Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

How's Wednesday going?

More importantly, what's for dinner tonight? For us, leftovers. The best kind of dinner in my opinion. Especially when those leftovers include this.


If leftovers weren't begging to be eaten and not wasted, this cheesy chicken pasta bake is most definitely what I would cook. 

Suddenly, it's become quite cold here. The skies are a dull grey, school is in full swing, the leaves are beginning to turn golden and it's midweek. Let's be honest, all those things simply cry out for a hot, bubbling pasta bake.
We made this bake at the weekend when we couldn't decide what to cook. There were cries of chicken kebabs! Maybe mac and cheese? Um, why don't we put them both together?! Genius. So, here it is guys, our cheesy chicken pasta bake. The best of both worlds.

More Pasta --> here!
More Chicken --> here!

A Simple List of Ingredients:
For the Spicy Chicken Mince:
1. Vegetable Oil
2. Chicken Mince
3. Salt and Pepper
4. Frozen Peas
5. Paprika
6. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
7. Curry Powder
8. Ground Cumin
9. Ground Coriander

For the White Sauce:
1. Butter
2. Plain Flour
3. Milk
4. Cheddar Cheese
5. Salt and White Pepper

For the Pasta Bake:
1. Dried Pasta

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, cook the chicken mince. Take 400 grams (14 ounces) Chicken Mince
You could also use beef, lamb or turkey, if you want. If you have sausages on hand, squeeze the seasoned meat out of the casing and use that. And, you could also replace the chicken mince with chicken breast pieces.
So many choices!

Next, the seasonings. Take:
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Add all the spices to the chicken. Again, you can customize the seasonings to whatever dried herbs and spices you have in the cupboard. At least put in the salt and pepper, and the rest? Put in what you like.

Give the chicken a good mix.

To cook, heat up 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil in a deep pan over a medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add in the chicken.

Break it up with a wooden spoon. I left my mince kinda chunky so that there were big pieces of chicken in the bake but you do you.

Let it brown for a few minutes.

Then, cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat until completely cooked.

After 10 minutes, the chicken should be cooked. If yours releases a lot of liquid, feel free to dry it out of a high flame.

Next, peas! To be honest, you can add in any vegetable you like here. I went with peas because they're my favourite --> 115 grams Frozen Peas.

Throw in the peas.

Let them heat through and then take the pan off the heat. Set aside until needed.


Next job, make the white cheese sauce for which you'll need a deep saucepan. I've shown you how to do this quite a few times on the blog - in a green macaroni cheese (which is where these photos are from), a creamy veggie pasta bakemacaroni cheesechicken lasagne and a posh macaroni cheese.

Take 85 grams Butter.

Place the butter in a pan over a low heat.

Let it melt.

Then, take 85 grams Plain Flour.

Add the flour to the melted butter.

Cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until the floury smell has gone. If the pan gets too dry, add a splash of oil.

Next, take 2 pints Milk.

Slowly, pour in the milk over a medium heat - stirring after each addition.

The stirring will prevent lumps forming and leave you with a smooth sauce.

When all the milk has been added, slowly bring the sauce to a boil. It'll be very thin at first but as it boils, it will thicken up.

Once it boils slowly and thickens, turn the heat down to low.

It's time to add in the cheese. I used 85 grams Cheddar Cheese, grated.

Add it into the sauce.

Along with plenty of Salt and Pepper, to taste. In these photos, I used black pepper but lately, I've been preferring white pepper in my white sauces.

Stir, still on the low heat, and give the sauce a taste. Adjust, if needed, and the sauce is done!

Set aside until needed.

Pasta bakes need pasta so I think it's about time we cooked ours. I used 226 grams (8 ounces) Dried Pasta.

To cook the pasta, bring a large pan filled with salted water to the boil.

When it's boiling, add in the pasta.

I let my pasta cook for 6 minutes until it was just cooked. It'll be baking in the oven too so I didn't want it too overcooked.

Turn off the heat and ..

... drain the pasta.

Now that all three parts to this bake are cooked - it's time to assemble.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease a deep oven dish - mine measured 23 x 18cm (9 x 7 inch). I also put it onto a baking tray to make it easier to get in and out of the oven.

In goes the cooked pasta.

Followed by the chicken.

Then, slowly, add in the white sauce.

Gently begin stirring everything together.

Until you get something that looks like this.

I had a little white sauce leftover so spread it on top. Feel free to sprinkle on grated Cheddar too.

Then, place the dish into bake at 200C for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve up! This bake is creamy, spicy and filled with little pops of sweetness from the peas. I think you'll like it.

Full Written Recipe:

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
Cook + Bake Time: About 40 minutes.
Serves: About 6 people.

Ingredients

For the Spicy Chicken Mince
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
400 grams (14 ounces) Chicken Mince
½ teaspoon Paprika
½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
½ teaspoon Curry Powder
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
115 grams Frozen Peas

For the White Sauce
85 grams Butter
85 grams Plain Flour
2 pints Milk
85 grams Cheddar Cheese
Salt and White Pepper, to taste

To Assemble
226 grams (8 ounces) Dried Pasta

Method

To cook the spicy chicken mince, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. In a bowl, mix the chicken mince with all the dried spices. When the oil is hot, put in the chicken. Break it up and let it brown. Then, cover and let it cook over the lowest heat for about 10 minutes until completely done.
Stir through the peas and let them heat through. Remove the heat and set aside.

To cook the white sauce, place the butter in a deep saucepan and melt over a low heat. Once melted, add the plain flour and cook, stirring, for about two minutes until the floury smell has gone.
Then, slowly add the milk over a medium heat – stirring after each addition.
Slowly bring everything to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Add in the salt, pepper and cheese. Stir and let the sauce thicken.
Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

To cook the pasta, bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the pasta and let it cook for 6 minutes. The pasta should be cooked but still have a bite to it – it’ll finish in the oven. Drain and set aside until needed.

To assemble the pasta bake, pre-heat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease a deep oven dish measuring approx. 9x7inch (23x18cm).
Put in the pasta, chicken and most of the cheese sauce. Stir well. Finish with the remaining cheese sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately!

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your pasta bake,

Wasalaam!

6 comments

  1. Assalaamu alaikum wrwb sister

    What alternative could you suggest instead of making the white pasta sauce?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasalaam! A tomato pasta sauce would be delicious too.

      Delete
  2. MashaAllah. I love this recipe. Gonna try it soon. In shaa Allah :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yum love chicken and pasta. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

    ReplyDelete

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