Chicken pasta bake is an exquisite family favorite meal, that is absolutely delicious and super healthy at the same time.
It is one of the most popular recipes and is a perfect meal for the picky eaters in the family, like kids, who only enjoy great food without greens.
This cheesy pasta bake recipe is a crispy and savory meal for your family on special days. All you need is great cooked chicken, pasta of a kind like penne pasta, yummy cheese sauce, and some vegetables for the pasta bake.
Here in this pasta bake recipe, you can use numerous green things for the pasta mixture, that contain nutrition calories, so it’s a wonderful choice for weight watchers.
It is an anytime pasta dish that you can easily cook with leftover chicken and enjoy this luscious creamy flavor for a few days as well. You can cook it as per a calorie-controlled diet too.
So, either way, you can eat it with your family on special occasions or simply for a casual dinner, with less complexity and more satisfaction of appetite.
Without further ado, let’s hop into this exotic cheesy chicken pasta bake recipe and start off with the basic ingredients list!
1. Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe
For making the recipe of chicken pasta bake easier, we have divided the entire cooking process into four sections.
One is for the pasta, the second for the chicken and veggie mixture, the third for the sauce, and finally the baking process. Read ahead to unravel the list of required ingredients for this finger-licking treat.
- Pasta – 500 -600 g ( Preferably penne pasta, macaroni, or any gluten-free pasta )
- Salt and Pepper
- A Big Onion – 2 or 3, if small ( chopped )
- Chicken Breast – 2 ( diced, cubed, or chopped )
- Bell Papers – 2 ( 1 Red Pepper, 1 Green Pepper )
- Chopped Tomatoes – 700 g
- Tomato Puree – 1 tbsp
- Garlic – 2 Cloves ( crushed )
- Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil – 2 tbsp
- Oregano – 1/2tsp ( dried )
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Paprika – 1/2 tsp
- Thyme – 1/2tsp ( dried )
- Parsley – 1/2tsp
- Mustard Powder – 2 tbsp
- Spinach – 100 g
- Grated Cheese – 100 g ( strong cheddar cheese )
- Mozzarella Cheese ( preferably shredded or grated )
- Chilli Flakes
- Chicken Stock ( you may also use powder )
- Butter – 100 g
- Palin Flour – 100 g
- Nutmeg – 1/4tsp
- Whole Milk – 1 Litre
- Heavy Cream – 120 ml
We have added a large list of the crucial ingredients above. You may or may not use all of them but it gets super delicious if you know the usage of each one of them.
So, do not worry and sit back tight. Gradually, we’ll reveal all the tricks and methods to cook this fascinating main course, which is also a perfect comfort food. Let’s cook the pasta and bake ahead.
1.2 Boiling the Pasta
Take a saute pan and add plenty of water. Boil the water under medium heat until it starts somewhat burbling. Add the salt to the boiling for the taste. Stir the mixture well.
Now finally add the 600 g of pasta to the water and let it soften for at least 10 minutes.
You may alter the time range as per the packet instructions. Using a strainer, remove the pasta from the water after a quick cooking period.
Now, keep the drained pasta aside for later use in the recipe of Chicken pasta bake.
1.3 Making the Chicken-Veggie Mixture
Take a large frying pan or a skillet and heat it under medium temperature. Sprinkle some olive oil or vegetable oil, whichever acts as a low-calorie cooking spray for you.
The chopped onion should now be added to the hot oil and fried for a while. Keep cooking it until it softens and becomes tender.
Now, pour the crushed garlic and keep sauteing the mixture that is forming.
Add the diced chicken cubes and mix them well altogether. Cook the mixture for at least 3-4 minutes until the chicken turns white and softens.
After the chicken has finished cooking, garnish it with the red and green bell peppers. Keep mixing the ingredients well, after adding each new one.
Add the chopped tomatoes or simply 1 tsp tomato puree.
However, chopped tomatoes are more recommended since they bring out the creamy thick texture of the mixture.
It also enhances the overall flavor of chicken pasta bake, as well.
Keep cooking the ingredients until everything turns tender and fried.
Now add 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp thyme, and 2 tbsp mustard powder altogether.
Stir and cook all the given spices properly until they get mixed and well-soaked up with everything. You may also use smoked paprika or balsamic vinegar if you prefer it a bit sour.
Finally, season with salt and pepper after you’ve cooked the chicken mixture. You may use spicy seasonings as well if you prefer. This will heavily influence the taste.
Keep cooking this pasta mixture and once it is done, put the chicken mixture aside.
1.4 Making the Cheese Sauce
Take another frying pan and put it under medium heat temperature. Put 100 g butter into it and let it melt. You may add more butter if you like it heavier and you have no problem eating it with some high calories.
Add 100 g flour after the butter has melted and keep whisking it until it gets sticky. It would clot together but that’s okay, keep on whisking for a few minutes.
Afterward, gradually add 1 Litre of milk or 120 heavy creams on top of it. You may use both, but you need lower their amounts equally.
However, if you want to use only one, we’d recommend using the heavy cream, since it automatically creates a gooey cheesy texture already to the sauce.
The sauce gets thicker with the cream, but milk is also a great option, so you may use any according to your diet and preferences.
Stir and mix the creamy part, without leaving any extra clumps. Try to smoothen the sauce by taking enough time while doing so.
Finally, for the extra taste and flavor of the sauce, add some powder of nutmeg and chili flakes, according to your taste.
You may add extra flavorful spices or additions if you like experimenting with your cooking times.
Mix everything together and you’ll find a creamy thick texture, which is the desired texture of the chicken pasta bake sauce.
1.5 The Baking Process
Now that we have prepared all of the cooked requirements, it is time to arrange them in layers.
First, take your chicken-veggie mixture and pour it over the drained pasta that was cooked at the very beginning.
Mix both things really well, and you’ll notice the delicious red pasta bake, looks exotic. All of the ingredients must be properly stirred so that no raw pasta remains white or unmixed.
Now take your fresh large baking dish and pour half of the mixed pasta over the plate. Evenly distribute the pasta all around the baking dish, so the baking process goes smoothly.
Now, pour the sauce over the pasta, gradually. Do not use it altogether, since we’ll be making another layer of it. Cover the pasta with the sauce completely, as if you’re painting it.
Now, keep your grated cheddar cheese ready at hand. Once the pasta is well-distributed with the sauce on the dish, sprinkle loads of grated cheddar cheese on the pasta.
This will make the chicken pasta bake gooey and creamy, leaving a tantalizing flavor in the mouth, especially for hardcore cheese lovers.
Repeat the same process one more time. After you’ve sprinkled the cheese, pour the remaining pasta over it. Finally, add the leftover cheese, and cover the meal with another layer of grated cheddar cheese.
Since it is the final top, you may add some more stuff for garnishing. Add a few pieces of mozzarella cheese to double the gooeyness and flavor.
Decorate it with a few leaves of spinach and basil, if you’d prefer. This will add up an aromatic scent to the food after the baking.
Now that our chicken pasta bake is all ready, it is the climax to finally bake it. Preheat the oven for some time before you actually put the pasta bake inside.
After it has been heated, put your chicken pasta bake inside the oven for 20-22 minutes. Heat up the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or a little less.
You may open the oven and check it after 15 minutes whether it has turned golden brown yet or not. Better wait until the chicken pasta bake is piping hot.
If it has reached its desired color and texture, take it out and your creamy chicken pasta bake is ready to be served to the whole family!
1.6 Extra Tips for Cooking the Cheesy Pasta Bake
- This cheesy pasta bake recipe is a top family favorite, so it also has a lot of alternatives to cooking it. You may add or remove ingredients if you have a calorie-controlled diet. For weight watchers, you can fewer calorie ingredients for the chicken pasta bake recipe. For instance, soy milk, or other milk like coconut or almond milk can be used instead of whole milk. You can use less cheese or vegan butter to cut off saturated fat or calories for your diet.Since this recipe can be altered variously without compromising its deliciousness, that is why it is a family meal.
- When making the chicken-veggie mixture, you may use tomato sauce as well, instead of puree or chopped tomatoes. You can also add other sauces like Worcestershire sauce if you like.
- According to the measurements of the ingredients mentioned, this comfort food can be a perfect fit for 2 servings. You may adjust the measurements as per your needs.
- While making the sauce, you may add chicken stock powder, too. It will enhance the sauce flavor and also will bring a fine aroma to the chicken pasta bake recipe.
- Chicken pasta bake is a versatile recipe that can be cooked or kept ready before your meals. You can put it in the freezer and before dinner, you can take it out, let it come to normal temperature, and finally bake it, for the exotic creamy treat.
2. Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )
2.1 Can this Recipe be Altered as per Vegetarians?
Of course! Instead of using Chicken or any kind of meat in the recipe, you may use mushrooms or zucchini.
Even if the chicken is removed, the recipe will still be perfectly delicious because of its diverse ingredients. When it comes to cheese used, please make sure you buy the vegan versions, and that’s all to it.
No more recipe changes are required since the entire recipe is vegan without the chicken and cheese part.
2.2 How Long Can We Store the Leftovers from Chicken Pasta Bake?
You can easily store the remaining cooked chicken pasta bake for almost 3 days. Simply, make sure to freeze whenever it gets cooler.
You shouldn’t put it out for too long if you’re going to store it for the next day. The dish is sensitive due to its enormous ingredients so special care is needed, sometimes.
2.3 Where Can the Chicken Pasta Bake be Stored?
It is one of these recipes that need to be well-covered when put in for store. So, it would be safe and perfect to put it in an airtight box.
You can keep it on the baking dish, however, remember to cover it tightly. At least 30 minutes before dinner, remember to take out the dish, so that it comes down to its normal temperature.
2.4 How to Re-heat the Chicken Pasta Bake?
The recipe can be re-heated quite easily. Take out the dish beforehand, preferably an hour before eating it.
It is important to let the temperature drop to normal otherwise it won’t be heated properly.
After an hour, put the dish in the oven just before dinner and heat it up to 190 degrees Celsius, for at least 30-35 minutes.
2.5 Can More Vegetables be Added to the Recipe?
Surely! Apart from the garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, and onion, you may add several other vegetables like lettuce, and cauliflower according to your taste.
You may also remove some of the vegetables if you don’t like any, but this recipe is a fantastic treat for making children eat all the green things by mesmerizing them with its enticing taste.
Chicken pasta bake is absolutely magical when it comes to its flavorful aroma and indulging taste. From families to friends, this delicious recipe can be eaten anywhere and with anyone.
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Even though it has a long set of requirements, the process is really easy if you could follow up step by step.
If you give this awesome recipe a try, please let us know in the comments how it turned out. We would love to hear from you!