Jazzed Up Annie’s Mac and CheesePosted: January 31, 2012
So I have decided to share what I just ate for dinner about 3 minutes ago with you guys RIGHT away because it was that GOOD
Growing up, Annies Mac and Cheese with chicken nuggets and peas was one of my favorite dinners. So why not put all of those together into one delicious healthy casserole?!
Not trying to brag..but this was one of my more genius ideas:)
First bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta, and in another skillet saute 2 chopped garlic cloves in 1 tsp olive oil
Then add in about 2 cups of baby spinach
Once the spinach has cooked down a bit, add in 1tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper
Add in a bag of frozen peas, and cook for another 3 minutes and then turn the heat off and set aside.
Then add in your Annies to the boiling water
Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes, drain, and place back in the pot with 1 tsp butter, 1/2 cup milk, and the dry cheese packet
Stir all together, and then add in 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken, (I used leftover chicken from last night), the spinach and pea mixture, and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Stir all together and place in a baking dish
Cover with a light sprinkle of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn the oven to broil and cook for another 3 minutes
This dish has the perfect green veggies to pasta ratio so that you can eat a nice portion without feeling guilty or weighed down
I will be making this again and again and again
And yes..I know I say that about everything..but this time I’m like..super serious.
Jazzed up Annies: Baked Cheesy Pasta with Peas and Chicken
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 box organic Annies Cheddar mac and cheese
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 bag frozen peas
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk, but any milk works)
*Bread crumbs and parmesan cheese for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F and fill a soup pot with water over high heat for the pasta.
- In a saute pan, place the olive oil and garlic and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in the baby spinach, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add in the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the spinach. Then add in the bag of frozen peas, and cook for another 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Set aside
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, and place back in the pot with the butter, dry cheese packet (that comes inside the box), and milk.
- Add in the spinach pea mixture, chicken, and pamesan cheese
- Stir all together and place in a non-stick baking dish, apx 10 by 12 inch pan. Top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 375, and broil for an addition 3 minutes.
- Serve Warm
Note: I like to make this up to step 6, cover, and place in the fridge until dinnertime. Its a great make ahead meal!
nom nom nom nom
While we were eating dinner Molly (the roommate) told me she was going to start commenting on my blog to encourage people who read it to make my recipes
thanks moll, what a pal 🙂
This dish kind of reminds me of tuna noodle casserole, another one of my favorite meals growing up!
p.s. two recipes in one day?! things are getting pretty wild around here…
Question for ya!: What was your favorite meal to eat as a kid?
I was never a picky eater, but I always loved the casserole type dishes..or anything with goat cheese:) Some things never change 🙂