Dinnertime is a battle in our house these days, from deciding what to make, to entertaining the kids while dinner is being prepared, to getting them to actually eat what I've made -- there is almost no easy part! Thankfully, Golden Grain® pasta has made the whole process just a little bit easier by helping me decide what to make.
I consider myself to be an experienced home cook. I've cooked tons of meals, of all varieties for my family, but unfortunately after so many years I'm lacking a little inspiration. Every week I try to come up with something new, outside of our tried-and-true favorites, so last week it was fun to let the Pasta Matchmaker quiz help me decide what to make for dinner!
I love that the quiz let's you tell whether or not you're cooking for a fancy dinner or for kids, what meat you'll be using, what the weather is like, etc. to really hone in on and find the perfect Golden Grain® pasta recipe for your family. When I took the quiz I shared that I wanted to use chicken in our dish, that I was cooking a casual dinner for my family, that I'm an experienced cook and that it was cool outside.
Our recipe match ended up being Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole, which I was really thrilled with, because we love macaroni and cheese and I'll jump at any excuse to make it myself!
The boys and I stopped by Lucky for the ingredients after school. Luckily you don't need too much to make this casserole and I already had milk, butter and flour -- so we didn't need to get much, which I love. We grabbed shredded cheese, Golden Grain® elbow macaroni, a rotisserie chicken and frozen broccoli, so we were in and out of the store in a flash!
The Golden Grain pasta was really easy to find in the aisle with the pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese!
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
16 ounces Golden Grain® Jumbo Elbows
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions; after 6 minutes of boiling, add broccoli cuts to pasta and continue cooking per package directions; drain and set aside.
3. Return hot, empty pan to medium heat and add butter. Once butter has melted, whisk in flour until blended well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Add milk and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture simmers.
5. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth. Add chicken, pasta, and broccoli and stir gently to mix.
6. Place in baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
I made two smaller casseroles instead of one large one so I could add red pepper flakes to one for Keith and I, and leave the other one plain for the kids.
7. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.
You can also participate in the Pasta Matchmaker Challenges, where you can put your own spin on a Golden Grain classic recipe and submit for a change to win prizes! Contest dates are as follows:
Challenge #1: January 1 – January 21
Challenge #2: January 22 – February 4
Challenge #3: February 5 – February 18
Challenge #4: February 19 – March 4
Challenge #5: March 5 – March 18
Challenge #6: March 19 – April 1
See what other people are cooking up in their kitchens on the Golden Grain social hub!