While I was still pregnant, I spent every spare minute that I had the energy (haha) trying to stock our freezer with meals for after the baby arrived. What with my parents spending a week with us, and two amazing weeks of friends bringing us food (Seriously, having good friends who support and love us is so amazing), we are just now breaking the freezer meals. I still haven't done much cooking - the most I have done is macaroni and cheese (yes, from a box) and tacos. Invariably one child or another needs me the minute I start cooking, and since Joel is still not coming home until 7:30pm at the earliest, I don't really want to try stretching myself too far. I keep thinking I will actually cook something on a weekend when he is home, but we always end up eating with friends (where either they cook or I only cook a small amount) or ordering pizza. Maybe this next weekend will be mine!
This is a perfect new-mom or freezer meal to have on hand. Even after freezing, the sauce is creamy and cheesy, and super delicious. We all liked it, which is good because I made a huge dish of it. Hooray for leftovers!
Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes fresh, 1.5 hours fr
Keywords: bake Freezer Meal entree cheese chicken sun-dried tomatoes New Mom Potluck
Ingredients (8 servings)
- 6 TBSP butter
- 1 pound penne
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP flour
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups milk
- 10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 cup shredded provolone (6 ounces)
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan (4 ounces)
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F (unless you are preparing this for the freezer).
Butter 2 shallow 2-quart baking dishes (or one 9x13).
In a large pot, boil some water and cook the pasta 3 minutes short of al-dente (you still want it kind of crunchy).
Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook 3-5 minutes per side.
Halve each piece lengthwise and then thinly slice crosswise.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the flour and garlic and cook for 1 minute, whisking continuously.
While whisking, slowly add the milk in.
Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently.
Add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and cook 1 minute.
Remove from heat, and gradually stir in the provolone and 1/2 cup parmesan.
Add the chicken and the pasta to the sauce, and season as needed with salt and pepper.
Divide the pasta mixture between the two dishes (if using) and sprinkle evenly with the remaining parmesan cheese.
(If freezing, allow the dishes to cool and then cover tightly with foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, preheat the oven to 400F and bake with the foil on for 1.5 hours, then remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and then serve).
If baking right away, bake uncovered until the top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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