I don’t know about you, but I love a good Alfredo. It’s rich, it’s definitely not good for you, but it’s oh so yummy. And why shouldn’t we love it? It has all the goodness of butter, cream and Parmesan. Creamy. Cheesy. Yummy. So today we’re taking good old Alfredo sauce and making a chicken pasta bake. And we’ll add more cheese plus other stuff to make a great fall casserole.
So if you’re wanting cheese, I’ve got your back. This makes a HUGE serving to go around and it heats up well. It’ll make that wet squishy sound when you mix it all up, a sign of tons of creamy cheesy power. It’ll give you long strands of cheese when you dish a serving. The kind that you’ll want to run your finger along to break. And it’ll satisfy your cheese craving.
I took tons of stringy cheesy shots just to show you. Because proof of stringy cheese is absolutely necessary.
The great thing about this is how you can customize it to save you time. I made the Alfredo sauce from scratch but you can use store-bought sauce. If you don’t like poached chicken, grill it. Or buy some rotisserie chicken and chop it up. And you can practically use any kind of pasta you want. I used penne but there’s ziti and rigatoni.
One thing I did make sure of was to cook the pasta until the point just before it turns al dente. Then I rinsed it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Because if it continues cooking in the cheese sauce in the oven, it’ll get slightly mushy. I’m not a big fan of mushy pasta so I finish off the al dente process in the oven. Works for me. If you don’t mind or even like mushy stuff (and I’m not talking about romance), then keep on cooking that pasta until it’s al dente. The rest of you can join me in my anti-mush club.
Another thing I want to kind of throw in here is that there’s a lot of ricotta to go around, as you can see. So if you’re not big on it, you can halve the ricotta and egg portion before mixing it in with everything. Some people like it, some people don’t. Whatever you prefer!
The last time I made a casserole with tons of cheese was last year. My chicken, spinach and mushroom pasta bake is still rocking it. The sad thing about it? I was still using my iPhone back then to take pics. And I didn’t have all the gadgets and gizmos I have now to take a good stringy cheese shot. So this year, I made up for it.
Here’s another stringy cheese shot for you just because I can.
So really, if there’s just the two of you and you want a meal for days, this one’s for you. Or if you’re a family of four and you want something for two days, here you go. And if you have a huge family, have at it. This can serve up to ten servings. The cheese is not stingy!
- 16 oz. penne/ziti/rigatoni pasta
- 2 cups Alfredo sauce
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 3 cups poached/grilled/rotisserie chicken, cubed
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cook the pasta till just before al dente
- Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process
- If you're making Alfredo sauce from scratch, see notes
- Mix pasta with the Alfredo sauce, sour cream and chicken
- Combine ricotta, garlic, eggs, Parmesan and parsley and mix throughly
- Season the pasta mix with salt and pepper to taste
- Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta and stir to combine
- Top with a thick layer of mozzarella cheese
- Bake in a 9x13 casserole dish at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly
- Broil at 450 degrees F for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown
- Serve hot
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Over medium low heat, melt the butter and pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Add the Parmesan cheese in portions and stir to mix
Inspired by Plain Chicken