Love Italian flavors and gobs of cheese? Then this is your casserole!
Have you got leftover chicken and sausage?
Then this casserole is the perfect way to use it up. Ideally both chicken and Italian sausage is used together in this meal, but one or the other will do nicely.
What a great way to reinvent your leftovers!
Pasta As A Meal Extender
Whenever I have little bits of meat and vegetable leftovers but not enough to serve four people, I will add a starch extender to whatever I have then add sauce or gravy.
This time I used some penne pasta that I had which was not enough to serve four if I was going to make a meal where pasta was the main ingredient, so what I had left was perfect for use in this casserole.
Great Family Meal
This Italian casserole makes a great weeknight family meal. The young kiddos will love this because it’s not overly spicy and has all the foods younger children like to eat.
If you double the recipe, this is also a wonderful meal to bring to covered dishes and pot luck suppers. In fact, I think this recipe was originally in a pot luck cookbook that I had years ago.
The original didn’t call for any cheese mixed in the filling, however, I added some shredded cheese in there. You also get a nice thick layer of cheese on the top which even tastes great when the casserole is cooled. I introduced a bit of Asiago cheese into the topping, but you can easily leave that out, especially if you’re feeding very young kids who may not appreciate the taste.
- 1 cup cooked diced chicken
- 6 cooked Italian sausage links, cut in ¼-inch slices
- 1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce (you can use more if you like a saucy casserole)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese
- 8 oz penne pasta (or any shape you have on hand), cooked al dente
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup large diced bell peppers--I mixed red and green
- 2 cups shredded pizza cheese (see NOTES)
- 2 tbs shredded Asiago cheese
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 2-quart round or 11x7-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl mix all ingredients except the 2 cups pizza cheese and the Asiago cheese.
- Turn into prepared pan.
- Top with the shredded pizza cheese and the Asiago.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is nicely browned and bubbly.