Monday, August 19, 2013

Lemon Basil & Chicken Pasta Bake

You might be tired of hearing me go on about lemon basil, but until this summer's crop is gone, it's all I can think about.  Here's our latest favorite dish with lemon basil...a very creamy pasta dish that was a big hit around here!  I doubled the recipe this week and stuck one casserole in the deep-freeze for when the school year gets crazy.  It's pretty easy to make, and scrumptious to eat!

Lemon Basil & Chicken Pasta Bake
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into "bite sized" pieces
1 box pasta - your choice, we love the bowties
1 tsp. Lemon Pepper
2 Tbs. Butter
1-2 Tbs. minced Garlic
1/2 cup White Wine
2 cups Sour Cream
2-3 Tbs. Fresh Lemon or Lime Basil chopped up
4 Tbs. Lemon Juice (divided)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (or other Italian cheese mix)
1/4 cup Mozzarella
1 Tbs. fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Spinach torn into small pieces

Cook pasta as directed, taking care not to overcook so your pasta bake isn't mushy.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle lemon pepper over chicken pieces and heat butter in a skillet over med-high heat.  Add chicken to pan and cook until pieces are cooked all the way through.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Keeping the skillet over med-high heat add the wine, garlic, sour cream, basil, and half of the lemon juice.  Stir freqently until the mixture comes to a boil, then remove from heat.  Mix together pasta, sauce and chicken and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish (or two 9x9 aluminum pans for freezing).  Cover with foil. 
Bake (covered) for 15 minutes.  Uncover the dish and add cheese, parsley, spinach and 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice.  Stir and then bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.  Serve warm.

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