Sometimes, the name of a dish alone is enough to pique your interest to want to try it.
This, however, is not one of those times.
I actually had a version of Chicken Spaghetti about 4 months ago, and was absolutely mortified when I found out what goes into making it.
Talk about unhealthy … processed cheese, canned soup, canned broth…….. no how and no way.
So I did a leeeetle bit of experimenting, combining several different recipes, and voila:
Yes I know – worst picture ever.
But don’t pay attention to that. Pay attention instead to the fact that this was made with homemade béchamel sauce, real cheese, pasta, and assorted vegetables.
One thing I’ve learned with baked pasta dishes, though, is that you should always always ALWAYS make more sauce than you think you need. And thin that sauce out with additional milk. Otherwise, it gets too dry and gummy and then no one wants to eat it.
However, as proof that this was really good, here is the same dish after dinner:
Granted, Alexander and his 15 year old boy metabolism did 80% of the damage.
Chicken Spaghetti – adapted from several sources on the internet
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 lb thin pasta, cooked for about 4 minutes (or half the recommended cooking time)
- 3 cups béchamel sauce, thinned with 1/2 to 1 cup additional milk (see below)
- 2 cups grated white cheddar cheese (or any cheese, really)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients (reserving one cup of cheese for the top) and pour into a greased baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese, and bake at 375 degrees until bubbling around the edges and lightly browned on top – about 30 minutes.
5 tbs. butter
4 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tsp black pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the milk slowly to the butter/flour mixture, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring to a full boil, then remove from heat. Season with pepper, and set aside until ready to use. Thin with additional milk if the sauce gets too thick.