baked chicken penne – take that boston pizza

 have you ever ate at Boston Pizza?  I’m giggling as I ask this question… a tiny giggle… because I eat there just about every weekend during hockey season… which hockey season is now Sept-June… yes I know, it used to be Nov-March…  but then some people decided that kids should no longer play more than one sport and changed it to an all consuming lifestyle…  and in this lifestyle you eat at Boston Pizza… because McDonald’s is a no-no… don’t even speak to me about KFC or A&W… nope – it’s carbs and pasta for these young stars…

so after a few weekends of lovely team meals… where you have to wait at least an hour to get your food, you chew down your 1470 calorie pasta meal and then pay $58 plus 15% mandatory tip that is already on your bill and me not knowing an extra 20% tip…  so after my $72.50 meal with my son we head back to the hotel at 11:30 pm to drift off into a carb and butter induced coma… I have an idea… I could make this meal for about $10 at home and bring it with me…

now don’t peg me wrong… cheap is not my middle name… it is Marie… because that is what everyone used in the late 70’s/early 80’s for a middle name… it was that or Ann or Lynn… I got Marie… so did my best friend Shannon… but her’s was fancier because it was ‘Irene-Marie’… my parents decided that plain old Marie would suffice for me… keep her humble… I forget what I was talking about… oh right, I’m not cheap…

but I’m also not a fan of spending a crazy amount on food that is not getting ate, is not good for you and takes 2 hours of an evening I could have enjoyed in a hotel room watching JFK documentaries…

so I make it ahead… take it on road trips… and say ‘take that Boston Pizza’ as I’m in a hotel eating my re-heated pasta dish with my son that loves just hanging out with his mom wearing a robe that I’m sure no one else at has worn at Tisdale’s Canalta Hotel …  it’s a three star hotel and I feel free at a 3 star to put on the robe and slippers …  I would never dream of it at a 2 star …

so here you go… this recipe makes two casseroles and I love to make two and then either freeze one or dish the other one up into individual dishes for taking on road trips… this is for all those introverted, frugal, used robe wearing, documentary watching freaks like me out there… your kid will love it…

baked chicken penne - take that boston pizza

  • Servings: two 9x13 casseroles
  • Print


  • 500 g Garofalo Organic Penne (Costco)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 L half & half milk
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tsp salt and ground pepper
  • 7 oz (200 g) white mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
  • pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 340 g Italiano Black Diamond cheese (2 cups into sauce, remaining on top)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan


  • put pasta into boiling salted water and cook until al dente, then strain and put into a large bowl
  • heat oil in a skillet and add chicken with salt and pepper and cook until done, add to the pasta
  • in the same skillet, melt butter and add flour and garlic
  • whisk and add milk
  • add mushrooms and tomatoes
  • pour the sauce into the pasta/chicken mixture and add cheeses
  • mix and pour into two 9×13 greased pans
  • sprinkle remaining cheese over the casseroles and put into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes
  • freezes very well… freeze it before you bake it…
  • to bake from frozen, bake at 400 degree with tin foil on… place the 9×13 on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it to catch any drippings…  bake for 1 1/2 hours like that until the center is hot and then remove the tin foil and bake until the cheese is golden, around 15 minutes

now… I did not say I made a healthy version of this… it is still over 1000 calories I’m sure… so take into account if you actually played the hockey game or just yelled in the crowd and annoyed everyone around you… you don’t burn as many calories yelling so eat half of what your hockey player eats… or substitute cauliflower for the cream milk and see how yummy it is… and zucchini for the noodles… and see how your hockey playing child reacts to first of all watching tv with you in a hotel room instead of hanging with his friends and then eating vegetable puree… and then let me know how it went over…

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