Cooking On A Budget: Chicken Sausage Casserole

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chicken Sausage Casserole


I promised I would get the recipe for this dish together. We enjoyed it. Part of it was snagged before I got a decent picture! Truly something different to eat and out of the norm. Again, very affordable and budget friendly. The recipe feeds 4-6 people. If you add some side vegetables as we did it stretches the dish to feed more.
  • 1/3 box penne pasta - cook to manufacturer's directions
  • 1 pkg. chicken sausage (Italian flavored)
  • 1 small green bell pepper - seeded and deveined - cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (plus more if needed)
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
For the topping:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the panko and stir.

For the main dish:
  1. Heat a skillet to medium high heat, drizzle in some olive oil and when the skillet is heated add in the sausage and lightly brown each side. While the sausage is browning, cook your pasta.When you cook the pasta save out 1/4 cup or so for de-glazing the saute pan. When the pasta is cooked and drained transfer to a large bowl.
  2. The sausage should be lightly browned and about 1/2 way cooked and then removed to a platter.
  3. To the same pan you cooked the sausage and over medium low heat add in the onion and garlic and cook onion until translucent. About 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the green pepper, stir and cook for a couple of minutes and add in the pasta water. Keep stirring to loosen all of the good brown bits in the pan.
  5. Lower the heat and add in the ricotta cheese and blend well.
  6. Next add in the 1/3 cup half and half and the milk. Keep stirring while adding in the grated Parmesan cheese. Take off the heat and keep stirring until incorporated.
  7. Take all of this mixture and add it in the bowl with the pasta.
  8. Finally add in the dry seasonings and the mozzarella cheese. Stir.
  9. Spray a casserole dish with a non-stick spray and pour mixture in.
  10. Add in some additional milk or half and half as needed.
  11. Coat with the Panko and butter bread crumbs.
  12. Cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes.
  13. Remove the cover and under a broiler get the topping a golden brown.

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