This is a great casserole that you can put together with just a few basic ingredients. The flavor is a real family pleaser. Everyone, even picky children, will love it. This calls for diced chicken breasts, so you can even use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from another meal. I like to roast mine drizzled with a little olive oil and some of the taco seasoning and then dice them. This recipe also uses some convenience items so it is a very quick meal that can be prepared at the last minute.
Here is what you will need:
10 oz. rotini pasta, cooked al dente (could use penne or even elbows also)
3 cups chicken breast meat, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 Tbs. butter
1 (24 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1 cup evaporated milk
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, shredded and divided
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1//2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 to 4 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
For the chicken in this, I roasted some chicken breasts in the oven that I drizzled with olive oil and then sprinkle with a little of the taco seasoning packet (about 2 tsp.). Save the rest of the taco mix for the casserole. You can also use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breasts. 4-5 boneless chicken breasts will give you plenty of diced chicken for this recipe. I think the flavor of roasted chicken in casseroles like this is just better than boiled or poached.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions minus about 1 -2 minutes so that it is al dente, since you will be baking this. Drain. 10 oz. is just a little more than 1/2 of a 1 pound box.
Saute the onion in a skillet in the 3 tablespoons butter. Next, combine the pasta, diced chicken, sautéed onion, Alfredo sauce, Rotel tomatoes, evaporated milk, taco seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. If you like spicy add a little hot sauce. I used Tabasco. If you are cooking for children or those who don't like too much heat, leave it out. The Rotel and taco seasoning will be enough for them..
Pour all into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the top with the other cup of cheese. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is just browning and starting to bubble around the edges.
Serve with a salad and bread and sweet tea of course, and you have dinner!
***This recipe can be easily doubled for two casseroles or one large one for bigger families or company.