Chicken Pasta Bake
Pasta, chicken and a variety of veggies baked in a creamy tomato sauce with a tasty cheesy topping.
- 400g (14 oz) Dried Rigatoni Pasta
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper), finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste (Puree)
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 400g (14oz) Canned Chopped Tomatoes
- 250ml (1 cup) Chicken Stock
- 125ml (½ cup) Double Cream (thickened cream)
- 120g (4.2 oz) Spinach Leaves
- 380g (3 cups) Cooked Shredded Chicken *See notes if you would prefer measurements and cooking instructions for using raw chicken.
- 75g (½ cup) Peas
- 80g (½ cup) Mozzarella, grated
- 80g (½ cup) Cheddar, grated
Pre-heat oven to 190C/ 375F
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add pasta and cook per packet directions MINUS 1 minute, drain.
In a large frying pan, or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and capsicum (bell pepper) and gently saute until onion is translucent (around 3 mins.) Add the tomato paste and dried oregano and stir for a further minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a gentle bubble. Then stir in the double cream. Add the spinach and continue to stir until the spinach has wilted. Taste and season accordingly. (do not season for babies and young children)
Add the chicken, cooked pasta and peas. Gently stir to combine and then transfer to a large baking dish.
Top with the grated mozzarella and cheddar. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The dish should be hot throughout and the cheese golden and bubbly.
PASTA: Rigatoni is used but you can substitute with most pasta shapes (e.g penne, fusilli, shells etc)
CHICKEN: This recipe uses cooked shredded chicken. If you prefer the texture of chicken pieces or only have raw chicken available then chop two large (or 3 smaller) raw chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Before cooking the sauce, saute the chicken pieces in a little olive oil over medium heat until sealed, around 5 mins. Remove from the pan and add back into the dish at the same point you add the pasta.
STOCK: I used chicken stock but you can also use vegetable stock. If serving a baby make sure to use homemade stock to reduce sodium levels. Alternatively you can replace with a second can of chopped tomatoes.
CHEESE: A mix of mozzarella and mature cheddar is used for the topping. Mozarella melts really well and has that nice stretch, and isn't as oily. You can replace the cheddar with other cheeses such as Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Colby, Provolone & Tasty. A little grated parmesan will also add good flavour. Bee mindful of sodium content when cooking for babies / young children. You may wish to reduce the cheese or serve a portion with less cheese topping.
Refrigeration: This chicken pasta bake can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Freezing: Assemble and allow to cool. Do not bake, just cover and freeze it.
Nutritional Information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator.
Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 758mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3307IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 254mg | Iron: 4mg