I found this recipe online at FrouFrou Britches. I adapted it to meet my needs last night. I made half the recipe for dinner. It was a hit with dh and the 11yo, too. I enjoyed it a lot too. I omitted the dried tomatoes. Next time, I will add about a 1/2 tsp of salt to the roux with the garlic. It seemed to be missing that to me.
Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne
Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. If you’re going to freeze one, use a disposable foil pan. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside.
While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
While chicken pan is still hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Use a little extra olive oil if needed.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot , melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer. Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms ; cook 1 minute.
Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in the Italian Cheese Blend. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes.
Freezer instructions:To freeze, prepare through step 4 and then let pasta cool. Cover pan well with plastic wrap. Place extra cheese in baggie (for topping) on top and then cover entire pan well with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, preheat oven to 400. Remove foil and plastic from pan and set cheese baggie aside. Place foil back on pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, stir pasta, and top with cheese. Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes (I only did 10 minutes) or until mixture is hot and bubbly throughout.