This is kind of a clean out the fridge dish. Use any mix of veggies you like. Turkey would work well instead of chicken. Maybe even diced leftover pork chop? I’m reluctant to use beef because I feel like cream sauce and beef aren’t super friendly, but you do you.
Creamy chicken, veg and pasta casserole, makes one full 9×13 pan
leftover shredded chicken
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup broccoli florets
3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 lb. cavatelli noodles (about 1/2 a box)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Half-n-Half or heavy cream
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. AP flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. In last couple of minutes, throw in the cauliflower, broccoli and celery to blanch the vegetables. Drain and set aside.
2. In a pot, you can use the same one you just made the pasta in to avoid cleaning two pots, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until the roux comes together and flour taste has cooked out, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add stock. Then the Half-n-Half and cream. Keep on low heat. Add nutmeg, pepper and salt. Since I added salt when I made my chicken stock I held off on adding too much extra salt. Cook another 5 minutes.
3. When sauce is done, put veg and pasta into a greased 9×13 pan and cover in sauce. Stir to coat and add the grated cheese, salt and pepper on top. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a bit crunchy. Let stand 5-10 minutes, sauce will thicken slightly. Serve with a green salad.