I love, love, love this recipe. It makes TWO casseroles - One to serve, and one to freeze (or give away to a neighbor who needs a little help!). I have only made this once before but will make it again and again (and was asked for the recipe!). It is one I found in Taste of Home (my go to magazine for recipes).
When I made it, I upped the ingredients by 1/2 - so 1 pkg. penne became 1-1/2 a pkg, 4 cups of the cheese blend became 6, etc. I did leave the chicken at 6 c. to make it more economical and in the end, I got a 9x13 pan (a little more tailored to my family size!) and an 8x8.
Pesto-Chicken Penne Casserole
Prep: 20 min Bake: 40 min
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne pasta
6 c. cubed, cooked chicken
4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
3 c. fresh baby spinach
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 jar (15 oz.) Alfredo sauce
1 jar (10 oz.) prepared pesto
1-1/2 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated parmesan
1 T. olive oil
Cook pasta. In lrg. bowl, combine chicken, Italian cheese, spinach, tomatoes, alfredo, pesto and milk. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture; toss to coat.
Transfer to two greased 8-in square baking dishes. In small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil; sprinkle over casseroles.
Cover and freeze one for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining at 350 for 40-45 min. or until bubbly.
To use frozen: Thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30 min. before baking. Cover and bake at 350 for 50-60 min. or until bubbly.