Does anyone else feel like January is FLYING by? The weeks feel like days and it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. With busy nights and cold weather, warm comfort food that’s quick and does not require a lot of time or effort are all I’ve been making. I decided to take my husbands favorite (we’re talking EVERY time we go out to eat) salad and turn it into something a little more hearty he could enjoy for dinner.
I started with my favorite Penne noodles, but any kind of noodle will work in this recipe. I would typically use a whole wheat noodle to go a little lower calorie, but these are all that I had in my pantry, and I am not about to brave that Utah cold! I boiled my noodles for about 5 minutes, not quite cooking them all the way, but softening them. I then added about 2 tablespoons of shredded basil, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 cups shredded chicken, 1 cup chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups of chopped cherry tomatoes. Once all of that was mixed together I sprinkled some garlic salt and powder over the noodles and gave it one more stir to combine all of the flavors.
I poured a little more chicken broth in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan, and sprinkled just a little more basil. Then I dumped the noodle mixture into the bowl and spread it out evenly. A lot of the heavier toppings, like the chicken and tomatoes kind of stuck together or ended up at the bottom, so make sure to spread those out! I topped our Caprese Pasta Bake with some fresh sliced Mozzarella cheese (the cheese counter at your Kroger store has the BEST fresh cheeses.) Added a quick drizzle of balsamic and olive oil, a little more cheese (no shame) and popped it in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Recipe Inspiration: The Seasoned Mom