Baked Penne With Broccoli and Smoked Mozzarella

“Adapted to our tastes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Delicious, and freezes wonderfully! I've included freezing instructions at the end. The preparation time can vary - I've seen comments on the original recipe where people took a full hour to assemble, but after making this a few times I've done it in about 25 minutes easily.”
1 9x13 pan

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. During last 2 minutes, add broccoli to pot and blanch while pasta finishes cooking.
  4. Drain all and set aside.
  5. Wipe pot dry and add olive oil. Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
  6. Stir in flour to make a roux.
  7. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to prevent lumps, and cook until thick.
  8. Add cream and bring to simmer to thicken.
  9. Add chicken and mozzarella and stir until cheese melts.
  10. Add pasta and broccoli, then stir to combine.
  11. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish.
  12. Toss crushed crackers with melted butter.
  13. Top casserole with cracker crumbs.
  14. Bake about 20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.
  15. To freeze: assemble casserole but do NOT top with cracker crumbs. Wrap for freezing, label, then tape cracker crumbs (in a plastic bag) to the outside of the package. Freeze. When ready to bake, thaw, top with crumbs, and bake at 400 for approximately 30 minutes.

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