Chicken/ Freezer Friendly/ Main Dish/ Pasta/ Recipe

Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta

September 12, 2015 (Last Updated: June 2, 2019)

Baked pasta with chicken and tomatoes

This baked cheesy chicken penne pasta is comfort food at its finest!  It is loaded with chicken, oven roasted tomatoes, and a rich creamy sauce.

Best of all, it can be made ahead of time and thrown in the oven about an hour before dinner. This baked pasta is a perfect freezer meal too!

Baked cheesy penne pasta with chicken and roasted tomatoes in a white casserole dish.

This recipe makes a large amount.  I usually divide the mixture into two separate baking dishes.  Put one in the oven for dinner and put one in the freezer for later.  Two dinners in one!  Yahoo!!!

Baked pasta with browned cheese on top.

I have been trying to find additional ways to use up the tomatoes from our garden.  I made a batch of oven roasted tomatoes and  used them here. Oven roasting concentrates all that delicious tomato flavor.

You could also use sun dried tomatoes.  I’ve used both the dried and the oil packed variety and they both work fine.  The oven roasted tomatoes were perfect too.

Another popular pasta baked dish is Chicken Pasta Bake. It’s similar to this pasta bake, but uses canned tomatoes instead. 

 How to make oven roasted tomatoes

  • You need fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes.  Simply wash, core, and halve tomatoes.
  • My tomatoes were huge (grapefruit sized) so I quartered them.  If you use a small tomato, smaller than a roma, you can leave whole.
  • Place tomatoes on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.  
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 hours.  You want the tomatoes to be soft and just slightly caramelized.
  • Keep an eye on your oven after the second hour.  
  • The cooking time depends on the size and juiciness of your tomatoes.

Tomatoes with olive oil on a foil lined baking sheet.

Oven roasted tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.

Baked Cheesy Penne on a small white plate with a fresh sprig of basil.

To make this baked pasta you will need:

  • penne pasta
  • oven roasted tomatoes or a jar of oil packed sun dried tomatoes
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • cooked chicken – this a perfect dish to use leftover chicken

I like to serve this pasta with Homemade Dinner Rolls and a Caesar Salad.

5 from 1 vote
Baked cheesy penne pasta with chicken and roasted tomatoes
Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Rest Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 

Cheesy baked casserole with chicken and slow roasted tomatoes.

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked pasta, Baked pasta with chicken, Penne pasta with chicken
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 371 kcal
Author: Kathy
Ingredients
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup oven roasted tomatoes chopped
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with water and set aside in large pot or bowl.
  2. In a large saute pan, add olive oil, butter and garlic over low heat. Saute just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. Add flour. Stir until just slightly browned (about 1 minute.)
  4. While whisking, add milk. Continue whisking over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Turn off heat and slowly whisk in Monterey Jack cheese and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

  7. Add roasted tomatoes and chicken. Stir just until combined.
  8. Pour cheese mixture over pasta and combine.
  9. Divide mixture and pour into two, 2 quart baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  10. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned.
  12. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
  13. To freeze, cover cooled mixture with foil and freeze. To bake, place frozen dish into a 400 degree oven, covered with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes until heated through.
Recipe Notes

This recipe includes tips for freezing. Dish can be baked right away, straight from the freezer, or thawed.
Sun dried tomatoes can be used in place of oven roasted tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 469mg 20%
Potassium 266mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 10.3%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 33.1%
Iron 5.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    September 16, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Wow! Baked pastas are always super yummy. And this one here looks absolutely divine, Kathy. Loved that it makes a large batch. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 16, 2015 at 5:04 am

      It’s so great to have one dish now and save one for later!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    September 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I’ll take a two for one cheezy pan of deliciousness any day of the week! This looks fantastic! And those tomatoes are gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Two for one is always the best!

  • Reply
    Manali @ CookWithManali
    September 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I love baked pasta, this looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Baked pasta not only taste delicious, it smells delicious while cooking too!

  • Reply
    Lori from LL Farm
    September 14, 2015 at 6:44 am

    First off…your pictures are GORGEOUS! Second, this is a must try for me…I love how you make one and freeze one.
    ~Lori

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks, Lori! Let me know if you give it a try.

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    September 14, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Wow, this looks like the ultimate comfort food! ANd what a great way to use all of those tomatoes. Our tomato crop in the garden this year was pretty poor. Like one of our worst ever. I have no idea what happened, but I suspect the garden wasn’t getting enough water at the beginning of the year. I thought we were getting enough rain, but apparently the tomatoes thought otherwise. P.S. I love freezer dinners!!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Bummer on your tomatoes. Go visit your farmers market and stock up!

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    September 14, 2015 at 5:36 am


    Wowza, this dish screams delicious comfort food… and devour me with abandon! Anything with roasted tomatoes is a Heck yea, but paired with lots of cheese, chicken and pasta? Winning! Love this! Cheers to a fabulous week!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Roasted tomatoes are sooooo yummy! Perfect in so many dishes.

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Kathy, I have to admit, I spend hours of time looking at recipes on Pinterest, but do I actually make them, nope. Am I making this. Yup. Because 1.) It looks real if you know what I mean, something my family is actually going to gobble down 2.) You’ve got the chicken in here for protein and 3.) You’re helping me use up my tomatoes. Can’t wait to give this a whirl!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 14, 2015 at 4:51 am

      Thanks, Laura! Let me know how it turns out!

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