One pan Tuscan chicken pasta bake- this is going to be the easiest pasta bake of your life! The pasta, chicken and veggies all cook together in the pan, and it makes for an easy freezer meal that can be baked from frozen.
I'm kind of ridiculously excited about today's recipe because it fits perfectly in line with my 'lazy cook' attitude.
I used to feel guilty for not being the kind of person who was willing to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner. Sometimes that can be fun, but for me, only when the mood strikes.
When it comes to everyday dinner recipes, I always though pasta bakes and casseroles were off limits because you have to cook your pasta and your chicken aaaand make a sauce of some kind. That's just too many dishes.
Then I discovered Recipe Tin Eats Ultra Lazy Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake. I mean, it even has the world 'lazy' in the title, so it was clearly made just for me 😉
We enjoyed Nagi's recipe three times before I decided to adapt it into this one pan Tuscan chicken pasta bake, and even made it into a freezer meal that can be baked from frozen.
Pasta shapes to use in this Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake (important!)
I experimented with different pasta shapes and different portion sizes. Since we are a family of three (well...four), we scaled it down to 4 oz of pasta and baked it in a 9 x 9 inch pan...it doesn't look like a lot (see above), but I promise, you won't walk away feeling hungry 😉
Penne was no good, as Nagi mentions in her recipe, as the flour gets stuck in it and the sauce ends up...chunky. Bowtie and rotini were both great! I used 'smart' pasta, which has extra fibre added. Whole wheat pasta does not work for this recipe.
How simple is it to prep this Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake?
To my dried pasta, I added some stock, milk, sundried tomatoes and flour, plus salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for seasonings. Mix it all up and try to get rid of any flour clumps.
I topped it with 8 oz of mushrooms and a chicken breast. Increase the chicken if you are a bunch of carnivores! We found one chicken breast was plenty and this one pan Tuscan chicken pasta bake was quite filling.
Cover and bake. I needed to bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, before stirring everything up and returning to the oven uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. The last step? Stir in some cheese and shredded kale. You could also use spinach in place of kale.
I baked it another 5 minutes until everything is melty and wilted, and then we served it up.
We found this one pan Tuscan chicken pasta bake recipe perfectly served 4, and you get a great portion of veggies, protein and pasta...not to mention cheese 😉 You will be left feeling full and satisfied but not overly stuffed and heavy.
I am so happy I found Nagi's recipe and will be absolutely keeping this in my pocket for nights when we want comfort food, without the effort of a regular casserole...not to mention all the dishes! This recipe? One pan to wash up.
Tips for perfect one pan Tuscan chicken pasta bake:
- I baked mine in this non-stick 9 x 9 inch baking dish, which is also perfect for freezing (don't freeze in glass as this may shatter when placed frozen in the oven)
- To freeze, I covered and baked everything for 30 minutes, before stirring in the kale and cheese and allowing to cool. Cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, place in a 350°F degree oven and bake for 30 minutes, add ½ cup of chicken stock, and bake for 15 more minutes. Uncover, give it a good stir, and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Looking for more meal prep pasta recipes? Try this Sun Dried Tomato Chickpea Pasta, this Meal Prep Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad, or this Make Ahead One Pot Black Bean Fajita Pasta
- 4 oz uncooked rotini or bowtie pasta (not whole wheat; see ’note’ for cup measurements)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes oil drained and chopped
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms roughly 4 cups
- 14 oz chicken breast in 1 inch cubes (1 large chicken breast)
- 2 cups tuscan kale shredded
- 1 cup shredded cheese I used mozzarella
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with oil.
- In the bottom of the baking pan, combine the pasta, flour, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, milk and sun dried tomatoes. Stir until no flour clumps remain.
- Scatter with mushrooms and chicken breast, season with additional salt & pepper.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, stir everything up, and return to the oven uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. Liquid will reduce but may still seem liquidy, and that's OK (it will thicken as it cools)
- Stir in the kale and cheese, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, until everything is melted.
- Serve immediately or enjoy leftovers for up to 4 days.
To prep ahead and freeze:
- Follow steps 1-5 above.
- After baking for 30 minutes, stir in the kale and cheese, then cool completely.
- Cover tightly with foil, label with re-heating directions (below) and freeze up to 2 months.
To bake from frozen:
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Place pasta bake (still frozen and covered with foil) in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Add ½ cup broth, cover back up and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Stir everything up, and if it is heated through, uncover and heat for a final 5 minutes. If it's not heated through, continue heating (covered) until it is.
4 oz bowties = 1.75 cups Recipe may be doubled and cooked in a 9 X 13 baking pan, however baking from frozen has not been tested with this size pan and cook times may vary.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
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