Sunday, July 10, 2011

3-Cheese Chicken and Bacon Pasta

So as I was sitting here, 30 minutes before I wanted to start making dinner and I had no clue what I wanted to make. Usually I have a list of dinners that I want to do for the next few weeks and somehow that list disappeared and I couldn't remember a single thing on it, except what I did for dinner last night. I go to thinking....what do I have? what doesn't require me to use too many brain cells because I am more than ready for a nap right now? what will my kids and hubby eat? Then I remembered I had a half a package of bacon and 2 half blocks of cheese. hmmm...what can I do with that? So here's what I did:

1 lb chicken
12 oz. elbow macaroni
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded
4-6 oz cheddar (I wasn't quite sure how much of the block was left), shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded (I used the Kraft stuff instead of fresh)
8 oz. sour cream
1/4-1/2 c half and half (depends on how creamy or thick you want it, can use milk as well)
1 orange pepper, diced (any color you want, orange is just what i had on hand)
2 tbsp. dried minced onions (or half an onion minced)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 sm. can green chilies
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
bread crumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook your chicken and shred. I like to cook mine in a little bit of water (about half covering the chicken) and a chicken bouillon cube. When chicken is done, drain water, toss in the peppers and onions and saute for a few minutes until peppers are soft. Set aside. In a bowl combine the cheeses, basil, bacon, chilies, sour cream. When pasta is finished, drain, and while it's still hot, add to bowl of cheese. Add in half and half until desired thickness. You don't want it really dry or overly soupy, but a little liquid is perfect. Stir in chicken mix. Put all of it in a baking dish. I used a 7x 11 dish (2 qt). Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

The family loved it! I think every plate was scrapped clean and we usually have to fight with the kids to finish. This is a lot like mac and cheese, with a bit of a kick and twist. I think this will replace my usual homemade mac and cheese. But be warned....this is definitely not diet food =)

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