Perfect Cheesy Pasta Bake, recipe #2

Welcome back for recipe #2 from In the Kitchen with the Real Farmwives of America & Friends and Gooseberry Patch!autumnfamilyfriends

This is the first time I have cooked with chicken in a long time… We have freezer beef and freezer pork, so I don’t buy (or cook) much chicken. This time, I did! (And it was kind of a nice change.)ingredients

First, measure out 4 cups of uncooked pasta, and cook according to package directions. I used whole grain pasta, but no one says you have to. (The 13.5 ounce package I bought was the perfect 4 cup measurement.) Boil the pasta, drain, and put into a large bowl.cooked pasta

I had planned to use pasta sauce that we had canned last summer, but I only had pint jars left. This recipe calls for 3-1/2 cups, and a pint is only two cups, so I pulled this pinch-hitter out of my pantry at the last minute. Again, I just used the whole container. It was pretty close to 3-1/2 cups.pinch hitter

Then, grate up 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. The pre-grated stuff is fine, too. I like to use any excuse to get out my fancy cheese grater!parmesan

Add the sauce (canned, jarred, or otherwise) and the parmesan to the cooked pasta.sauce and cheese

Mix it all up…mix it up

And put half the pasta in an 8×8 baking pan. Then put 1 cup of cooked, diced chicken on top of the pasta layer. (This is one chicken breast, boiled, and diced. It’s kind of a boring way to cook chicken, but the chicken is not the star in this dish – this is all about the pasta and the cheese!)layers

Layer the rest of the pasta on top of the chicken.

Grate up 1/2 cup Velveeta cheese (I prefer the 2% milk variety)…velveeta

And get yourself 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (this was pre-shredded).mozzarella

Spread the cheeses over the top of the pasta dish.cheese

I didn’t think that looked like quite enough cheese. So I added extra mozzarella. Hubby Doc thinks I should have added even more.more cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly. (In my stoneware, it took 35 minutes. Another 5 and the cheese should have gotten that pretty brown color.)melty goodness

I served this to my girlfriends with Garlic Bubble Bread (recipe coming this weekend!) for our girls’ night in. The girls loved it. (Although the bread took center stage!)plus bread

Don’t worry, we ate our vegetables too. We had a veggie platter to pick from all night long. Just none of them made it on the plate… Whoops.

While we did enjoy the pasta, I would recommend a few slight changes. We all thought there could have been a little more sauce – maybe a can of diced tomatoes for a bit more texture? And you can never go wrong with more cheese… I will definitely make this again, but I might tweak it, just a little…

Special thanks to Gooseberry Patch for providing me with this great cookbook to try and share with you. If you would like to purchase this or other cookbooks, please visit their store. If you would like to see other great recipes, check out

Update:  Here’s the printable recipe card!

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