Chicken parmesan pasta bake combines classic Chicken Parm with pasta and a creamy sauce for a delectable, easy dinner recipe.
I’ve been having one of those weeks. You know the one. The one where you know you should be working but the inspiration levels are lower than low and you would rather be watching reruns of Friends while eating ice cream than actually getting off your ass and doing something. That has been me, all week.
I think it might be something to do with the seasons changing (anything for me not to admit that I’m just a lazy bum). The chilly weather we’ve been experiencing is more “eating-weather” than “cooking-weather” and that’s the conundrum. I am the cook, so when I feel like lying under a blanket and being fed comfort food, no-one is going to get up and do it for me. SO, I have been finding ways lately to maximize on my laziness by prepping two dinners at one time. Take this pasta for instance, the chicken in it was left-overs from the roast chicken we had the night before. I simply cubed it, mixed it in with a rich red tomato sauce, tons of cheese and some fresh basil.
The sauce is also a cheat. You see, canned tomatoes and I are pretty much best friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh tomatoes but there is a depth and richness that you can only get with tinned tomatoes, something you’ll have to take hours to recreate when using fresh tomatoes. It takes all of 2 seconds to open the can and to add some flavour. I mixed the chopped tomatoes with a squeeze of tomato paste (from a tube), dried oregano, a pinch of smoked paprika for even more flavour, a little sugar and salt. Awesome tomato sauce, in a flash.
I mixed this awesome sauce with the cooked pasta, cubed chicken and then added fresh basil and lots of mozzarella cheese to enhance that “parmigiana” feel of the dish. The end result was a pasta that took minutes to knock together (something that is greatly appreciated when you’re feeling lazy/are too busy to faff around in the kitchen) and impressed my family so much, the demanded it be put on regular rotation for dinner. So not only did I get to be lazy, my kids also thought I was the ultimate mom. Life goals, no?
Chicken Parmesan pasta bake
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 500 g pasta I used rigatoni, cooked
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- extra grated mozzarella for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- Combine the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, sugar, salt and pepper then stir to combine.
- Combine the cooked chicken, cooked pasta and sauce in a large bowl and mix well.
- Layer the pasta with the grated cheese and fresh basil in an oven-proof dish.
- Top with extra grated mozzarella cheese then place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven then serve with extra fresh basil leaves.
More chicken pasta recipes you will love:
Lemon, chicken and asparagus pasta
I’m going to make this for dinner tonight! I’m going to make it on the stove instead of the slow cooker, though. Thanks for the lovely dinner inspiration! 🙂
Hope you love it!
I tried it for the first time. It was really good. My daughter loved it.
And how much fresh basil? It’s not listed in ingredients. But it says to add for fresh basil when you layer the pasta with the grated cheese.
Thanks for pointing that out Thomas, I’ve updated the recipe.
What does 2x 400g mean for the chopped tomatos?
2x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes. You’ll need 2 cans of chopped tomatoes.
you had more than it did, sob sob = ice cream only had a popsicle! this recipe is next on my ist. who couldn’t luv cheese, chic, pasta? tx for a good looking casserole!
This recipe sounds delicious, but I do have a question – why is it called Chicken Parmesan pasta bake if there is no Parmesan cheese in it?
I completely forgot about the Parmesan! What a dummy I am. But also, the Parmesan is not that much of a feature because this is more the pasta bake version of Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana) where you bread and fry chicken and serve it with tomato sauce and mozzarella. 😉
Thao @ In Good Flavor
I love Friends! I watch it almost every night when I go to bed…it never gets old. This pasta looks amazing! I love the gooey cheese.
I don’t think I could be friends with anyone who doesn’t like Friends. 😉
This looks like the perfect thing to do tomorrow with the left-overs from tonight’s Roast Pesto Chicken. I’ll have to leave out the fresh basil (none in the garden yet) and I’ll swap in some Parmesan, which I didn’t see in your recipe. Thanks for the inspiration and the ‘I-wish-I-could-eat-them’ photographs!
Lorrie, I completely forgot to add the parmesan to the recipe! Thanks for your lovely comment!
Okay, I made this yesterday and because of our current dismal weather, it will be even more fabulous tonight! I put in a bit of extra pesto from the freezer to make up for lack of fresh basil. I didn’t have quite enough mozzarella and Parmesan (time to shop!) so I augmented with Fontina and some Dry Jack from Vella Cheese Co.
Great (and simple) recipe–thanks! Time to build a fire, pour a glass of Sangiovese, and eat the left-overs!
I love the sound of all your substitutes Lorrie. So glad you liked this simple recipe!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
You are not lazy!! It is this daggone weather playing havoc with out systems. And besides my computer is where you’re at. It has NOT been cooperating and I’m ready to throw it out the door but then I couldn’t work and post and do the things I do on that stupid thing. And your recipe?? I don’t care how it came together, it looks fantastic and cheese– well, do they have a cheese addiction site? I can’t come near cheese without wanting to chew off a chunk — yes chew not nicely slice. Great recipe Alida!!
Marisa, I’m with you! I can live off cheese alone. Well, maybe add some bread too. Thanks for your lovely comment!
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
I hear ya, it’s nice weather out and watching re-runs of Friends while eating ice cream sounds pretty darn good to me! Although, I will say, I would totally turn on the oven for this pasta bake. The cheese, the hearty tomato sauce and of course, the pasta are all screaming comfort! Looks delicious.
Thanks Nicole! I think it’s the cheese that gets me every time. I’ll get off the couch for cheese any day. 😉
You are NOT a lazy bum, lady, because if you think you are, I am worst, let me tell ya 🙂
Regardless of the reason, sometimes we all need a little help in the kitchen, and what you come up with looks SOOOO yummy. What a wonderful looking dish, not to mention easy. Love Love Love 🙂
Thanks darling Pang! So glad you like the look of this dish!