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My intense love of pasta strikes again. This time I tried to tackle a sauce that has always given me a little trouble. This Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Bake was my attempt to finally get Alfredo sauce right. A few months ago I attempted to make a shrimp alfredo and it turned out to be a complete nightmare. The final recipe tasted fine but I had to McGyver a half and half out of regular milk and it turned into a whole unpleasant ordeal. Yesterday, I had prepared and was ready to finally conquer this simple sauce that I’ve somehow made more complex.

Alfredo sauce is just a little garlic, a little butter, some half-and-half, and parmesan cheese. Sounds simple. My problem is that I tend to overlook exactly how much half and half (or heavy cream) is necessary for the recipe. Without fail, the exact same thing happened this time around. I was gliding through this recipe with ease and flare until I realized it called for three cups of half-and-half and I only had two cups. Typical mistake. I didn’t panic this time and try to make my own bootlegged version of the extra cup. My experiences in my prior kitchen adventures reminded me that I had a fresh half gallon of whole milk in the fridge. Substituting the final cup of half-and-half with milk probably wouldn’t impact the consistency or flavor.

It didn’t. This cheesy bake of alfredo goodness was so decadent and delicious. To date, it was my best attempt at alfredo sauce. The added mozzarella made this casserole a cheese lover’s dream. In my research for this recipe, I did consider making this same bake with garlic shrimp. Admittedly, upon my first few bites of the cheesy chicken bake, the shrimp lover in my heart wished I had made it with shrimp! Until next time alfredo bake, until next time!

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Bake

What You Need:DSC_1085.JPG

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups half-and-half (or 2 cups half-and-half, 1 cup whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 10 to 12 oz. cooked penne
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Parsley, optional

Instructions:
Click here to Cook With Me!

  • Preheat oven to 350° and butter a large baking dish.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Season both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Add to skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through, 8 minutes per side. If Remove chicken and wipe the skillet clean. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing crosswise. (To ensure doneness I sliced the chicken in the pan.)
  • Make the sauce: Return skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more.
  • Gradually pour in half-and-half, whisking constantly.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer and stir in Parmesan. Let simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, and alfredo sauce. Spread about half of the pasta mixture on the bottom of the baking dish, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
  • Add the remaining pasta mixture and top with more mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Cook With Me:

  • Preheat oven to 350° and butter a large baking dish.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Season both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.DSC_1087
  • Add to skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through, 8 minutes per side. If Remove chicken and wipe the skillet clean. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing crosswise. (To ensure doneness I sliced the chicken in the pan.)
  • Make the sauce: Return skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more.
  • Gradually pour in half-and-half, whisking constantly. DSC_1107.JPG
  • Bring mixture to a simmer and stir in Parmesan. Let simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.DSC_1110
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, and alfredo sauce. Spread about half of the pasta mixture on the bottom of the baking dish, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.DSC_1114
  • Add the remaining pasta mixture and top with more mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy.DSC_1122.JPG

Inspired by this recipe.

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