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A blend of chicken and basil pesto topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce. Special enough for company and it freezes beautifully.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
For the sauce:
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two until fragrant. Blend in the flour and continue cooking over medium heat for about 2 minutes until bubbly. Slowly add the whole milk or half-and-half along with the Frank’s hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan Cheese.
For the filling:
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet, add red pepper and onion and saute for about 3 minutes until soft. Mix sauteed vegetables with the chicken, 1 1/2 cups Italian blend cheese, basil pesto and oregano.
In a lightly greased casserole dish (I used my 4-quart) place about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in the dish. Spoon the Parmesan cheese sauce over the shells and cover the shells as much as possible with the sauce so they don’t dry out when cooking. Sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese.
Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly minced Italian parsley if desired.
This homemade version of cheeseburger macaroni is much healthier than the boxed version and it’s also gluten-free.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!