Gluten Free Living – 2015
Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake has it all. I love Al Fredo sauce, and Fettucini Al Fredo is one of my favorite dishes–whether I make it at home or eat out. Add a little chicken and some butternut squash and you have the best of three worlds! On top of that Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake is made with gluten free pasta so I can indulge without raising my blood sugar levels, which is what happens with regular wheat-based pasta.
Last month I was in the mood for a pasta dish. I thought it would be nice to add some chicken to it. While I only used 2 boneless chicken breasts, if you or your family like more meat in your pasta dishes, you can certainly use 4-6 boneless chicken breasts in this recipe and it will be even more spectacular. I had baked up a butternut squash a few days previously, planning on adding it to a veggie side dish. But I didn’t end up using the squash for that recipe so I stashed it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it. I thought it would be a great addition to this pasta dish. I seasoned the chicken breasts with Italian seasoning and grilled them, then made up an Al Fredo sauce and combined all the ingredients. Then I poured all the ingredients in a casserole dish, seasoned it with more Italian seasoning before baking it, and added cheese.
Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake turned out wonderfully, but if you choose to use gluten free pasta rather than regular pasta, let me recommend a couple of things. Bring the water to a boil in a stock pot. Add the pasta and continue boiling only for two more minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the pasta to sit in the pot with hot water for about 12 more minutes before draining the pasta. If you cook gluten free pasta like regular wheat-based pasta it will disintegrate and not hold up well. So if you want it to hold it’s shape, then cook per above directions, and you’ll be fine. Or, you can use regular wheat pasta if you don’t have gluten intolerance.
If you’re good at time management and boil the noodles, grill the chicken, make the alfredo sauce and bake the squash all at the same time, you can have this recipe ready much more quickly. Although, I had already baked the butternut squash so it was ready to go when I assembled the dish. If you like a saucier dish, add more cream, half-and-half and cheese, if you desire.
Since this recipe makes a lot, I actually froze part of it and gave it to some friends who had just gone through a family bereavement. Since she has Celiac Disease it was helpful for me to be able to pass on this freezer meal so that she would be able to enjoy it with her family. If you want to bake this recipe in two 8×12″ or 9×9″ baking dishes and have one for now and one for later you can do that very easily by putting one of the casseroles in the freezer before baking. Then thaw a day or two in the refrigerator and pop the dish in your oven for an hour or so until it’s hot and bubbly. Add additional cheese and serve garnished per instructions below.
If you want a tasty way to prepare “mac and cheese” then consider giving this spin on “mac and cheese” a try. While it’s more work than traditional macaroni and cheese, it has great texture and taste and is a fun recipe you’re sure to enjoy.
Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake is loaded with butternut squash, pasta and cheese, cheese, cheese!
The savory taste of the chicken blends really well with the sweetness of butternut squash in this lovely main dish casserole.
Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake is filled with flavor! You can use gluten free penne pasta or regular penne pasta if you prefer.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients. I had already baked my butternut squash. If yours is unbaked, get it baking right away.
Sprinkle Italian seasoning on both sides of chicken. Grill over high heat until done – depending on the grill it may take 10-15 minutes per side, or longer. Remember, if you prefer more meat in your dishes, add a few more chicken breasts.
Check with a meat thermometer or knife to make sure chicken is cooked through. Slice chicken down into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onions and diced red pepper. Saute about 5 minutes before adding garlic and saute an additional minute or two.
Add cream and half-and-half. If you like a really saucy macaroni and cheese, then add more cream and cheese to the sauce.
Add parmesan cheese and 6-cheese Italian blend.
Continue cooking sauce over medium heat until it’s thickened.
Add cooked pasta and cubed butternut squash.
Stir ingredients gently to combine (being especially careful with the pasta). Sprinkle ingredients very generously with additional Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until bubbly.
Sprinkle with 6-cheese Italian cheese blend and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.
Garnish with fresh parsley and more Italian seasoning before serving, if desired.
Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake is a cheesy casserole you’re whole family will love.
Here’s the recipe.
CHICKEN ALFREDO BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA BAKE
(My own concoction)
- 2-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 butternut squash, baked, and cut in ¾” cubes
- 12-oz. gluten free penne pasta (or you can use regular wheat-based penne pasta)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups 6-cheese Italian cheese blend: (Mozzarella, provolone, Asiago, romano, parmesan, fontina)
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. pepper
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- Italian seasoning for garnish, if desired
- Fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
- Place butternut squash in a 350° oven and bake about 1 hour or until done.
- Remove peel and seeds.
- Cut into ¾” cubes.
- Set aside.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning to cover well.
- Use more if needed.
- Grill over high heat until cooked through.
- Slice chicken down and cut into cubes.
- Set aside.
- Meanwhile, fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Add gluten free pasta and continue to boil for 3 minutes.
- Turn off heat but leave pasta on top of burner, covered with a lid, for 12-15 minutes. The pasta will cook during this time.
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place butter in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven.
- Add onions and red bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add cream, half-and-half, parmesan cheese and 1 ½ cups Italian cheese blend.
- Stir to combine and heat over low to medium heat until thickened.
- Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Combine grilled chicken, baked butternut squash, drained penne pasta and cheese sauce.
- Pour into a 10×15” glass baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle generously with additional Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake at 350° for about 30-45 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 ½ cups of Italian cheese blend over top of casserole.
- Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- Garnish with additional Italian seasoning and fresh parsley, if desired.
If you enjoy macaroni and cheese dishes, you’ll love this one with chicken and butternut squash.
This recipe for Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake makes a lot. You can easily make this into two casserole dishes and freeze one (which is what I did).
If you enjoy Al Fredo recipes, you’ll enjoy Chicken Alfredo Butternut Squash Pasta Bake.
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