Casseroles/ Chicken/ Pasta

Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake

Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a pasta bake, not since the cheesy hot Italian sausage bake we did awhile back. So today we’ll be a doing a pesto chicken pasta bake! This one is slightly Alfredo-y, like my chicken Alfredo pasta bake but also has a taste of pesto and with less of a cheesy top. Instead, we have cheese in the pasta itself, a six cheese Italian blend all mixed up with the Alfredo sauce. There’s also tomatoes, spinach and chicken to go with it and a generous layer of Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

All of the ingredients are store-bought items which makes this super easy to put together. I even used rotisserie chicken here so we didn’t have to pre-cook the chicken. Of course, you can make your own Alfredo sauce and cook your own chicken; grilled, pan-fried, whatever way you want. But the emphasis of the recipe is to get a full family-portioned meal with as little hassle as possible. So let’s begin.

Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

Start by cooking your pasta. You’ll want to cook it till it’s just before al dente since it will cook longer in the oven and you don’t want soggy pasta. So take it off the stove once the pasta has expanded in size but is still a little chewy. After that, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

While you’re cooking the pasta, start cooking or pulling apart the rotisserie chicken. You should get about 3 cups worth of chicken when all is said and done. Mix up the chicken with the cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk and pesto. You’ll need a huge prep bowl for this because the fresh spinach tends to be bulky, or you can do it in the casserole dish itself.

Once the pasta is cooked, drained and rinsed, add to the chicken mix. Mix, mix mix! I found I spent more time carefully mixing it then I did any of the other prep work. Once that’s done, transfer it to a casserole dish and top with the Parmesan, Italian bread crumb and olive oil mix. Then we bake!

Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

It should take about 30 minutes or so, since all the ingredients are already cooked. The baking part is just to marry the flavors together and melt the cheese topping. At this point, you can take the 30 minutes to start a side dish, or finish washing up, or write up this post like me.

And that’s it! Happy eating 🙂

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Turn store-bought ingredients into a hearty, comforting pesto chicken pasta bake. Super easy to put together for a delicious, big portioned family meal!

Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. penne/ziti/rigatoni pasta
  • 3 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • 2 cups Italian cheese blend, shredded
  • 5 oz. fresh/frozen baby spinach
  • 1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) pesto
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta until just before al dente
  2. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process
  3. Combine chicken, cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk and pesto
  4. Add cooked pasta to the chicken mix and stir to combine
  5. Transfer pasta mix to a 9×13 casserole dish
  6. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil and sprinkle over casserole
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly

Notes

Alfredo sauce (2 cups):
Ingredients:
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Instructions:
Over medium low heat, melt the butter and pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Add the Parmesan cheese in portions and stir to mix

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health
    January 8, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    i havent made pasta in a long time..thank you for sharing this easy recipe esp for weeknights 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 11, 2016 at 1:17 PM

      Very welcome! Do let me know how you liked it, if you ever try it out 🙂

  • Reply
    Muna Kenny
    January 16, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    It’s been long time since I visited your blog. I missed your beautiful clicks 🙂
    Your Pesto Chicken Pasta looks delicious,

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 16, 2016 at 10:46 PM

      Thanks for stopping by, Muna! Just peeked in your blog and wow that lamb in spicy gravy has my name all over it. YUM! I want 😉

  • Reply
    Erika
    February 10, 2016 at 4:29 PM

    Tried this out today and I loved it!!! I just added some left over broccoli and it was delish! Thank you:)

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 16, 2016 at 2:13 PM

      Great to hear! Thanks so much for trying out this new recipe, Erika.

  • Reply
    Cierra
    June 20, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    I made Chicken Pesto Bake and it was delicious. I just didn’t add the spinach. Everyone loved it who tried it. ??????

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 23, 2016 at 2:29 PM

      Thanks for letting me know, Cierra! Always a good day to hear someone had something yummy 🙂

  • Reply
    Rob
    December 31, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    This was amazing! Such a good recipe. I added some fresh chopped garlic to it. Thank you!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 20, 2017 at 12:54 PM

      Yum, garlic! Great addition. Happy you liked it, Rob.

  • Reply
    Rosemarie Malin
    July 28, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    I’m also a food blogger – a little fish in a big sea. Love your every day approach, especially now – we are in the process of moving, so my kitchen in half-packed – making preparing delicious meals for my guys a bit of a challenge. This was perfect after a day of house hunting in another city. Thank you.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 2, 2017 at 1:55 AM

      Oh it’s a very big sea indeed! So many of us out there 🙂 I do like to offer alternatives to busy cooks that want something more than takeout or frozen stuff but still need short cuts. There’s a little something of everything here for everyone, I’d like to think!

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 20, 2018 at 11:53 PM

    This is a great easy recipe that’s delicious. I added frozen peas and broccoli (which I lightly steamed) to add more greens. My flatmates loved it.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 27, 2018 at 8:31 PM

      Thanks for trying it out and sharing it, Sara!

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