- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 50 minutes
- Yield : 1 9X13 pan
- Allergens : Milk/Dairy
- (Optional) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast - 1 whole, diced into small pieces
- Olive Oil - 2 Tablespoons
- Small Onion - 1 - chopped
- Green Bell Pepper - 1 - diced
- Head of Garlic - 1 - Roasted (See notes below for how-to)
- Kale - 1 bunch - washed thoroughly and roughly chopped
- Can of Diced Tomatoes - 1 - 14.5 ounce can
- Tri-colored Pasta (or GF Option) - 1 pound
- Ricotta Cheese - 1 - 15 ounce container
- Parmesan - 1/4 cup, coarsely grated
- Mozzarella - 4 ounces, shredded
- Salt and Pepper - To Taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Learn how to roast a bulb of garlic. Get that started as it takes roughly 45 minutes. Don't have that long? Just use freshly minced garlic or simply take the garlic out of the oven when you need to use it. It will still get some of that great roasted flavor. If you do have time to roast the garlic the full 45 minutes, I would highly recommend it! It's fantastic!!
Begin prepping your veggies.
In a large skillet, brown the veggies in olive oil over medium-high heat until just translucent.
(If using) Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through.
(Meanwhile, boil the water for the pasta and cook according to package directions.)
Add the kale and tomatoes to the chicken mixture and bring it to a simmer and cook until wilted.
Remove from heat.
Once the pasta is cooked through, drain and return it to the same cooking pot.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, half the Parmesan and half the mozzarella.
Add the meat and veggie mixture, roasted garlic, and mix thoroughly.
Combine the ricotta mixture with the pasta in the pot and transfer to a large baking dish.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top.
Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.
You know when you’re one day shy of your next trip to the market but you’re not ready to give in to ordering take-out just yet (even though you really really want to)? Instead, you try and muster up one more good meal… That was me last night. So, I began poking through the cupboards and took inventory on what was on the verge of expiration all the while trying to get my chef gears grinding.
Casseroles are my absolute favorite way to use random ingredients and feed a crowd on a colder evening. Now, by casserole I by no means am implying that cream of some canned soup is involved in any way. This is my chance to chop any veggie in sight and combine it with cheese to fool my husband and the little ones into thinking they have earned a cheesy, not so good for you, cheat meal.
Creative juices flowing, I chopped, stirred, and threw together what I had. Baked it (cleaned the kitchen while I waited – I just love the hands free part of baking) and presented it to my family. Despite the amount of veggies and I suspect, due to the tri-colored pasta and its camouflaging abilities, both of my little ones gobbled this pasta down. It was such a hit that they both brought it to school in their lunch the next day and enjoyed it a second time. Hello Winner!!
Now, keep in mind, what I used below is what I happened to have on hand. If you don’t have these same ingredients, get creative! This isn’t baking. There is no right or wrong way. Simply, throw in what you have and I am sure it will be a success!