Friday, November 30, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

With the cooler weather here to stay I am always looking for new "cold weather" meals.  The grill is packed away (sad!!!) and the oven is working full gear.  P.S. I love using the oven cuz it not only delivers yummy food but it also helps heat my house.  And let's face it, there are some meals that just taste better in the winter.  Not many of us want to eat chili in the middle of July.  Not in Michigan anyway.  Casseroles are one of the meals I consider "cold weather" meals.  I am a big fan of casseroles!  I also like to have quite a few good casserole recipes on hand for when I need to bring a meal to someone.  This recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is perfect for that!  I brought it to a friend this week and she suggested I put the recipe on my blog.  Here it is...

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 lb pasta (I prefer penne)
1 1/2 Cups cooked and cubed chicken
1 Cup cooked and cubed ham
1 1/2 Cups milk
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 Cups swiss cheese shredded
Cayenne pepper
1 Cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350*.  Cook pasta till al dente.  (The first time I made this I used penne and the second time I used cavatapi.  I prefer penne.  The cavatapi was too big for my 9x13!)  While pasta is cooking combine milk, softened cream cheese and onion in small sauce pan.  Cook, stirring often until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in a dash of cayenne pepper and swiss cheese.  When pasta is cooked, toss in the chicken and ham.  Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.  Transfer to 9x13.  Top with bread crumbs and pour on melted butter.  Bake for 30 minutes.  ENJOY!!
*this recipe is adapted from

I have found an inexpensive and super easy way to cook chicken breast.  With all these yummy casseroles I have pined on Pinterest I decided I was going to cook a bunch of chicken and freeze it for when I am ready.  This makes dinner super easy and fast!!!  I found split breasts on sale at my grocery store for $1.49/lb.  The boneless skinless breasts were $1.99/lb.  The savings doesn't seem big but when you add it up each shopping trip.... $$$$$  To cook the chicken I placed 4 breasts in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (My Fav!!!).  I lightly seasoned the skin with salt, pepper and season salt.  I covered the baker and baked chicken at 350* for 3 hours.  I let it cool in the baker for about 30 min. and let all the juices soak in.  I then used a tongs to take the bones out and skin off (they literally fell off) and used the same tongs to shred the chicken.  Done!  Easy!!  Two chicken breasts were used for dinner and 2 were frozen for the next casserole. 

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