This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine, which I love. Simple, easy recipes, and I end up referring to it a lot. I keep a binder with the recipes I have collected from Everyday Food over the years and I really do end up making a lot of them over and over again.
This dish has become a staple in our house. Everyone loves it! It feeds 4 and is perfect when you have company. Even if it's just us, I'll make the full 4 serving portion so we have leftovers for the next day.
Cheesy, baked goodness! I love that the top gets a crispy crust from the Parmesan cheese and bread crumb topping. Incredible.
I added a little spice to this by cooking the chicken in McCormick's Spicy Grill Seasoning. I can't tell you how often I use that spice to cook chicken. So good to always have on hand. Another couple of notes...I typically use 2% milk, but you could substitute it for other milks or even half & half. I've used them all with similar results. I also use sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and always make sure to add some of the oil to the sauce for extra flavor.
Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes
1/2 pound Penne
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon Spicy Grill seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, diced
1 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 Italian seasoning bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cook your Penne in a large pot of boiling salted water about 3 minutes short of al dente. Drain and return to pot.
Dice chicken into bite size pieces and toss with grill seasoning. Cook until cooked throughout.
In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic, whisk and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk while whisking and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently until sauce thickens, about 6-8 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for 1 minute. Take off heat and add mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Add chicken and pasta to sauce and season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.