Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meal Swap - Chicken Artichoke Heart Pasta

I had my monthly meal swap again last night. This round I made Chicken Artichoke Heart Pasta. It's been well received before, but I don't get to make it often because the ingredients are a little on the spendy side.

Here's the recipe:

8 oz. pasta (we like farfalle or penne)
16 oz. marinated artichoke hearts
2 t. garlic
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c. mayonaise
1/4 c. pine nuts
2 T. bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 F. Blend together the artichoke hearts, mayo, pine nuts, garlic, & parmesan cheese, reserving 1 T. parmesan. Mix cooked pasta together with blended mixture until it's well coated. Spread into a baking pan & top with 2 T. bread crumbs and reserved 1 T. parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until top browns.

Here are the starting ingredients; I added 2 cups of chopped chicken to the recipe to add bulk & because almost everyone always has meat in their dishes for the swap. I used bread crumbs I had made and frozen about two months ago.

First I put the noodles on to cook and worked on the paste. Note that I don't drain the artichoke hearts so the paste is nice and moist.

Then I stirred the paste and noodles together, added the chicken and poured it into our meal swap pans. I quadrupled the recipe and it made 7 full 5x13 pans, though I was hoping for 8.

So I sprinkled the bread crumbs and cheese and that was it. Overall it's a pretty easy dish if you have a food processor or blender.

Here's the cost breakdown:

32 oz. farfalle pasta - $1.50 on sale
65 oz. marinated artichoke hearts - $8.45 at Costco
8 t. garlic - $.20
4 c. parmesan - $2.75 ish at Costco
2 c. mayonaise - $1.00 on sale
1 c. pine nuts - $3.00 (est. as I don't remember what these cost & they've been around awhile)
8 t. bread crumbs - free bread from church made the crumbs
7 c. chopped chicken - $7.00 on sale

Total: $24.00 total / 7 pans = $3.40 each

Wow! I guess these weren't as expensive as I thought. Perhaps it's just the big Costco purchase of artichoke hearts, parmesan, and pine nuts that makes it feel more expensive.
The meals I received included Corn Chowder, Cheesey Potato & Ham Soup, Spanish Rice with Ground Beef, Beefy Pasta Bake, Chicken Cutlets in White Wine Sauce, and Maple Soy Glazed Salmon. A good variety this time.



  1. That looks yummy! When I tried to freeze a pasta dish, the noodles got really mushy. Do you have a secret for preventing that? Do you undercook the pasta?

  2. It depends on the dish, but usually al dente does the trick. I prefer farfalle to penne for freezing because it seems to retain it's firmness better. Lasagna doesn't seem to make a difference one way or another.

  3. It looks really yummy and i sent it along to my friend kerri who does a meal swap group over here.


So, what do you think?