Chicken Noodle Casserole
12 oz egg noodles
1 1/2 T salt, separated
3 T butter, separated
1 [red] bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 T flour
2 1/2 c half & half
2 1/2 c chicken broth
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 c Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 c frozen peas
1 1/4 t pepper
25 Ritz crackers, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 425* and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a large pot, boil noodles, with 1 tablespoon salt, until just al dente; drain, rinse with cold water for a few minutes until cool, drain again, and set aside.
3. Put the pot back on the stove over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and add bell pepper and onion; saute until soft. Place in a bowl and set aside.
4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the pot over medium heat; whisk in flour until incorporated; whisk in half & half and broth and then bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat back to medium and simmer until it starts to thicken up; add chicken and heat through.
6. Take off heat and stir in cheese until smooth; add noodles, peppers and onions, peas, remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, and pepper.
7. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and top with crackers; bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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