What’s more comforting than coming home to a bowl of cheesy, chicken pasta? How about a bowl of cheesy, chicken, (wait for it) pesto pasta? You heard right. Pesto takes this average mac ‘n cheese dish and gives it a whole new dimension. Don’t have time to make this during the day? No worries: make it in advance, stick it in the freezer, and let it thaw the morning of before baking it that night for dinner. A week night meal that tastes like you took all day to make it? It’s enough to make other tastebuds green with envy.

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:50 minutes
  • Servings:6
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1 lb of pennoni pasta
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Olive oil
Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. While the oven preheats, cook the chicken in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat until brown and fully cooked.

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 2

Reserve chicken and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to the pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook until brown.

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 3

Throw the chicken back into the pan, along with the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 1 minute.

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 4

Boil your pasta until al dente, about 6 minutes. While the pasta cooks, combine butter and flour in a large skillet over medium heat, whisking constantly. Gradually add the whole milk, until the mixture is smooth. Finally, add pesto and cheese to the sauce mixture.

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 5

Stir the cream sauce over the reserved chicken, spinach, mushrooms and onions. Bake in a deep 13×9 inch casserole dish for 25 minutes.

#SpoonTip: Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and set the oven to broil for 2 minutes.

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs

Step 6

Enjoy!

Photo by Ellen Gibbs
Photo by Ellen Gibbs