Alright. Let me tell you about this fail-proof, creamy, cheesy, dreamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake.
The base of this pasta dish is a homemade white cream sauce also known as Alfredo sauce. The sauce becomes creamy and clings to the noodles as it bakes and the mozzarella cheese melts right on top of the entire dish and it’s just pure awesome-ness. Mmm.
Making the sauce from scratch is just so much better than the jarred stuff. And pro tip: using freshly grated Parmesan cheese right from the block is essential to a smooth, rich, creamy sauce!
This meal can really be thrown together in a breeze especially with some minimal prepping.
Take any leftover cooked chicken and dice it up. Pre cook the pasta and broccoli and then all you have to do when you’re ready to make dinner is whip up the Alfredo sauce, toss it all together and bake. Easy weeknight dinner problems solved!
Ingredients you will need
Pasta: We love this chicken Alfredo pasta bake with Mezzi Rigatoni, but you can use 1lb. of your favorite pasta. (Penne, Ziti, Shells, Farfalle, Fussili etc.)
Broccoli: To streamline the process, the broccoli gets boiled with the pasta in the same pot during the last 3 minutes of the pastas cook time. The broccoli becomes perfectly tender and then you simply drain the noodles and broccoli at the same time.
Chicken: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and diced into small bite sized pieces. This chicken Alfredo pasta is great if you have leftover chicken since you can just toss it right into the pasta casserole!
Flour & Butter: needed for making the béchamel Sauce (white sauce/Alfredo sauce). You will cook the flour and butter to make a roux.
Milk: I use whole milk. This is needed for the sauce.
Seasonings: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic
Parmesan cheese: Using freshly grated Parmesan from the block is best. Using the powdered cheese will leave a grainy texture in the sauce and doesn’t melt nicely.
Mozzarella cheese: this is the finishing touch before it gets baked! Freshly shredded mozzarella is best (not the pre-shredded stuff).
Step By Step Directions
If your chicken isn’t already cooked, go ahead and cook the chicken. Dice into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
While the chicken cooks, boil water for pasta and cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 3 minutes of the pastas cook time, toss in the chopped broccoli pieces. Drain and place in the bowl with the chicken.
Make the Alfredo sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta, broccoli and chicken and pour into your casserole dish/baking dish.
Top the pasta with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and barely starts to turn brown.
Tips and Variations
Use any kind of cooked chicken: leftover rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, etc.
Not into chicken at all? Nix it! Make as is without the chicken, or add in additional veggies such as mushrooms or cauliflower.
Use your favorite short pasta: Penne, Ziti, Shells, Rotini, Farfalle, Fussili etc.
Purchase a block of fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese: the fresh cheeses both melt much better than the pre-grated or shredded cheeses.
3cupsbroccoli, chopped into small pieces (about 2 small heads of broccoli)
2boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced into small pieces
3/4cupParmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 1/2cupmozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
Prevent your screen from going dark
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook the chicken if not already cooked and dice into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 3 minutes, add the broccoli in with the pasta. Drain and rinse the pasta and broccoli with cold water to stop the cooking process. Pour into large bowl with the chicken.
Make the Alfredo sauce: Place a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk the roux for 1-2 minutes
Slowly whisk the milk in increments. Repeat until all milk has been added. Add in the Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce will appear thin, but will thicken as it bakes.
Pour the sauce over the pasta, broccoli and chicken and pour into your casserole dish/baking dish. Mix until combined and pasta is coated evenly.
Top the pasta with mozzarella cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and barely begins to brown.
Remove from oven and serve warm. Garnish with parsley or red pepper chili flakes, if desired!
Recipe can be made with any leftover chicken (rotisserie, roasted chicken) or you can even make without the chicken for a meatless version! When reheating, you may need to add a touch more milk or chicken broth to loosen it up. Best reheated on the stove.
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.
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