This baked pasta has been one of my favorite meals since I was newly married. I got the recipe from my Aunt RaNae and have been adapting, enjoying, and making it in all kinds of variations for years. This recipe is simple tried and true deliciousness that you are going to make over and over again. It’s super versatile and fool-proof. I like to make the sauce the same every time because that’s the backbone of this dish. You have a lot of options when it comes to the kinds of pasta you use (you can use lots of different shapes and different types of pasta – I make this with whole wheat pasta all of the time), the vegetables you toss in, and even the meat.
I normally use up leftover shredded chicken (hello, rotisserie chicken), but this is a great way to use just about any shredded meat you have around (did you see my post on how to make any shredded meat in the slow cooker? It’s a keeper!). Honestly, you don’t even have to add meat if you are after a simple meatless meal; creamy pasta and vegetables can stand alone just fine.
This baked pasta freezes well. I like to make this same amount but put it into two 9″ by 9″ baking dishes. I’ll bake one for dinner and the other I cover and put in the freezer instead of cooking it. When I want to cook it, I thaw it overnight in the fridge, and then bake it until everything is hot. The noodles are a little bit softer, but cooking once and eating twice is worth having soft noodles once in a while, in my opinion. You’ll have to try it and see what you think!
Quick and Easy Chicken and Vegetable Baked Pasta
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6-8
- 1 package pasta (about a pound)
- 2-4 cups frozen vegetable (Normandy Blend)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 an onion chopped small
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (the minced kind in the jar)
- 1 carton chicken stock (1 quart)
- 2 cup shredded chicken
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Get a pot of water boiling for your pasta. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When the water is boiling cook your pasta al’dente. This is normally about 2 minutes less than the package says for me. When the pasta has about a minute left, add the frozen vegetables to the water. When the pasta is cooked al dente drain the pasta and the vegetables. Let these hang out in your colander for a minute.
- Return the now-empty pot back to the stove and add the butter and onion. Over medium heat, cook the onion in the butter until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the flour. Stir to combine and let the mixture cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in one carton of chicken stock. Bring the mixture up to a slow boil, stirring very often. Once the mixture starts to bubble cook for 1-2 minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pasta and veggies to the prepared dish. Add the chopped chicken on top of the pasta. Pour the sauce evenly over the dish. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella. Place the dish in the oven and bake until the cheese melts and the sauce begins to bubble around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pasta rest for 5 minutes before serving.
You are adding the vegetables to the cooking pasta to thaw them, not necessarily cook them. They’ll have time to cook in the oven, but it doesn’t work very well if you put them in the dish frozen when everything else is hot. If you forget to add them to the cooking water, you can place the frozen vegetables in the bottom of the colander and then pour the hot cooking water and pasta on top of them. Just be careful, the hot water splashes more easily when you do it like this.
To speed up the prep time for this dish, start making the sauce in a second pan while the pasta is cooking. So dinner on the table faster or less dishes – you decide!
This recipe freezes well. I like to make this same amount but put it into two 9 by 9 inch baking dishes. I’ll bake one for dinner and the other I won’t put in the oven. I’ll cover it well and put it in the freezer. When I want to cook it, I thaw it overnight in the fridge and then bake it until everything is hot. The noodles are a little bit softer but cooking once and eating twice is worth having soft noodles once in a while in my opinion.
This baked pasta dish is going to become a family favorite in no time. I can’t wait to hear what kinds of things you add and how it turns out. This meal is so easy to make and love that I often make it when someone is sick or just had a baby. I know it’s going to be well received by all. Pin it for later, because you are going to make this recipe over and over again. Enjoy!