First I took a couple packages of frozen (yes, frozen!) chicken breasts and put them in the crock pot with a jar of salsa. In our house we have several people that don't like "chunks" so I usually run my salsa through a blender first. :) I cooked them for 4 hours, shredded the chicken, and put it back in for 30 minutes to absorb all the juice. We ate a little over half that night as chicken tacos and I froze the rest, so the casserole uses the portion that I froze.
You can also do the same thing with a bottle of BBQ sauce. It makes fantastic BBQ chicken sandwiches and pizza.
Now for the new casserole recipe!
|Doesn't it look like melty cheesy goodness?|
Cheesy Salsa Chicken Pasta Bake
2 cups (you can use more or less, just whatever, it's a good way to stretch leftover chicken) of shredded salsa chicken
Tablespoon of cumin (we LOVE cumin at our house)
Couple teaspoons of chili powder
Couple teaspoons of garlic salt (I was out of real garlic so I just used garlic salt. If you use real garlic don't forget to salt your mixture!)
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
1 to 1 1/2 cups sour cream
Box of penne (but any smaller pasta would work) cooked just shy of al dente
Mix chicken, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, 1 cup-ish of mozzarella, 1 cup-ish of cheddar, and the sour cream until well combined. Then mix in the cooked pasta. If the mixture looks a little dry just add some milk or some more salsa. Top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melty and bubbly and delicious!
I warmed up my chicken before mixing it with everything but if you don't you will want to bake it a little longer. You could easily make this ahead of time too, just bake it another 10 minutes or so!
This could easily be made gluten free by subbing GF pasta.