A brilliant way to use up a leftover chicken, this creamy and gorgeous pasta bake topped with cheese is one of our family favourites!
It is a great meal to plan for the day after a roast chicken dinner. I sometimes make this up on the same day as a roast dinner, get it all ready in a casserole dish and then stick it in the fridge. Then it just needs to be popped in the oven the next day (would need about 40 mins at 180*C, with the first 25 mins covered in foil).
It is a really versatile recipe, you could also add any chopped leftover veg you had, or try it with spicy / flavoured chicken.
Handful leftover cooked chicken (from a roast etc), chopped into small pieces
Handful frozen peas
Handful frozen sweetcorn
20g plain flour
Half a pint of milk (semi skimmed or whole work best)
2 handfuls of grated cheese (one for the sauce, one for the top).
1 teaspoon dried herbs – I use half and half sage and oregano, but you could also use mixed herbs, parsley, basil etc.
Salt and pepper (or half a veg / chicken stock cube)
1) Preheat the oven to 200*C (fan 190*). Fill a pan with boiling water, add a good pinch of salt and add your pasta.
2) Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the frozen peas and sweetcorn for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
3) To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan then remove from the heat and mix in the flour.
4) Add the milk and put back over a low-medium heat stirring constantly. It will be crazy lumpy at first but all of a sudden when it nears the boil it will thicken into a lovely smooth sauce – keep stirring!
5) When the sauce has thickened and is no longer lumpy, add the herbs, one handful of cheese and season well (I crumble in half a stock cube but just salt and pepper is fine too). Stir over a low heat (or remove from heat) until the cheese is melted and it is all combined.
6) Mix the pasta, the sauce and the chicken together. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish, top with the remaining handful of grated cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden on top.