Sundays are hands down the best day of the week for me. Why? I get to spend so much more time in the kitchen and working on projects – a rarity during the week. Most Sundays mean a new recipe(s) to try and an endless amount of foodie inspiration and yesterday was no different. 🙂 Coming at you is a scrumptious and creamy Broccoli, Chicken and Pasta Bake with a Cauliflower Sauce.
Packed full of veggies, this is perfect to get a few extra nutrients into lunch or dinner. Not to mention, the Cauliflower Sauce is a super sneaky way to add some veggies for kids or the other picky eaters in our lives. Personally, I love veggies but still have a hard time fitting them into all the temptations (the cheesy, gooey temptations to be exact!), so this is perfect for having the deliciousness without all the less-healthy ingredients.
I will admit, this didn’t come to be out of the blue, I was inspired by the Creamy Cauliflower Sauce over at LeelaLicious. She’s one of my go-to place when I’m looking for a lighter versions of some of my favorites. Her sauce is so versatile and I’m excited to try it in other recipes…I’m thinking a white lasagna might be on the horizon…
Before I get ahead of myself, here’s the recipe for my Broccoli, Chicken and Pasta Bake with a Cauliflower Sauce. (You can make the sauce and prep the bake to save time on those hectic days.)
Cauliflower Sauce (again, inspired by LeelaLicious)
– 1 head of Cauliflower (chopped)
– 1/2 large Onion (sliced)
– 1 tablespoon Garlic (chopped)
– 1 tablespoon Butter
– 6 cups Chicken Broth
– 1/2 cup Almond Milk
– 1 teaspoon Salt & Pepper
– 1 teaspoon Parsley
– 1 teaspoon Oregano
1.) On medium heat, melt butter and add onions. Saute for 10 minutes and add garlic. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the onions and garlic are caramelized.
2.) Heat up chicken broth in a medium saucepan and add the cauliflower. Cook for 10 minutes until the the cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower. (Make sure to reserve a 1/2 cup of the broth)
3.) Place the cauliflower, onions, garlic, reserved broth, almond milk, and spices into a blender and let it go until smooth.
Broccoli, Chicken and Pasta Bake
– 10 oz of Elbow Noodles (or whatever shape strikes your fancy)
– 2 cups Broccoli
– 1 lb baked Chicken Breast (cubed)
– 1 cup Spinach (kale would probably be great too!)
– 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
– 1/2 cup Cabot Cheddar Cheese
– Salt & Pepper to taste
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) Cook the noodles according to package instructions.
3.) Bring some water to simmer and blanch broccoli for 1-2 minutes.
4.) In a bowl, combine noodles, broccoli, spinach, chicken, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese and the cauliflower sauce. Stir up until combined and transfer into an 8×8 pan.
5.) Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and cover with foil.
6.) Bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven, remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Not going to lie, I had seconds and was tempted for thirds but refrained so that I can enjoy it for lunch tomorrow 🙂 This was so delicious, creamy and gooey that it hits all the right spots and you won’t even miss the copious amounts to cheese and dairy that a typical pasta dish can contain. I hope you like it as much as I do!
Have you ever hid veggies in a recipe and loved it more than a classic? Tell me about it!