Sunday, January 14, 2018

Chicken Cacciatore Pasta Bake

It's no secret that I love chicken cacciatore. It's one meal from my childhood that I still make (often) to this day. If I have an extra pepper and onion on hand you can pretty much guess that cacciatore is coming your way! This is a twist on my classic version, but a great make ahead option. I prepped the whole meal, minus the sauce, two days in advance and just added the sauce right before throwing it in the oven (if you add the sauce too far in advance it'll likely dry out).

There are many reasons I put on these pounds I'm working so hard to take off, but one of the reasons was I got lazy about cooking. It's just easier to eat a frozen pizza or some other frozen option than to cook when you come home from work and you're tired and have two little kids to care for. I've started really utilizing Sundays to get ahead for the week (like assembling this meal completely except the sauce... then when I got home and was ready to cook it I just stirred it in and baked). It's a learning curve but I'm proud to say in 5 weeks I'm down 10.6 pounds and still going! Meals like this help me to get there- they are hearty and comforting while also healthy and light.

Source: Stephanie Cooks Original

7 Smartpoints for 1/3 of recipe on the Freestyle Program*
*Points vary based on the brand of ingredients you use

2 cups of cooked pasta (I used white- you can use wheat and recalculate points)
2 cups of cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
1 bell pepper, diced into small pieces
1/3 cup diced onion
3 ounces of shredded light mozzarella cheese (I used Trader Joe's lite mozzarella which came to 3 sp)
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (check the points- this can make the recipe more or less sp)
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and pour into the baking dish.
2- Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the pasta is hot.
3- Top each serving with 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

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