I love creamy baked pasta dishes, but hate the calories! In attempt to lower the calories and up the protein in my life, I came up with this dish. (I know it's not a huge calorie savings, but Hey! It's something!) The Lentil pasta in the sauce give the whole dish a unique nuttiness that is quite appealing and very much over all kid-approved! To add even more vegetables to your meal, try Birds Eye, the number one brand in frozen vegetables, it's mission is to introduce new ways to help more families eat more vegetables, more often. Birds Eye’s creative “Veggie Made™” products make eating vegetables easier and more enjoyable. Birds Eye’s new products are a delicious and nutritious solution for today’s busy lives that demand great taste, big variety and easy preparation.
BAKED CREAMY WHOLE GRAIN BASIL CHICKEN PENNE
Start by heating up some E.V.O.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in large pan.
Add just a little bit of butter. (I know...Trying to save on calories, but I can't help it! A little goes a long way in flavor!)
Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of Flour.
Use a whisk to incorporate all the flour and oil together.
Slowly mix in your skim milk. (going slow keeps lumps from forming.)
Add Salt & Pepper.
A little Red Pepper Flakes for pop!
And Garlic Powder to make your tongue sing!
Let your sauce thicken on a low simmer.
Keep an eye on this Béchamel sauce. Use your whisk to keep stirring.
When your sauce has thickened, add in Parmesan Cheese.
Chop up the leftover chicken from dinner last night. (Or a few cooked chicken breasts if you didn't have chicken last night)
Dump in your chicken.
When your sauce is all ready, dump in Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made™ Pasta: Original Zucchini Lentil Pasta, Spinach Lentil Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Cheddar Sauce, or Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Marinara.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9x13 pan.
Chop up some fresh Basil.
Sprinkle on top and stir around.
Level out your pasta and top with a little Mozzarella Cheese and a little more Basil.
Cover with foil and Bake at 375˚ for 25-30 minutes. Take the foil off for the last five minutes.
BAKED CREAMY BASIL CHICKEN LENTIL PENNE
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour
3 1/2 C. Skim Milk
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
3/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 C. Chicken, cooked & diced
Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made™ Pasta: Original Zucchini Lentil Pasta, Spinach Lentil Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Cheddar Sauce, or Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Marinara
3 Tbsp Fresh Basil
1/3 C. Shredded Mozzarella
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add flour and whisk together. Keep whisking and cook for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, & garlic powder. Bring sauce to a low boil and simmer until thickened. When thickened, add Parmesan cheese and chicken. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour pasta & sauce into a greased 9x13 pan. Stir in basil, top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375˚ F. Uncover for the last five minutes. Enjoy!
Birds Eye’s new Veggie Made™ products are available in the following varieties:
- Birds Eye Veggie Made™ Mashed: Original Cauliflower, Sour Cream & Chives Cauliflower, Roasted Garlic Cauliflower, and Sweet Potatoes & Carrots with Brown Sugar
- Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made™ Riced Cauliflower: Original, Roasted Garlic, Savory Herb, and Italian Cheese
- Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made™ Pasta: Original Zucchini Lentil Pasta, Spinach Lentil Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Cheddar Sauce and Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Marinara