Chunks of chicken, slathered in a creamy, cheesy pesto sauce and turned into a comforting pasta bake.
Love a good pasta bake? Have I got the one for you? That’s a rhetorical question because yes, yes I do have the pasta bake for you.
I love a good Pasta Bake, especially when it promises cheesiness and creaminess. Nom, nom, nom. It’s just a great comforting meal. It’s easy. You can literally make it with whatever ingredients you have to hand and add pasta and cheese. It’s such a humble and homely dish which are 2 things I happen to enjoy when it comes to food.
Yep, this is big dish of heaven right here. Like a comforting blanket in Winter. Ok, so I know it’s not Winter here in Oz right now but that’s never stopped me from devouring a perfect plate of belly warming goodness like this.
So here we go. This Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pesto Pasta Bake is a mouthful in more ways than one. We start with some good basic pasta, some good basic chicken. We add a good dash of paprika and pesto, then cheeeeeese 🙂 There is actually only 110g total cheese in this whole dish but the creamy white sauce makes it go much further and become so much creamier than it could alone. It’s almost like a mac and cheese with some tomato pesto and chicken, that is then baked. Ok, ok. It’s nothing like mac and cheese. Except for the ‘good’ part 🙂
Pasta bake is always such a good family meal as well as it goes a long way and is cost effective. This recipe is for 6 generous serves but you could easily serve it out to 8. So long as no one is planning on coming back for seconds.
I prefer to use genuine fresh parmesan. I’m not a cheese snob but the shaker kind of parmesan is, well, stinky and it doesn’t provide the same flavour either. Each to their own though. If the shaker parmesan is your thing, knock yourself out. I can’t attest to how it would taste or how well it would blend in with the sauce though.
The other wonderful thing about pasta bakes is you can use whatever pasta you like. I never throw out dried pasta if there is just a little left in the packet. Instead, I throw it all into one container of mixed dried pasta. And that container is where I went for this recipe. This pasta bake was made with penne and rigatoni but any type of spiral pasta would be good too – the spirals will catch and trap that lovely sauce.
And what’s not to love about a meal that tastes equally as good, reheated the next day. Love it.
Hope you all enjoy and ciao!