WEATHER Change Inspired– Delectable Smoked Bacon,Pasta,Chicken and Veggie Casserole!!

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The sun actually came out today and melted all the ice and along with it, inspired me to do something wonderful. This wonderfully delicious casserole has made its way into my faves. I’ve only made it once (altered the Original recipe posted in Southern Living Dec 2012) with what I had on hand and wella- A Keeper!!! Be careful to not get caught licking your plate! Enjoy!!

SMOKED BACON, CHICKEN, PASTA AND VEGGIE, CREAMY CASSEROLE

3 Slices 1/4 inch thick smoked, slab bacon

1 Cup chopped Sweet Onion

1 Red Bell Pepper chopped (medium)

3 garlic cloves (can be adjusted according to taste)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 Cups chicken broth

1 1/2 Cup half-and-half

1/2 Cup dry white wine

1 Cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 Cup fresh shredded Romano cheese

3/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 (20 oz) pkg refrigerated cheese and spinach tortellini

4 Cups Fresh chopped broccoli

4 Cups Chopped cooked chicken

Lastly, Mix 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, 15 buttery crackers, crushed; 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 2 Tbl butter, melted (I put all in ziploc and heated 20 secs to melt butter then shook until well mixed)

1 Cup Whole Pecan pieces

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. Sprayed Dutch oven with Pam spray over medium high heat; added bacon and lightly browned, then added onions, bell pepper and garlic–sauteing approx. 6 minutes (al dente–don’t overcook)

ADD FLOUR, stirring until smooth-cooking approx 1 minute. Whisk in Broth, half and half and white wine; stirring frequently until slow rolling boil then lower heat to med low, still stirring constantly for approx 8 minutes or until appearance changes to thickened and bubbly.

REMOVE FROM HEAT. Add 1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese and 1/2 cup shredded Romano Cheese; stirring until cheese melts. Add pepper, Tortellini, chicken and broccoli–stirring until all covered. Move ingredients to 13/9 (or slightly larger) baking dish ( which has been lightly buttered.)

Place 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 15 buttery crackers, chopped pecans and 2 Tbl butter in ziploc bag and crunch all with hands, then place in microwave for approx 20 seconds until butter is melted. Remove and shake bag enough to mix all ingredients. Sprinkle topping over casserole. I also added 3/4 cup whole pecans on top and a few broccoli tree tops for visual effects!

BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 40-45 MINUTES OR until Bubbly.

 

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