Veggie and Chicken Bake

I was motivated to create this recipe from the ingredients I had in my fridge (zucchini, chicken, mushrooms) and my love for cornflake chicken.

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast or tenders

2 c. pasta (I used whole wheat pasta)

2 small/medium zucchini, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

8 oz. fresh white button mushrooms, sliced

2 t. dried dill

4 Tbsp. flour

4 Tbsp. butter

3 c. milk (I used fat free)

3 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used reduced-fat)

Salt and pepper to taste

 Topping:

1 c. corn flake crumbs

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9X13 oven-safe dish with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

Heat skillet, and add 2 t. olive oil. Season chicken and brown chicken in skillet until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and let cool, then chop. In same skillet, add 3 t. olive oil and sauté vegetables until soft; season with salt, pepper and dill. Cook pasta in boiling water, until cooked al-dente; drain. In same pot as pasta, make the cheese sauce. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter until melted and add flour, mix well. Cook one minute, until bubbly and hot; add milk. Do not leave the pot alone on the stove. Heat milk mixture and stir frequently, until boiling and thickened, add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Mix chicken, vegetables, pasta and cheese sauce. Pour into prepared dish.

For topping, combine corn flake crumbs (or you can use cracker crumbs) and melted butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole. If you are making this dish ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Place in preheated oven and bake 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on the edges. Serves eight.

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