Cheesy Chicken and Mostaccioli Anita & Warren

When we make this, I use frozen peas and carrots. Rather than measure, I just use two 10-ounce boxes of frozen veggies. We regard the chicken or tuna as optional. We like it better without the chicken, and haven't tried it with tuna.

6 to 8 ounces packaged dried mostaccioli (plain or with tomato, red pepper or basil)
2 cups loose-pack frozen mixed vegetables
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (plain or jalapeno)
2 tablespoons snipped cilantro or parsley
1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (about 8 ounces) or one 9 1/2-ounce can tuna, drained and broken into chunks
1 medium tomato, halved and sliced

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta. Return to boiling; cook for 9 minutes. Add frozen mixed vegetables. Return to boiling; cook for 5-7 minutes more or until pasta is tender but slightly firm, and vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain again.

For sauce, in a large saucepan cook onion in margarine or butter until tender. Stir in flour and bouillon granules. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stir until melted. Stir in cilantro or parsley. Remove from heat.

Add pasta and chicken or tuna to the sauce; toss to coat. spoon mixture into a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil from dish. Arrange tomato slices on top of pasta mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

6 servings

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