- 1 tablespoon butter
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; saute 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
- Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
- Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
- To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
- To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350F. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.