Mouthwatering Ceasar Chicken Pasta Casserole Recipe
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Ceasar Chicken Pasta Casserole is one of those incredibly budget friendly meals that makes your mouth water at the same time it makes your pocketbook sing. With staple ingredients like pasta, a bottle of salad dressing, and a low cost meat like chicken, you simply can’t go wrong.
Why Ceasar Chicken Pasta Casserole?
If you pay attention to your local grocery store weekly sale fliers, you will notice a six to eight week selling cycle for a lot of basic pantry staples. Cereal, pasta, taco shells, even condiments like salad dressing are all at rock bottom prices every two months or so.
The budget savvy person knows to wait until those items are at the bottom of that selling cycle, at their lowest price, before adding them to the grocery list. If you can reduce the price further with coupons, even better! Regardless, you want to pick up enough of that item, at that low price, to tide you over until it is on deep discount again.
Salad dressing is one of my favorite bargains. You can use it for so many things! I use Thousand Island Dressing when I make my Tossed Taco Salad. Ranch dressing is the base for my Pea and Peanut Salad. Catalina dressing makes for a great crockpot chicken! And Caesar dressing? Makes for this amazing Ceasar chicken pasta casserole.
While Ceasar dressing is most often used on a Caesar salad, it adds just the right amoung of zip to this noodle dish. Most people know that a Caesar salad made is a green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons. They kind of have an idea that the dressing is made with lemon juice (or lime juice), olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. This was a showy salad, usually prepared tableside in supper clubs back in the day.
Does Caesar dressing contain fish still?
While that classic Caesar salad recipe I mentioned above did have anchovies both in the salad itself, and in its dressing, today you find the anchovy past more common. It gives it that nice zing of flavor, yet helps you avoid the crunchy bones, or over salty aftertaste.
Keep in mind: anchovies, like all oily fish, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which support cardiovascular and cognitive function. They are also rich in calcium, selenium and niacin. That actually gives you a subtle health boost!
How do you add chicken to pasta?
This is a question a lot of people ask, and with good reason. Chicken tends to dry out fairly easily, especially if you use the boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Marinating it in advance, plus adding it in at the end of a recipe, will prevent that tough and chewy problem.
Ceasar Chicken Pasta Casserole
You will need:
1/2 C prepared Caesar salad dressing
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
8 oz. sliced, mushrooms
1 C onion, diced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 C chicken broth
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 C Swiss cheese, grated
2 C fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 C fresh parsley, minced
1 lb angel hair pasta
Directions for Chicken Ceasar Pasta Cassserole:
In a large baking dish add your chicken breast and Casesar dressing. Let it marinate overnight.
When you are ready to cook your entree, start by cooking the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain off all the grease from the bacon, then dice the bacon into chunks.
Remove chicken from marinade and cook in bacon greased pan until well browned. Remove chicken from pan and place in a casserole dish.
Add butter, onions, and mushrooms in a medium-sized frying pan.
Cook until soft and caramelized.
Add your flour into the onions and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
Add the broth and cream into the onion and mushroom mixture, bring to
boil, constantly stirring. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, swiss cheese, and parsley to your
onion mixture and cook until melted. Pour over the chicken in the casserole dish. Dice your fresh tomatoes and place them on top of the chicken. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes.
Prepare your angel hair pasta as directed on the box. Remove chicken from the oven, add in the pasta. Toss to combine. Garnish with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.