Here's what you need:
2 chicken breasts, pre-cooked and cubed
4 Tbs. flour, unbleached
4 Tbs. butter, room temperature
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
8 oz. jar pesto sauce
8 oz. Italian cheese mix, I used pre-shredded
1 pound pasta, any kind of tube pasta, cooked only to al dente
In a sauce pan heat the butter and flour over medium high until they are incorporated and start to bubble. Cook for about 2 minutes more.
Bring to a low boil and simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
You can tell when it is the right consistency when you coat the spoon and then drag your finger through the sauce and it leaves the line in place.
Add one whole jar of Basil Pesto to the cream sauce and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
While making the sauce, put on a large stock pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil the pasta just until al dente. I used rigatoni.
As soon as the pasta comes to al dente drain and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the sauce and the precooked chicken and stir until well coated. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
The finished casserole was super yummy and just what I've been looking for.
Here's the handy printable - Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
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