EASY TUSCAN CHICKEN PASTA BAKE — Pasta and chicken in a creamy cheese sauce, loaded with spinach, peppers and fresh herbs. An easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
We eat a lot of pasta and chicken around here, and any time I can combine then in one dish, I know it will be a hit. This Easy Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake was no exception!
With the help of a supermarket rotisserie chicken and jarred Alfredo sauce, this hearty pasta bake comes together in no time. And I love that it’s loaded with healthy vegetables like spinach and peppers.
Mushrooms are delicious in this dish too, but a few people at my house don’t care for them (not me!) so I opted not to included them.
Really, there are all kinds of veggies you could add to this recipe. Feel free to add whatever you have on hand!
My hungry teenage boys devoured this dish, so it’s definitely something I’ll be making again.
It does feed a crowd though, so feel free to half the recipe if you don’t have a large (or very hungry) group to feed.
I like to use a corkscrew style pasta in this recipe, like rotini or cavatappi, but almost any kind of noodle will work. Penne and rigatoni are some other great options.
If you know you’re going to have a busy evening, this dish can even be prepped in the morning, or the night before and popped into the oven when it’s time for dinner.
I know I’m always looking for recipes where I can get at least some of the prep work done early, because these tend to be crazy around here between the end of the school day and dinner time!
You can sub dried herbs for fresh in this recipe (just use about 1/3 the amount), but if you have fresh herbs handy, they really add a gourmet touch.
This delicious creamy chicken and pasta bake is a new favorite at my house, and hopefully it will become a favorite at your house too!
Be sure to save this Easy Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Easy Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake
- Olive oil
- Produce: garlic, red bell pepper, fresh baby spinach, fresh herbs
- Sun dried tomatoes in oil
- Chicken broth
- Alfredo sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- 16 ounces corkscrew style pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/3 cup minced sun dried tomatoes in oil
- 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (22 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
- 2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Cook pasta according to package directions until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
- While pasta cooks, preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, pepper, sun dried tomatoes and spinach and saute until spinach has just wilted and vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add sauteed vegetables to cooked pasta and stir to combine. Stir in chicken broth, Alfredo sauce and cooked chicken. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the fresh herbs.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 39g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from The Seasoned Mom