Cheesy Baked Pasta with Chicken is a delicious baked pasta that will satisfy your entire family. This baked pasta is comfort food at it's finest. It is filled with chunks of chicken, penne pasta, chopped tomatoes all wrapped up in a creamy cheese sauce. Make this ahead of time and pop in the oven before dinner.
I love baked pasta dishes and this Chicken Pasta Bake is delicious!
Pasta is comfort food and this creamy chicken pasta is no exception. All that cheesy goodness along with chunks of chicken is just pure deliciousness. This dish is a hit with my family.
I love serving a delicious hearty meal that's easy to prepare. If you have any leftovers, they are equally delicious reheated the next day!
What is a pasta bake?
A pasta bake is pasta mixed with sauce and placed into a casserole dish and baked. There are thousands of versions of bakes. The best part is these bakes can be assembled ahead of time and then baked when it's dinner time.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it ahead of time. Assemble the casserole, but instead of putting it in the oven, cover casserole and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake. May need to increase baking time by 15 minutes.
Can this dish be frozen?
Yes! I usually divide this recipe into two casserole dishes. I use one for dinner and freeze one for later. Two meals and I only had to prep once! To use a frozen bake, I pull it out of the freezer in the morning and bake in the evening.
The pasta will still be slightly frozen and you will need to increase the baking time by 30- 45 minutes.
Can I use a different shape of pasta?
You bet! Many times I use whatever I have on hand. Some options include macaroni, ziti, fusilli and fettuccini. Almost any type of past is fine, although dainty pasta like angel hair will not hold up to the baking and sauce.
I've made baked pastas in the past. One of our favorites is Creamy Chicken Penne Pasta. I was actually planning on making that pasta bake when I realized I didn't have any oven roasted tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes.
Since pasta bakes are so versatile, I changed it up a bit. I used a can of drained chopped tomatoes and added a few different herbs.
If you're looking for more pasta dishes, check out this Sausage Pepper Pasta! It's filled with Italian sausage, peppers and onions!
What should I serve with this pasta dish?
More delicious pasta recipes
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Chicken Pasta Bake
- 1 pound penne pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups milk (whole milk or 2%)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 4 cups Cooked chicken (chopped)
- 1 can Diced tomatoes (28 oz can)
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (chopped (optional))
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.
- In a sauce pan over medium heat combine oil and flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in milk. Continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring often. When milk begins to simmer, it will begin to thicken. Do not boil.
- Once milk is thickened, add salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes.
- Turn heat to low and whisk in Monterey Jack cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Add tomatoes and chicken. Fold in carefully.
- Place cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour cheese mixture over pasta and stir carefully so all pasta is coated with sauce.
- Spray two 9 x 13 inch (or two 8x11) casserole dishes with a non stick spray. Divide pasta mixture evenly into both dishes.
- Top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Bake uncovered in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Add chopped parsley before serving (optional)
- Allow casserole to fully cool. Wrap in foil and place in freezer. To use, remove from freezer and allow to partially thaw for at least 6 hours. Bake as directed increasing cook time by 30 - 45 minutes.