Dinner’s easy and delicious when this amazing Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole is on the menu. It’s amazing.
We brought home a new puppy last week. She’s a bitsy little thing that’ll probably never get bigger than our cat, even when she’s full grown.
Even so, that tiny body is stuffed full with a massive amount of personality and energy. Polly approaches life with intense curiosity and at a full run. It puts her underfoot and in the way a majority of the time, and when the fact that she’s not even close to house trained yet is added to the equation, my life just got a whole lot more hectic.
Pulling together a decent supper after a long day is already an impressive feat, but doing so with a miniature dog ping ponging around my ankles seems to double the work.
Enter this casserole; this easy, quick wonderful casserole.
I know there are purists out there who will poo-poo the fact that the prep work for this dish involves opening jars and packages instead of chopping and shredding, but I’m totally down with that. Word. If you’d rather make your own Alfredo sauce, pesto and cooked chicken, have at it. Personally, I’d rather pour a glass of wine, lean against the clean sink and enjoy the free time that not doing all that gives me.
So, I opened my jars and packages, shredded my chicken and mixed stuff together; Alfredo and broth, spinach and pesto. A bit of Alfredo went in the baking dish, as did half of the spinach. After stirring together the chicken, pasta and remaining Alfredo, I layered it with the spinach and put the casserole in the oven. A few minutes before serving, I topped it with cheese and baked it until melty.
Three cheers for comfort food! The casserole was delicious. Using the pesto infused the pasta with garlic and basil (swoon), which was perfect with the Alfredo and chicken.
That being said, before I put the dish in the oven, I knew it was going to be dry. There were two reasons for that. First, a jar of Alfredo plus a quarter cup of broth would get completely absorbed by the pasta because pasta sucks up liquid. That’s what it does. Second, the pan wasn’t covered before being put in the oven so moisture evaporated with the heat.
It was dry and the top was a bit crunchy (the cheese hid it, but the pasta on top browned). To put creaminess back into the Alfredo, I grabbed a container of heavy cream and poured about a half cup around the edges so it would seep down and into the whole casserole. I let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so the heat would thicken it, and served it up. It was creamy and fantastic.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I would either use two jars of Alfredo or add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream to the Alfredo and chicken broth mixture.
Baby spinach: $3.99
Refrigerated pesto: $4.79
Alfredo sauce: $3.99
Penne pasta: $1.25
Rotisserie chicken: $7.99
Mozzarella cheese: $2.00
Fresh basil: $2.49
Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole Recipe
- 1 (6 oz.) package fresh baby spinach, chopped
- ⅓ cup refrigerated pesto sauce
- 1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 12 ounces uncooked penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 2½ cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- 4 ounces pre-shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss together spinach and pesto in a medium bowl.
- Stir together Alfredo sauce and chicken broth in another bowl. Spread one-third of Alfredo mixture (about ½ cup) into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Top with half of spinach mixture.
- Stir together cooked pasta, chicken, and remaining Alfredo mixture; spoon half of chicken mixture over spinach mixture. Repeat layers once with remaining spinach mixture and chicken mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven, and bake until hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Top with basil and paprika.