Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake that everyone will love!
For those of you that don’t know, my husband works in student affairs as a Residence Director. This means he manages a staff of RAs (Resident Advisors) and they all go through a pretty intense two week training at the beginning of the school year. For two weeks, Bryan basically disappears. Training usually runs from 9am to 9pm and they eat all of their meals together, which consists of ordering take out every night (and sometimes for lunch).
When he started with his job, we created a tradition of having the RAs over during training and a few times throughout the year for a home cooked meal. After all that take out, sometimes a non-restaurant meal can make all the difference.
This year, I decided to go with pasta and made this Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake as well as Swedish Meatballs and a Spaghetti Bake (both of which I will share with you soon). This pasta disappeared quickly. I had one bite! That’s all I got so I’m planning on making a batch soon for us and my parents, dividing the pasta into two smaller dishes.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it can definitely be made ahead of time and kept cold until you are ready. The only thing I would change is cooking it for a little bit longer – maybe 10 minutes – to make sure it’s nice and hot all the way through. Make sure to check it though as you cook.
- 16 oz. penne pasta (dry)
- 3 c. shredded, cooked chicken
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (could use more or less depending on preference)
HOMEMADE ALFREDO SAUCE
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. skim milk
- 1 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN BAKED ZITI
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta to just before al dente in a large stockpot with salt and olive oil added to the water. Do not overcook because it will cook more in the oven. Drain. Rinse cool water over pasta and let it sit till ready for next step.
- When sauce is ready, toss pasta with the chicken and sauce. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Add half of the pasta into a lightly greased casserole dish then add 1 cup of cheese. Then, add the remaining half of the pasta and the remaining half of the cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to turn golden brown. Remove and top with parsley.
TO MAKE THE ALFREDO SAUCE:
- Heat butter in a sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for one minute, whisking occasionally.
- Add the flour and whisk. Saute for another minute to cook the flour.
- Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking until combined. Cook for a few minutes.
- Slowly add in the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for a couple minutes until thickened.
- Whisk in the parmesan, salt and pepper until smooth. Remove from heat and toss with pasta and chicken when ready.