Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti

I recommend putting a baking sheet under this as mine OBVIOUSLY bubbled over :)

I work a weird schedule. I alternate between working 6am-2pm one day to 10 am - 6pm the next. On the days I get out at 2 pm, I try to make ahead a meal for the following day when I get out at 6pm so we can actually eat at a decent hour, instead of 9 pm. I am always looking for meals that can be made ahead or frozen. When reading the Pioneer Woman's post for Chicken Spaghetti, she talked about it freezing well, so I assumed I could just make it a day ahead as well.

I was right! My inlaws were watching the little munchkin one day and I wanted to have a home cooked meal to thank them for watching her.... but I wouldn't be there to bake it! So I made it the day ahead and left my mother-in-law instructions for getting it in the oven. It turned out great! I even made a special little dish of it for my father-in-law who doesn't like onions or peppers (although I wouldn't RECOMMEND that, as that takes out a lot of the vitamins and minerals of the dish!).

As prepared by the Pioneer Woman, this recipe provides:
391 calories
19.5 g fat
27.2 g carbohydrate
1.6 g fiber
26.2 g protein

I made just a few little changes to the recipe. First, I substituted whole wheat thin spaghetti for the regular spaghetti. Second, I doubled the amount of green pepper and onion to make it a little more vegetable-heavy. Lastly, I substituted 2% cheddar cheese for the full fat version, and only put 1 cup in the dish, with an additional 1 cup on top.

It was awesome! It also reheated really well. I had it for lunch the following two days after we had it for dinner.

Chicken Spaghetti - BETTER
2 cups cooked chicken breasts
3 cups dry whole wheat spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken, or both!)
1 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 jar (4 oz) diced pimentos, drained
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup additional shredded 2% cheddar cheese

Boil chicken breasts in water. Shred the chicken breasts. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. Reserve 2 cups of broth. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup cheese.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubble. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Makes 8 servings, per serving:
269 calories
7 g fat
29.0 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
22.2 g protein

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