Chicken, bacon and broccoli pasta bake

Every now and then you hit family food gold and everyone LOVES what you make for dinner. It doesn’t happen often, granted. Normally in this house at least one person dislikes something or isn’t that keen. Oh well, you take your credit where you can!

This last minute invention was a total hit. Both kids loved it and had, like, 3 portions each! Even Adam liked it and he hates sweetcorn. I had some leftover chicken and was going to make a healthy stew with chick peas and kale. Cue lots of ‘oh mum that sounds not nice’ groans and moans. So I quickly converted it to a pasta bake and threw in what I had in the fridge, along with a white sauce made right there in the pan. Hey presto, Mum of the Year Award in the bag.

Also this is a one pot dish so that wins extra points I’d say. This is a great Monday dish to make with roast chicken leftovers to hand. However if you don’t have any, replace the leftover chicken with ready cooked strips (the kind that you can buy for sandwiches etc) or even fry some chicken thigh or breast strips off quickly. I used fresh corn as that’s what we had in but by all means, frozen or tinned is fine. Also, you could switch up the broccoli for spinach, asparagus, or peas.

Makes: enough for 4-6 people

Takes: 30 mins approx

Ingredients:

  • About 400g pasta, I used farfalle (little bows)
  • 1 x 240g packet of smokey streaky bacon, snipped into lardons (or use pancetta)
  • Handful of cooked chicken (approx 200g), torn into strips
  • Half a head of broccoli, cut into slim florets and stalks diced
  • 2 corn on the cobs, stripped (or 1 small tin of sweetcorn, or frozen equivalent)
  • 400ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • S&P
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
  • 125g ball of mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • Parmesan cheese, grated on top

Instructions:

  1. Boil pasta – and broccoli – in a large pan of salted water. Drain when almost cooked. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Fry off bacon, add butter to pan once bacon is browned. As soon as it’s melted, quickly add flour and mix into a roux with bacon. Add milk gradually and using a whisk, mix until smooth. Now add cooked pasta and broccoli, tip in sweetcorn, cooked chicken, seasoning and mustard if using. Mix well.
  4. Grate Parmesan on and tear mozzarella over also. Bake for 20 mins in oven or until bubbling and golden.

Chicken bacon broccoli sweetcorn pasta bake

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