Main Dish/ Pasta/ Recipe

Chicken Pasta Bake

March 11, 2019 (Last Updated: July 22, 2020)

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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. 

Chicken Pasta Bake in a casserole dish

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. 

Chicken Pasta Bake on a small plate

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. 

Ingredients needed for Chicken Pasta Bake.

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!

Baked chicken pasta in a casserole dish ready to go into the oven.

What should I serve with this pasta dish?

I often serve Caesar salad or an Italian salad  and Garlic Bread Sticks . For dessert serve Raspberry Brownies.

Dried pasta spilling out of a box. This pasta will be used to make a pasta bake.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

Casserole with pasta, chicken, tomatoes and topped with fresh parsley.

 

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

If you loved this recipe you’ll LOVE all the others in this category. Check out all my main dish recipes here!

A glass casserole dish filled with a baked pasta.

Chicken Pasta Bake

Kathy
Creamy pasta with chunks of chicken
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Rest Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 16 people
Calories 249 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pasta

  • 1 pound penne pasta

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 4 cups Cooked chicken (chopped)
  • 1 can Diced tomatoes (28 oz can)

Topping

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (chopped (optional))

Instructions
 

Pasta

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

Sauce

  • In a sauce pan over medium heat combine oil and flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour and continue heating over medium heat stirring for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in milk. Continue cooking over medium 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 1/4 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 11 inch casserole dishes with a non stick spray. Divide pasta mixture evenly into both dishes.
  • Top with remaining 1/4 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)

To Freeze

  • 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. 

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 264mgPotassium: 203mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 270IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 0.9mg
Keyword baked pasta recipes, chicken pasta bake, pasta bake
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 21, 2019 at 5:25 am

    5 stars
    My family loved this pasta dish. I loved that it could be made ahead of time and then baked before dinner. There is just the perfect amount of cheese! My kids are already requesting this dish again.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 21, 2019 at 5:28 am

      Thanks, Katie! It’s a favorite in our house too!

  • Reply
    Lynn M.
    September 20, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    4 stars
    This was pretty tasty. We gave it a 4 out of 5 based on some quirks we encountered. (Unlike the other reviews, we actually made it. I did not know one gave a review for how the food dish looks!) However, there are some amendments that need to be made to the recipe. 1) What SIZE casserole dishes are needed? (We made a half recipe and based on what was in our big bowl after mixing the ingredients, we “guesstimated”. 2) We could not find canned “chopped” tomatoes, so we used diced. We would have preferred to use chopped, and if we make again, we would chop fresh tomatoes. 3) Step 6 states to whisk in the cheeses (more than one), so we put in the Monterrey Jack AND the Parmesan. Ooops. This step should specify the Jack cheese only, not cheeses. 4) The photo shows a green item (parsley?), but there is not mention of anything green in the ingredients.

    • Reply
      Kathy
      September 20, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      Hello Lynn, Thank you for your comment and feedback. I know not everyone who leaves comments has actually made my recipes but I still appreciate their comments. I appreciate you taking the time to leave such detailed feedback. I have made some adjustments to my recipe based on your feedback. Fresh chopped tomatoes could certainly be used, just remove the skin first. In step 6 you do add two cheeses – both the Jack and 1/4 cup of the Parm. Another 1/4 cup of Parm is added as a topping. I’ve clarified this step to avoid further confusion.
      Thanks so much visiting Beyond the Chicken Coop and happy baking!
      Kathy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    March 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    5 stars
    This dish just says “comfort food” to me! Sounds so good.
    Love a good pasta bake!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      March 19, 2019 at 5:10 am

      You are right! Perfect comfort food.

  • Reply
    Kelly | Foodtasia
    March 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    5 stars
    Kathy, baked pasta is the ultimate in comfort food! This looks so creamy and delicious – I love how there are some chunks of tomato in the mostly creamy sauce. Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    Fred G
    March 12, 2019 at 10:18 am

    5 stars
    Great combo of ingredients

  • Reply
    Harshad
    March 12, 2019 at 1:02 am

    5 stars
    I love baked food, and I have to say this baked Pasta recipe looks so tempting!

    I also liked the idea of using leftover Chicken in this recipe. It will help get those extra flavors to the dish.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    March 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    5 stars
    This pasta bake would go over really well at our house Kathy. Sending the recipe to my sons. Bet they both could manage this!

  • Reply
    Adina
    March 11, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Definitely a dish my kids would eat any time of the day!! It looks delicious!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    March 11, 2019 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    We definitely share the same tastes, Kathy! I love a good chicken pasta bake, and this one sounds fantastic. There’s something so comforting about this recipe, and I’ve always got the ingredients (in some form or another) in stock here at home. In fact, this post has me craving a good pasta bake for dinner tonight now! Yum!!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    March 11, 2019 at 5:47 am

    5 stars
    We love pasta bakes in our home! Love how you can pretty much use what’s on hand and make something yummy! This one looks absolutely delish, Kathy! Looks so comforting ๐Ÿ™‚

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