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baked ziti in a white casserole dish topped with cheese and fresh basil
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Chicken Baked Ziti

Chicken Baked Ziti: An easy and comforting casserole recipe made with Parmesan, Ricotta and Mozzarella! It's a delicious weeknight pasta the whole family will love. Be sure to watch the video to see how simple it really is!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bakedziti, casserole, easydinner, freezerfriendly, pasta, pastarecipe, ziti
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 460kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ziti pasta, cooked (reserve 1/2 cup pasta water)
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper chili flakes (optional)
  • 32 oz. marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1 bunch basil, chiffonade

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove to cook the ziti noodles according to package directions. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add in the cubed chicken and seasonings and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. If there is any excess liquid in the pan, drain and discard it.
  • Add in the marinara sauce and reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Then, add the chicken and sauce mixture to an oven safe glass baking dish. (4.8 quart/10x15 recommended, needs to be fairly large to fit everything!)
  • Pour the cooked ziti noodles on top, followed by the ricotta and basil. Mix all of this together.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan. Cover with foil. (Pro tip: spray foil with non stick spray so the cheese doesn't stick to the foil). Bake for 20 minutes with the foil on, and then remove the foil and broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese get slightly browned and bubbly. Garnish with more basil and serve with more red sauce if desired. Enjoy!!

Video

Notes

  • Serve with a salad or your favorite vegetable dish. 
  • Can use Italian Sausage in place of chicken if you prefer. 
  • Make this dish in advance: After you top with cheese and cover with foil you can place in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. Note, bake time will be a little longer than 20 minutes since dish is now cold. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, remove foil and broil 3-4 minutes. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 460kcal