- Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Prepare large and dip baking dish, set aside.
- To a large pot filled with water add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, add crushed garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Add chicken cubes and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked, about 5-6 minutes. Then add diced bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes and turn the heat off.
- When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook to al dente (1-2 minutes less than in the package instructions).
- Meanwhile make the béchamel sauce: in a large sauce pan, melt the butter, add flour and whisk until smooth paste forms, then cook for 1 minute. Gradually add warm milk, while whisking constantly. Keep whisking over medium-high heat until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the sauce to the pasta, the add the chicken mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle on top grated mozzarella and grated cheddar.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden-brown and bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.
What can I serve with pasta bake?
Since this dish is quite heavy, I would recommend serving it with something light like a fresh salad or a light side dish.
What type of pasta to use?
In this recipe I used penne pasta, but you use almost any kind of pasta that you like. I prefer the shapes that catches a lot of sauce, such as: Rigatoni, elbow pasta, Fusilli, Farfalle, Gemelli, ziti and more.
Can we make chicken pasta bake ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare everything a day ahead, place it in a dish, cover, and store in the fridge. When ready to bake, sprinkle with cheese and bake according to recipe instructions.
What can we add to chicken pasta bake?
I added just bell peppers (except onion and garlic), because that’s what I have at the moment. But you can you almost every veggie that you like; carrots, peas, spinach, mushrooms and more. You also can all bacon to the dish. The options are endless.
How to store chicken pasta bake?
This chicken pasta bake can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.
What type of cheese can we use?
I used mozzarella and cheddar cheese. You can use only one type, or several type. You can use any type of cheese that melts: gruyere cheese, Provolone, Asiago Cheese, Gouda and more.
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