That’s a mouthful, right? Last night Keith called, still at work saying he would be home a little later than usual and had had one busy crazy day. When he asked what was for dinner and heard the answer, salad with chicken breast, his tone changed dramatically. All he wanted after his crazy busy workday was pizza. I said no, but I would make him something else comforting and delicious that would satisfy his hunger. Salads will now be served Wednesday and Thursday night. No exceptions.
I had already run to the grocery store to buy salad fixings for the next few nights so we were fully stocked with vegetables and a few other random items like spaghetti sauce. I knew I was going to make a pasta dish and just started grabbing items from the fridge I thought would be good in a baked pasta dish. I grabbed, yellow onion, green bell pepper, garlic, roasted garlic tomato sauce, whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cheese- both pepper jack and cheddar, chicken breast, one roasted red bell pepper chicken sausage we needed to eat and leftover uncured all natural pepperoni from pizza night a few weeks ago.
I went to work chopping and tossing things into a pan. The smell of our house immediately reminded me of jambalaya, which I have been craving. So I decided the pasta would resemble jambalaya but instead of rice, we would use pasta. Also, I would layer all the ingredients like a lasagna with cheese being sprinkled on the top.
jambalaya + lasagna = winner in my book!
Holy moly…I discovered a great new recipe!
Baked pasta is always a hit in our house, but this one takes the cake! I think Keith ate nearly half the pan, that is how much he loved it!
He now knows to ask for deconstructed jambalaya lasagna the next time he wants this dish. He actually told me not to include the name I gave the pasta dish in my blog for fear I will lose many many readers. I’ll take my chances.
Deconstructed Jambalaya Lasagna
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Bake Time: 30 minutes
- Servings: 8
- 1 tablespoon oil- olive, canola, coconut
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic, more or less depending on if you love garlic or not
- 1-2 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped
- 1 chicken sausage, cut into small pieces
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce, I used roasted garlic
- 6 servings of your favorite whole wheat noodles, I used spaghetti
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
- 3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to the pasta directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a sauté pan, add in oil, followed by onion and green bell pepper. Once the vegetables are beginning to soften, add in minced garlic, chopped chicken sausage and chicken breast. Once the meat has heated through, add in half of the pasta sauce.
3. In a Pyrex baking dish, add half of the remaining pasta sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, evenly distribute the noodles in the baking dish. Spoon the vegetable and meat mixture over the pasta noodles (If you want, you can kind of mix them together just a bit). Add the shredded cheddar cheese next, followed by the pepperoni. Top the pasta dish off with the pepper jack cheese.
4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes , removing the foil for the last ten minutes or until the cheese is starting to get bubbly on top. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until cooled and enjoy!
My husband was too excited to dig into the dish once it had cooled, that I didn’t get a chance to snap a pic! It was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again. Some substitutions that can be made, turkey pepperoni, veggie pepperoni, adding in mushrooms (mushrooms will bulk it up and give it a good meaty texture if you want to eliminate some meat), adding in shrimp (I almost did this, but knew the shrimp was for dinner later in the week), adding in red bell pepper would be out of this world as well.
Nothing says comfort food than a big bowl of something warm and this pasta hit the spot for both of us!
*Note, this was my Tuesday’s post, but since I was so nauseas that afternoon, I couldn’t stand the thought of finishing up typing about food or uploading any of my pictures from my phone. You better believe that once the nausea passed, I dug into a big serving of leftover pasta!*