter Creamy Chicken and Pasta Bake

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Chris' company takes all of its employees on a tropical vacation every January. Their CEO sets a sales goal (more than likely it's very attainable), so it motivates everyone to work extra hard during the year. They've gone countless places, and for this year's trip to Jamaica I was finally invited! I guess getting married has its perks! Not only did we get to stay at an all-inclusive resort with three pools, swim-up bars and tons of activities, but they also chartered a plane so we didn't have to worry about lines, losing our baggage or sitting next to strangers. Talk about company benefits!
We both tried to eat as healthy as we could a few weeks prior to the trip, but with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years standing in our way, it was a difficult feat. The two weeks prior to the trip, we ate limited carbs and worked out almost every day, so you better believe we went all-out during the vacation! I'm just happy to come home to pasta, potatoes and rice. I've missed them. And this Chicken and Pasta Bake is just the thing to welcome us home. It's creamy and filled with tons of protein and veggies (and carbs!), but it's still light enough to not feel too guilty. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 12 oz. small pasta (fusilli works great)
  • 2 tbsp. light butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp. light butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9" pan and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tbsp. butter and add onions. Cook until they begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add chicken pieces and season with garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is done.

Add broccoli, peas and corn. Add cream of chicken, milk and sour cream. Stir to combine.

Add the drained pasta and toss. Sprinkle the Mexican blend cheese over top and stir until just combined. Pour into the greased pan.

Combine the 1 tbsp. melted butter, panko and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top begins to brown. Enjoy!

Source: SK Original

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