Bring comfort and flavor to the dinner table with our Chicken Alfredo Penne Pasta Bake, an easy-ish casserole that brings decadence and comfort to the table.
This casserole also a great meal to make ahead of time, even if you plan to bake it the next day. (See notes for storage suggestions).
Drop that jar of Alfredo sauce and grab the ingredients to make it homemade. A creamy sauce, combined with the rich flavor of the chicken this makes for a delicious dinner that is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. It is also a great way to incorporate vegetables into the meal and can be easily customized to your preferences.
This is one of my favorite recipes to make when I have guests coming over for dinner. I can make it the in morning and put in the oven an hour before the guests arrive. Most people can't say no to Chicken Alfredo, the succulent diced chicken bathed in a homemade Alfredo sauce, layered with perfectly cooked penne pasta (the key to great pasta casserole dishes), and crowned with a golden, cheesy topping.
Serve veggies and meat on the side with garlic bread, and you can make most guests happy, including the 15-year-old with discerning taste. The pasta bake becomes the vessel for any toppings that guests love. This is a go to dinner for guests, I just prep the pasta bake without the chicken and serve that on the side with a variety of veggies. It's great for when you have vegetarians and meat eaters at the table.
If you are preparing for a vegan guest, I highly suggest making our lasagna Copycat Stouffer's Vegan Vegetable Lasagna, you may even be able to get your meat loving friends to love it.
Whether you're a culinary novice or a seasoned home chef, this dish promises a to be a hit with the classic Alfredo fettuccine flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing. Cut down weeknight cooking time and use a rotisserie chicken instead of taking the time to cook the chicken breasts.
You'll often hear me say throughout my post that nothing fills my heart more than having guests at our dinner table (a family heirloom). So much love has existed and still exists at this table. My love of family, friends, and food, is what inspires many of these recipes.
This recipe was created for our son and a friend that was coming over to the house for dinner. With the palettes of toddlers (no shade), I often struggle to find the best dishes to serve, this one was hit, more with the guest than my kid, but that's to be expected.
I hope this Chicken Alfredo Bake makes it to one of your family dinners and becomes a family favorite.
- Olive oil
- Chicken breast
- Garlic granules or garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Ground mustard or dijon
- Sea salt
- Penne pasta (or any kind of pasta)
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour from Bob's Red Mill)
- Heavy cream
- Whole milk, chicken broth, or chicken stock
- Pasta water
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
See recipe card for quantities.
- Prepare Chicken: Mix diced chicken with olive oil and seasonings. Cook in a large skillet until lightly golden brown but not fully cooked. Set aside.
- Cook Pasta: Boil 4 quarts of water, add salt, and slowly add pasta. Cook until pasta is almost al dente - about 2 minutes less than package directions. Toss with cooked chicken.
- Make Sauce: In the same pan, make the sauce. Melt butter and olive oil, add minced garlic, and whisk in flour. Slowly add cream, milk, and pasta water, whisking until the sauce simmers. Turn off heat and add Parmesan and red pepper flakes.
- Assemble and Bake: In a greased 9x13 baking dish, add the cooked pasta and tender chicken, top with sauce, and mix. Add mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165˚.
- Chicken: Substitute with tofu or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour for a gluten-free alternative.
- Penne Pasta: Any pasta shape can be used, such as rigatoni or fusilli.
- Broccoli Boost: for a hearty pasta bake, add steamed broccoli to the pasta with the chicken mixture just before adding the creamy Alfredo sauce.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Twist: Mix in sun-dried tomatoes for a burst of sweetness and tang.
- Spinach Surprise: Fold in fresh spinach leaves for an added layer of greens.
- Large skillet or pan
- Large pot for boiling pasta
- 9x13 baking or casserole dish
To store leftovers, place the casserole in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer. When reheating, add ½ tablespoon of water to prevent dryness.
For a vegetarian twist, omit the chicken and serve it on the side. To accommodate vegan guests, try making a Copycat Stouffer's Vegan Vegetable Lasagna as an alternative.
Absolutely, the red pepper flakes are optional and can be adjusted to your spice preference.
The pasta water adds starch to the sauce, creating a creamier texture.
Yes, cover it with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 6 hours before baking for the best results.
Chicken Alfredo Penne Pasta Bake - An Easy Casserole
- 2 Stovetop, oven
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken breast diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic granules
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 4 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound penne pasta or any kind of pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 tablespoons flour I use whole wheat pastry flour from bobs red mill
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk or chicken broth
- ½ cup pasta water
- 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped (optional)
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the diced chicken with olive oil and seasonings. Cook the chicken, in a large skillet or pan, over medium heat until lightly golden brown but not cooked through. Turn off the stove and set aside.
- While the chicken is cooking, in a large pot, add 4 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil. Add the salt. Slowly add the pasta so that the water maintains a boil. Cook until just before al dente, about 1 minute minus the package directions. In a large bowl toss with the chicken and set aside.
- In the same pan, that you cooked the chicken, make the homemade sauce. To the pan add olive oil and butter, and cook over medium heat to melt butter. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let the garlic burn.
- Add in the flour and whisk for two minutes to allow the flour to cook and slowly brown. On medium low heat, slowly add in the cream, constantly whisking, so that the base doesn't clump. Add in the milk and pasta water, and whisk until combined and sauce just begins to simmer. Turn off the heat. Add in the parmesan and red pepper flakes (optional) whisk until combined.
- In a greased 9x13 baking dish, add the pasta and chicken, top with sauce, and mix until combined. Top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165˚. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes before serving for best results. If making the dish ahead of time just cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator until ready to bake, but no more than 6 hours.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Ensure chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚ during baking.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw chicken and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly and reheat thoroughly before consuming.
- Practice safe food handling to maintain the freshness and quality of ingredients.