How to make a pesto pasta casserole

Print this recipe
This is one of my favorite dishes to make when I don't have time to go to the grocery store, because I nearly always have everything I need on-hand. It helps that there are so many healthy veggies built right into the dish, so there's no need to plan any sides to go with it.
This is one of those dishes where I recommend using frozen vegetables. Not only does that cut down on your grocery shopping, but it really doesn't make a difference in the final dish. In fact, frozen will often have better flavor, as vegetables are frozen at the very peak of freshness. I also love that you don't have to defrost them before using them, making this pasta bake even easier.
Pesto and Veggie Pasta Bake with Chicken
12 ounces pasta (I like rotini)
2 chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 7-ounce jar pesto
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup green peas (frozen)
1/2 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup lima beans (fresh or frozen)
1 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside.
Combine the pesto, sour cream, and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta to the bowl of pesto, sour cream, and cream cheese. Add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Add the frozen vegetables and stir to combine. Add a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water, if needed, to make the sauce creamy.
Add the chicken and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Top with the mozzarella cheese, and bake until bubbly and slightly browned on top.
Print this recipe

Anyone can make this delicious, Italian-inspired dish!
August 7   ·  
August 8   ·  
August 5   ·  
With the simple, yet absolutely scrumptious, combination of tender ground beef, soft corn tortillas, herbs and freshly grated cheddar cheese, it really is a wonder how you managed without this recipe for so long.
July 21   ·  
This is a classic 'dump and bake' casserole can be tossed in the oven with minimal prep work and is hearty enough to feed the whole family.
July 31   ·  
Chicken, bacon and ranch dressing is a dream combination in any recipe, but it's outright heavenly with flaky, tender biscuits!
July 30   ·