Every once in a while I pick up a block of Monterey Jack, thinking hey, I’ll make a bunch of those recipes I always see that call for it. Only once I actually have the Jack in my fridge, do you think I can find any of those recipes? That’d be a big fat NOPE. In desperation, then, I did a search of my pins on Pinterest for ‘Monterey’ and came up with this Monterey Chicken Pasta Bake.
It was tasty.
Of course, it’s hard for pasta, chicken, and bacon in a homemade sauce not to be tasty, but still. I completely ignored the amounts listed for the chopped tomatoes and cilantro, because seriously–how can you use them as toppings if you have such small amounts of each for an entire 9 by 13 pan? (It’s baffling, I tell you what.) I also didn’t bother to measure the Parmesan, because who measures Parmesan cheese that just gets sprinkled on top in the last 10 minutes of baking? (Also baffling.) Other than that, though, I followed the recipe*, and while the rigatoni was a bit on the awkward side for my younger kiddos, we all enjoyed it. If you’re looking for some cheesy, chicken-y, bacon-y pasta goodness–and who isn’t?–make this recipe. And go wild with the garden tomatoes on top!
*Technically, I used half an onion and part of a shallot instead of one small onion, but that was entirely a function of using what was already in baggies in my fridge–and I doubt it changed the flavor significantly.