©2019 by Body Transformation. Proudly created with EasyrichesMarketing.com

  • Jack Wilson

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake

Last updated on August 31st, 2019 at 10:16 am

It doesn’t get much more comforting than a creamy pasta bake and this Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake is a family favourite. A dump and leave weeknight dinner that will feed a hungry family of 4, or 2 with leftovers to take to work. Kids will love this healthy creamy tomato sauce with chunks of chicken, hidden vegetables, and plenty of cheese of course!

Chicken Pasta Bake

This creamy chicken pasta bake is one that I have been making since I was in university. It started out very basic, with just chicken, a tin of tomatoes and pasta and I have adapted it every time I made it since. But I think this version is as close to perfection as this recipe is going to get.

When you crave comfort food, this is the recipe you want. This is a pasta bake that the whole family is going to love. It’s fairly simple when it comes to the flavours, but is really filling and comforting. Perfect for a chilly autumn/winter evening, but light enough for summer too.

Why should you try it?

✔ It’s super easy to make – you just dump everything in to a baking dish after the pasta and chicken is cooked.

✔ It is under 500 calories for a large filling portion.

✔ There is some hidden vegetables in there

✔ It makes great leftovers, and freezes really well too.

Easy to adapt – you can mix in any vegetables you like, and even change the protein source to something like beans, tofu, Quorn or salmon.

Is a pasta bake healthy?

Cheese is a must on a pasta bake and whilst this is certainly not lacking in the cheese department, we haven’t gone too crazy. We have gone with quality, not quantity, and used cheeses with a strong flavour so you can get away with using less of them.

We used a good quality cream cheese from a local farm shop, along with some mature cheddar and some mozzarella cheese. But you could also use parmesan and goats cheese on top to get a really strong flavour.

This pasta bake is only 500 calories for a large filling portion, which I think is pretty good as far as comfort food goes. We also made it as nutrient dense as possible by adding in some grated vegetables, so fussy eaters won’t even notice them.

What is the best pasta for a pasta bake?

I think that something really chunky works well, which is why we have used rigatoni. You could use penne or fusilli instead, but I wouldn’t recommend using something like macaroni, as it would get lost. The pasta is the star of the show here, so let it shine.

Can You Freeze Leftover Chicken Pasta Bake?

Yes, you can and this is a really good batch cook meal to save you time in the week. Just let the bake cool fully and then portion it out in to containers and freeze. Defrost thoroughly and reheat – add a tablespoon of water before reheating just so it doesn’t dry out.

It will keep in the freezer for around 3 months, or you can keep leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Vegetables in a Pasta Bake

I find it not hard to try and sneak some vegetables in to a dish, as everyone can do with some extra veggies in their life. I grated a courgette and stirred it in to the pasta, but it would work with a carrot too.

You could also finely chop some bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach or kale to stir in to the pasta sauce. You know your family best, so add in the veggies you know they will enjoy, or won’t be able to detect.

Vegetarian Pasta Bake

Keep this healthy pasta bake vegetarian by swapping out the chicken and using chunks of roasted aubergine or tofu instead. You could even go for a seafood version and use king prawns.

One of my other go-to pasta dishes when I was at university was a tuna pasta bake – such a classic. So you could swap the chicken for a couple of tins of tuna instead.

Extra Tips

  1. We used cheddar and mozzarella on top, but you could swap it for parmesan and goats cheese instead.

  2. Keep this vegetarian by swapping out the chicken and using chunks of roasted aubergine or tofu instead. You could even for a seafood version and use king prawns or tuna instead.

  3. If you want the sauce a little bit sweeter, a glug of good quality balsamic vinegar would go a long way. Or maybe turn up the heat by adding some chilli flakes.

  4. You don’t have to cook this in the oven. You could heat everything on the hob for a few minutes once it is mixed together and then put it under the grill to melt the cheese and make it go crispy.

  5. Feel free to use different types of pasta if you already have some in your cupboard.

  6. This is a good opportunity to sneak in lots of extra vegetables. Spinach, a chopped pepper and mushrooms work well.

  7. You could use leftover shredded chicken in this too.

  8. Always cook your pasta for a couple of minutes less than usual with making a pasta bake, as it will cook more in the oven.

How To Make Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake – Step by Step

One: Heat some olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Two: Put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Three: Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano to the chicken and mash the tomatoes a little and simmer for 2 minutes. Four: Drain the pasta and add the grated courgette and cream cheese and stir well. Five: Add the pasta mixture to the chicken mixture along with the cherry tomatoes and stir well. Six: Transfer to an oven safe baking dish and sprinkle with the cheddar, mozzarella and basil and put in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for 15 minutes. Seven: Once cooked, serve with chopped basil sprinkled on top.

Want to try some other pasta recipes? How about these:

Creamy Butternut Squash Hummus Pasta Mushroom Bolognese Thai Pasta Salad 15 Minute Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Tomato, Garlic and Prawn Spaghetti Healthy Mac and Cheese Bruschetta Pasta Cajun Chicken Pasta Roasted Red Pepper Pasta BakeDo you want to be kept up to date on more delicious posts like this? Please subscribe to the blog mailing list (it takes 30 seconds). Click here to sign up.

If you’ve tried this Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake or any other recipe on the blog then let us know how you got on in the comments below, we love hearing from you!

Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy – we love sharing photos when people make our recipes. You can use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.

DON’T FORGET TO RATE THE RECIPE ↓



4.72 from 50 votes

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake

It doesn't get much more comforting than a creamy pasta bake and this Creamy Tomato and Chicken Pasta Bake is an easy weeknight meal that will feed a hungry family.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: chicken pasta, healthy italian, healthy pasta, pasta bake, pasta recipe

Servings: 4 portions

Calories: 495kcal

Author: Dannii

Ingredients

  1. 300 g Chicken breasts, cut in to chunks

  2. 280 g Rigatoni pasta

  3. 4 Shallots, diced

  4. 3 Garlic cloves, crushed

  5. 2 tbsp Dried oregano

  6. 1 Courgette grated

  7. 400 g Plum tomatoes

  8. 100 ml Vegetable stock

  9. 2 tbsp Tomato puree

  10. 3 tbsp Reduced fat cream cheese

  11. 8 Cherry tomatoes, halved

  12. 40 g Mature cheddar cheese

  13. 30 g Mozzarella cheese torn

  14. 1 handful Fresh basil, chopped

UK measures - US measures

Instructions

Put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and oregano to the chicken and mash the tomatoes a little and simmer for 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add the grated courgette and cream cheese and stir well.

Add the pasta mixture to the chicken mixture along with the cherry tomatoes and stir well.

Transfer to an oven safe baking dish and sprinkle with the cheddar, mozzarella and basil and put in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for 15 minutes.

Once cooked, serve with chopped basil sprinkled on top.

Video


Notes

  1. We used cheddar and mozzarella on top, but you could swap it for parmesan and goats cheese instead.

  2. Keep this vegetarian by swapping out the chicken and using chunks of roasted aubergine or tofu instead. You could even for a seafood version and use king prawns or tuna instead.

  3. If you want the sauce a little bit sweeter, a glug of good quality balsamic vinegar would go a long way. Or maybe turn up the heat by adding some chilli flakes.

  4. Feel free to use different types of pasta if you already have some in your cupboard.

  5. This is a good opportunity to sneak in lots of extra vegetables. Spinach, chopped peppers and mushrooms work well.

  6. You could use leftover shredded chicken in this too.

  7. Always cook your pasta for a couple of minutes less than usual with making a pasta bake, as it will cook more in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion | Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1495IU | Vitamin C: 34.7mg | Calcium: 220mg | Iron: 3.3mg

#chickenpasta #CreamyTomatoandChickenPastaBake #italian #pastabake

0 views