One of my favorite ways to de-stress is trying new dishes but sometimes when my schedule is ridiculous (or I’m just feeling lazy…) I just want to whip up something easy that’ll last a couple meals. My go-to meals for this are baked pasta with either chicken or shrimp or a ground chicken dish. I usually try to do at least a bit of cooking on Sunday nights to avoid the stress of it during the week but this weekend kind of slipped away somehow so I ended up cooking this simple baked pasta chicken pasta dish on Monday.
I really don’t like using recipes when I cook because it kind of takes all the fun out of it. Most of the meals I make have onions, mushrooms and spinach as a base and then I just add some meat and seasoning. I was writing down what I used to send to my mom so I thought I’d post it here too.
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 package of mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 a bunch of spinach
- 1 lb of boneless leg/thigh pieces in 1 inch pieces
- 1 box of whole wheat pasta
- 1/2 lb block of pepperjack cheese, diced
- 1/2 lb of sharp cheddar, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- lemon pepper, onion and herb seasoning, chipotle garlic seasoning, cajun seasoning – all to taste
- First, I filled a large pot with water and a bit of salt and let it come to a boil. After it was boiling, I added the whole wheat pasta.
- I set the oven to preheat at 350 while I was preparing everything else.
- While the water came to boil, I sautéed the onions in the olive oil. After they yellowed a bit, I added the chopped mushrooms and tomatoes. I try to use the juices released from the vegetables to help with the meat so that I don’t have to use much oil.
- I added the spices to the boneless chicken pieces for a couple minutes to allow to flavor to soak in and then added it to the vegetables to cook.
- I added more spices according to how I wanted to flavor it and then added the chopped spinach once the chicken was cooked. Once everything was mixed and cooked, I just turned off the stove and waited for the pasta to be ready.
- Once the pasta was boiled, I ran it under cold water and let the water pour out. I poured the pasta out evenly on the glass baking tray. Over that, I poured the vegetable and chicken mixture and mixed it in.
- I chopped the pepper jack and sharp cheddar in thin slices and placed it evenly over the pasta and baked it for 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- After the cheeses melted, I mixed the whole thing like that. I baked the pasta again for another 15 minutes to get that baked pasta texture. And that’s it! The photos are of the final product.