Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pesto Chicken Alfredo (FREEZER MEAL)


I LOVE pasta. I love it even more when it's really easy to put together and throw in the freezer for dinner another day.


This makes a great freezer meal. Just line your casserole with tinfoil and then saran wrap. Assemble the Pesto Chicken Alfredo like normal but instead of baking it, freeze it! To reheat, put the unwrapped frozen Pesto Chicken Alfredo back into the pan you froze it in, and let thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, bake as normal.

Pesto Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients 

1 package (16oz) penne pasta- cooked and drained
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
3 cups fresh baby spinach 
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes 
1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 container (5-8 ounces) prepared basil pesto 
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Step 1



In a bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cooked chicken, cheese blend, baby spinach, crushed tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk, and pesto.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs.

Step 3

Pour pasta mixture into two 8X8 pans. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta.

Step 4

Cover pasta with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

17 comments:

Brooke said...

Mmmmmm, looks super delish!


Brooke =)

Sabrina Gardner said...

This looks so good! I'll have to try it!
Have you tried not baking your pasta beforehand? My MIL made us freezer meals and didn't ever cook the pasta before, just put it in hard with a little extra sauce and it came out great (lasagna manicotti, salmon bake).

Lori said...

I'm not a fan of spinach. Would this be okay without it? Any suggestions for substitutions?
Thanks!
PS - Love your testimony!

Anonymous said...

do you have these posted on Pinterest? I just started following you but would really like these to add to my freezer meals board

princess138138 said...

I am ok with chicken but hate pesto. Could this recipe still be done?

The Virtuous Wife said...

Princess- It will be fine without the pesto. :)

Lori- I'm sure it would fine without spinach too.

Anonymous- I sure do, I'm the The Virtuous Wife on there and I have this in my "food" board.

Anonymous said...

Im trying this tonight and am SO excited about it! Ill let you know what my family thinks :)

stephanie jones said...

Do you bake this with the saran wrap still on it?

The Virtuous Wife said...

No, you unwrap it first.

Karen Morris said...

These recipes look delicious! I'm curious when you use cooked chicken, how do you cook yours? Is there an easy way to do large batches of chicken?
Thanks!

Suz Ness said...

When I make this I have to get out my absolute biggest bowl and make 4 times the recipe! Then I get to bake one pan and fill 4 gallon sized bags for the freezer! It is a total hit with my entire family and I don't even like alfredo stuff! Something about the pesto and tomatoes tones down the alfredo and makes it so yummy! Thank you for the recipe! It is GREAT to share with friends and family too!

Katie Stime said...

This was amazing!
I do a lot of freezer cooking, and so many recipes do not turn out well in the end, or a sauce is too watery, always something. But this was fantastic flavor and texture. And stirring in the raw spinach was so easy and it bakes well, great way to get sneak greens in.
I overestimated my spinach when buying it, I ended up just using a whole bag of spinach, and it worked fine because it shrinks down so much.

For large batches of chicken, I like to grill them--can do so many at a time and the flavor is great.

palmderosa said...

My daughter made and froze this for after the baby was born. We cooked it last night and I can't praise it enough!! Company quality meal!!!

Anonymous said...

For large batches of chicken I love to put a bunch thawed or frozen into the crockpot and shred or chop when cooked. Fast and can be used for many things :)

Anonymous said...

This was a hit with my hubby, my 5 year old and my 1 year old. I love the way the spinach blended with other flavors and it was easy to make. Great way to get kids to eat spinach. Thanks for sharing!

Scout said...

I make this a lot...I usually have 2-3 of these stowed away in my chest freezer as freezer meals! My husband, who rarely likes what I make, loves it!I do omit the tomatoes though because he is allergic.
www.onethousandwordstohome.com

Anonymous said...

This was tasty. Normally I'm not a fan of jarred Alfredo sauce but the other ingredients in this made for a tasty meal most people would enjoy. Would be a good meal to take to someone.