My dear friend Curry found this recipe and passed it on to me. We LOVE Italian food in our home, but we don’t do much ground beef and sometimes full on tomato sauce is a bit too much.
So when she told me about a baked penne pasta with chicken and a creamy pasta sauce, it sounded like something I really wanted to try.
We had a couple over for dinner for pre-marital counseling. The soon to be husband is VERY picky and so I worked hard to make a meal they could both enjoy. Sometimes with a little more basic meals it’s my tendency to doctor it up and add a little of this and a little of that.
I had to fight that tendency this time. And I was glad I did. This recipe was good old fashioned yummy Italian.
It would also be great to throw together and freeze for yourself or for someone else!
Cheesy Creamy Baked Ziti w/ Chicken
Slightly adapted from Everyday Occasions
- 3 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon dry italian seasoning (or a combo of basil, oregano, parsley)
- 2 cups of tomato pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half
- 3/4 pound of penne pasta
- 2 c. grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Put chicken in 8×8 pan. Brush olive oil on top. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and italian seasonings. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- When the chicken has cooled, cut it into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
- In the meantime, cook pasta according to box directions, less a minute or 2. Drain and set aside.
- In a saute pan, heat tomato sauce for 3-5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in heavy cream. Cook for 2-4 more minutes, just until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, chicken, tomato cream sauce and basil. Add in about half of the cheese. Stir very well. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Pour into 9×13 inch pan. Top with the remainder of the cheeses.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Broil on low for a 3-5 minutes until the cheese on top gets brown and bubbly. Let it set for 5 minutes before serving.