i want a casserole.

by Janetha on September 8, 2010

in meals

yesterday, i asked marshall what he wanted for dinner last night and his reply was, “i want a casserole.”  i love that guy.  who says that? my husband, that’s who. 

i wanted to use on-hand ingredients but i also wanted to come up with something new.  this is what i had on-hand:

  • chicken breasts
  • broccoli
  • garlic
  • spinach & artichoke hummus
  • homemade pesto
  • parmesan cheese
  • greek yogurt
  • various seasonings

i thought i could whip up some sort of garlic parmesan pesto chicken casserole. i know, what a long name, right?!  i should work on shortening that.  i stopped by the store on my way home from my niece’s soccer game (which was awesome, by the way, she is 4 years old and cute as a button) and i picked up the following:

  • whole wheat farfalle (that is bow tie pasta, FYI)
  • 6 oz jar of artichoke hearts
  • one packet of simply organic pesto sauce

that is all i needed to create marshall’s requested casserole! i also snagged a small loaf of whole grain bread from the bakery to make some garlic bread.

garlic parmesan pesto chicken casserole



  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • salt, pepper, dried basil & dried oregano (to taste)
  • ~2 cups roughly chopped broccoli, steamed
  • 6 ounces chopped artichoke hearts
  • 2 TB basil pesto, homemade or jarred
  • 1/4 cup hummus (i used spinach artichoke sabra)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 packet pesto sauce (plus the 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup water needed to prepare)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ~3 cups cooked pasta (any shape is fine, i used whole wheat farfalle)


put a pot of water on to boil. once boiling, cook pasta al dente and set aside.

dice chicken and season with salt, pepper, basil & oregano. cook in sauté pan.


once the chicken is cooked through, let it cool a bit.  dice the cooled chicken up into very small pieces, as shown below.


dice the artichoke hearts and steam the broccoli.


in a bowl, combine chicken, broccoli and artichokes.  IMG_1578IMG_1579 

add 2 TB pesto. mix well.


prepare the pesto sauce according to package.


when it is done, add your greek yogurt to the sauce.



add noodles, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, the pesto yogurt sauce, hummus and garlic to the bowl.  mix well.


put mixture into a casserole dish.


top with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.  cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until warmed through. for the last 5 minutes, take off the foil so the cheese can get golden brown.

IMG_1601 IMG_1602

serve with a side of garlic bread and enjoy! IMG_1608IMG_1609

this was really delicious! marshall liked it, too.  sometimes i forget that you can use a starch other than rice in casseroles. noodles, potatoes and other grains work just as fabulously!

the best thing about casseroles are they are better the next day, don’t you agree? today for lunch, i ate some leftover casserole mixed with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese for added protein.  it was soooo delicious.  and then i ate two cookies. because cookies make things better.

yeah, i have been eating cookies to feel better and i will be honest and say i haven’t worked out in a week. i have had some personal and emotional things going on in my world that aren’t blog-appropriate but they have led to day after day of non existent workouts and cookie baking and eating. hope to get back into the swing of things soon so i can ramble about some moves!


1. what foods do you think taste better the next day?

2. i need some inspiration and motivation.. what was your most recent workout?

xo. janetha g.

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Kim @ Imperfectly Perfect September 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

I also forgot to add that I hope that things get sorted out soon in your personal life. I know how you feel. Stay strong! Sending positive vibes your way!!

lisaou11 September 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

I am IMPRESSED that you made that casserole up. It looks good!

I’m so sorry you aren’t doing so well with some things in your life. I’ll be thinking about you.

I just did a post on Primal Fitness and my workouts now will reflect that. Maybe that will motivate you some.

Katie September 9, 2010 at 11:53 am

I think soup always tastes better the next day – all the flavors kind of melt together, mmm. I can’t wait for fall soups. Chili especially. (Is chili a soup??)

I ran a speedy 2 miles this AM and then did a few sets of push-ups and sit-ups. It was quick, but it did the trick!

Jen September 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm

LOVE casseroles, can’t wait to try this one out!! Sorry you are going through some issues right now, I hope everything is ok.

My workout this morning was a simply walk away the pounds dvd (3 miles, 45 minutes).


GetHealthyWithHeather September 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

We love casseroles in our house! Yours sounds super duper. A lot of pasta dishes taste much better the next day. I think it gives the noodles time to soak up all the delicious sauce.

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Ahh look at you miss creative!! Love me some pesto though. There aren’t many foods I enjoy leftovers of, but any dessert I can stomach until it’s just about molded ;)

Yesterday I lifted and today i did HIIT on the elliptial. You should be proud- you’re the one who introduced me to HIIT!

Emily (The-former-Experimentarian) September 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Lol!! My husband says that too! He loves casseroles and always goes gaga when I make one :) Good husbands! Hope everything’s ok. Let’s catch up again–we’ve got to hit up that Robin’s Nest place on a day when it’s not raining cats and dogs. xoxo

Naomi(onefitfoodie) September 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

soups ALWAYS taste better the next day or even next week or month if they are frozen! the flavors just come together so well!! i Love that you take ingredients and just make it into a delicious 1 pot dish! just like your turkey garbanzo bake which I LOVED!!!! your such a creative chef, :)

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) September 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Had to come back and comment bc I am excited… I AM MAKING YOUR CASSEROLE! Like, right. now. haha :D :D YAY! I’ve been thinking about it all day and ordinarily I would come up with my own spin on it, but why mess with perfection ? Right? Right. The only thing I’m changing is the protein bc we have a pound of ground turkey that needs to be used. Wish me luck ;)

Can’t wait to try it!!

Anne @ a daily slice September 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I love this casserole!! It’s looks awesome :)

Mary (A Merry Life) September 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm

LOL. The title made ME want a casserole as soon as I read it.

I think some foods taste better the next day, but not all of them.

Mary (A Merry Life) September 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I’m so horrible at somehow posting comments before I’m finished writing. FAIL! I just wanted to say that I’m thinking about you. I totally get the stuff that goes on that you can’t blog about and I hope you work it out soon. I wish I could bring some cookies over and eat them with you. ;)

Alyson @ Nourished Fitness September 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

yum, I love a good casserole! And I’m right there with ya sister.. I have been.. flailing a bit as of late, there’s been many a dessert indulgence, minimal workouts and a lot of feeling bad about myself as a result. Thank you for just being your fantastic self and helping remind me that we all go through it, and it doesn’t mean anything bad, just life’s ups & downs! :)

elise September 10, 2010 at 12:08 am

hey love, i hope everything is ok. if you want a random ear to just listen, holler at me. i dont know whats going on, but ill keep you in my thoughts. cookies and casserole are great comfort foods…as is sabra ;)


Graze With Me September 10, 2010 at 9:37 am

Casserole looks amazing, that’s a nice easy request from the hubs! Mine always says either “fried chicken” or “prime rib” both of which I have never/will never make.

Hope all is well with you. I know how stressful life can be, believe me. You’ll get through it! And taking time off from working out only means you will come back with more energy and drive.


Heather (Where's the Beach) September 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I haven’t made a casserole in ages. I used to make them all the time. Love the idea of the Greek yogurt for yummy creaminess. I think chili or soup often tastes better the next day. I hope everything is ok for you.

Lara (Thinspired) September 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Sending love, JBean. Email me should the mood strike you <3

Thanks for the casserole idea…I love the yogurt to make it creamy. I want casserole now, too!

Barbara September 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts. I can sympathize with going through intense personal issues; they overwhelm, and drain you! I hope that you get inner peace, serenity and contentment back in your life as soon as possible! If there is anything I can do, please don’t ever hesitate to ask! Sending you lots of love and a gigantic hug!
Your friend,

melissadishes September 17, 2010 at 7:30 am

I am so making this, looks SO good. Dan’s on an artichoke kick, so it’s right up his alley.

May be a good thing to make next week late in the week, I don’t “extereme load” like some people do before long runs, but I do eat extra good carbs.

Jenna January 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

Looks delish!!

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