Pantry usage

Some of the best dishes are made from what you already have in your pantry.  It’s cold outside.  I’m exhausted from starting a new job.  I just didn’t want to get back out to eat on a Saturday night.

I started thinking about what I could cook with staples I tend to always have in my pantry.  As I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook,  a recipe caught my eye.  There was no link to whom it belonged, but I’ll still post it at the bottom.  Once I read the ingredients, I knew I had enough to make it work.  

My hunka hunka is a casserole fiend.  He loves anything casserolish.  Yep…I just made up that word.   This was a cheesy, chicken, bacon, and pasta casserole.  Yes…BACON.  My Gracie Mae was excited I was cooking bacon.  She knows anytime I cook bacon, she is going to get some of it.  

You can almost hear the boiling

Let’s pause for a moment…my hunka hunka surprised me with this absolutely AMAZING handmade cutting board.  It’s too pretty to cut on so don’t tell him I used my old one to cut up my chicken.  I’m not ready to use it yet.  I still love to hug it.

I’m SO in love

Anything with cheese is always good.  And bacon.  And more cheese.   Little changes for the recipe I made.  I used tri-color rotini.  I love it.  I remember when we were on vacation many years ago.  Our baby boy, Kyle, was only 10 at the time.  He ordered pasta and it was tri-colored tortellini.  We tried to convince him it tasted the same as regular pasta to get him to eat it.  We finally busted out laughing when he kept saying it tasted funny.  

Pre-bake on my gorgeous cutting board

I watched the cheese bubbling away in the oven.  Here are my other adjustments as I never make a recipe exact.   I didn’t add any garlic powder.   Gracie Mae gets to sneak a bite or two from us so I want to make sure she can eat it.   Priorities, ya know?!  I only used half a box of rotini because that’s all I had.  I reduced my chicken breasts to only two,  but I still used same amount of cream of chicken soup, bacon, and Colby jack cheese.  I stirred the bacon pieces within the mixture rather than on top.  I baked it in a 9×9 dish.  And it was perfect consistency and taste! 

My hunka hunka absolutely loved the dish and asked for seconds.  That’s always the cue it was a good dish.  Yummo!

Can you smell the bacon?

Here’s the recipe…super quick and easy!   Hope you try it out.  Casseroles are a modge podge of ingredients.  Take a look at your pantry to see what you come up with!

Peace out, Trout!

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Crazy Good Casserole

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 strips of quality bacon – cooked and crumbled
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 box (16 ounces) dried spiral pasta
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook and crumble bacon. While bacon is cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Set cooked bacon aside for later use. In the same pan, cook chicken in bacon drippings. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to directions. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400.

Drain pasta, return to pot. Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese – stir to mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Top with crumbled bacon.
Top with remaining cup of Monterrey Jack cheese.
Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, just until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top

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