Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baked Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I'm always on the lookout for a good casserole recipe.  It seems like there are always church potlucks, or a family get together, or a friend having a baby where I need to come up with a good hearty freezer-friendly meal.   I get tired of making the usual lasagna, baked ziti, chicken spaghetti, standards that I always seem to turn to for these events, so when I see casseroles that catch my eye, I always flag them to test out.

I saw this recipe for Baked Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and thought it sounded great for a comforting and hearty casserole. Plus, it has the added bonus of being able to be baked right out of the freezer.  This makes a huge casserole so if you aren't taking this somewhere, you can always divide this into 2 dishes and make one immediately and freeze one for later.

This casserole was creamy, with the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic adding a nice flavor to the sauce.  If you like fettuccine alfredo, you will love this.  It really reminded me of a perfect cross between macaroni and cheese and fettuccine alfredo and really, can you go wrong with that?

6 Tbs. butter, plus more for baking dishes
salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate or ziti
1 tsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (8 oz. each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 oz. white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 oz.)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided (4 oz).


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 2 shallow 2-quart baking dishes or one large 9x13 casserole dish.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.

5. Bake uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To Freeze: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze up to 3 months.

To Bake From Frozen: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Recipe from Everyday Food


  1. Yum, Ryan! What a great combination of flavors!

  2. What a nice combination--one that I'm anxious to try.


  3. This sounds like such a delicious meal. I love these kinds of meals. I make them often on Sundays and then we eat them all week. Sounds wonderful!

  4. This looks great! I love that you used sun-dried tomatoes.

  5. I love sun dried tomatoes and enveloped with creamy goodness wow this dish is a sure party table winner.

  6. One dish meals always do make for a great week night dinner. This pasta recipe does have some great elements in it, I especially like the addition of the sun-dried tomatoes-yum! I think your description is what really sold me though-"a perfect cross between mac and cheese and fettuccine alfredo" -that sounds irresistible!

  7. Ryan, This looks scrumptious! Give me a pasta dish any day… add a salad and you’ve got dinner! Great flavors!

  8. Mmm comforting indeed--this sounds delicious! You're right, it would be great for a potluck or get together. I'm sure I'd eat half of the casserole if you served this to me. ;)

  9. Casseroles like this are such comfort food for me. I agree with Kathy, add a salad and it would be a perfect meal.

  10. I'm always looking for pasta bakes for my girls - this is perfect - lovely - thank you!!
    Mary x

  11. I'm not much of a casserole maker but my husband loves chicken fettucine alfredo - so I might need to give this a try. Sounds great!


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