Cajun Pasta

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  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Freeze: Up to 2 months
  • Stand: Thaw overnight

Cajun Pasta

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water until cool; drain again. In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, Cheesy Sauce, Shredded Chicken, frozen stir-fry vegetables, milk, tomato, Cajun seasoning, 2 cloves minced garlic, hot pepper sauce, and thyme. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart rectangular baking dish* or an 8x8x1 7/8-inch disposable foil baking pan.
  2. For crumb topping, in a food processor or blender combine panko, bacon, 1 clove garlic, and paprika. Cover and process or blend with on/off pulses until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle shredded cheese and crumb topping over pasta mixture. (To serve today, omit Step 3. Continue as directed in Step 4, except bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until heated through and golden.)
  3. Cover baking dish with foil. Place casserole in a resealable freezer bag. Seal and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight (casserole may still be a bit icy).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until heated through and golden. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

From the Test Kitchen

*Tip:

To avoid tying up the baking dish in the freezer for weeks, try this method. Line a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with a double layer of plastic wrap. Prepare the casserole using the lined dish and freeze overnight. When frozen, loosen edges with a narrow spatula and lift out the plastic wrap-lined food, place it in the freezer bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to thaw, remove the plastic wrap and return the food to the original baking dish. Thaw and bake as directed.

Shredded Chicken

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two 15x10x1-inch baking pans with foil.* Place chicken in the prepared baking pans. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. In a small bowl stir together salt, thyme, paprika, and pepper. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over chicken.
  2. Roast, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F). Remove from oven. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Using two forks, pull chicken apart into shreds.

Nutrition Facts (Shredded Chicken)

  • Per serving:
  • 168 kcal ,
  • 7 g fat
  • ( 2 g sat. fat ,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 3 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 121 mg chol. ,
  • 0 g carb. ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 25 g pro.

From the Test Kitchen

If you don't have two 15x10x1-inch baking pans, use a roasting pan for one of the pans, or cover and chill half of the chicken until the baking pan is available.

If you have any leftover Shredded Chicken, add it to quesadillas or chicken tortilla soup, or freeze for another time.

Cheesy Sauce

Directions

  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add onion and garlic; cook about 6 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk. Cook until mixture is thickened and bubbly, stirring frequently. Gradually add cheese blend, stirring until melted.

Nutrition Facts (Cheesy Sauce)

  • Per serving:
  • 126 kcal ,
  • 9 g fat
  • ( 6 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 30 mg chol. ,
  • 170 mg sodium ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 2 g sugar
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Nutrition Facts (Cajun Pasta)

  • Per serving:
  • 496 kcal ,
  • 25 g fat
  • (13 g sat. fat ,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 5 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 127 mg chol. ,
  • 641 mg sodium ,
  • 35 g carb. ,
  • 2 g fiber ,
  • 6 g sugar ,
  • 31 g pro.
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Reviews (1)

2 Ratings
1214 Days Ago
Plastic wrap to line a baking dish? Won't the plastic wrap melt in the oven? I've used parchment paper before, but, if plastic wrap will work, it's probably the cheaper option.

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