Thursday, April 26, 2012

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Cordon Bleu Pasta

Using fat free chicken broth and low fat cream cheese plus reduced fat cheese to create the sauce lowers the fat and calories in this delicious "comfort" food casserole!

Cordon Bleu Pasta

1 pound tube shaped whole wheat pasta
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cubed
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces low fat cream cheese, at room temperature and cubed
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup cubed smoked ham, from the deli (low sodium, if possible)
1 cup shredded reduced fat Swiss cheese
¼ cup minced parsley
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Several dashes of hot sauce, or to taste
½ cup Panko Crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 13” x 9” baking dish (or equivalent) with nonstick cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over med-high heat, stir in 1 – 2 tablespoons salt and add the pasta.  Boil pasta, stirring occasionally, according to package directions, removing pasta two minutes before package states.  Drain and return pasta to the pot.

While pasta is cooking, heat a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Add onions and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add cubed chicken and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to lightly brown chicken.  Pour in ½ cup chicken broth and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together remaining chicken broth and flour, until well blended.  Whisk into chicken mixture.  Add cream cheese and add to chicken broth, stirring until cream cheese is melted.

Stir chicken mixture into pasta, add scallions, ham, Swiss cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce and mix well.  Pour mixture evenly into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with Panko crumbs and lightly spray crumbs with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until bubbly.  Place dish under broiler for a few minutes to brown the top, if desired.

Serves 6

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