This yummy pasta recipe is so easy to make and tastes delicious! This recipe gives you enough to make two casseroles, so you can cook up one tonight and freeze the other for later in the month.
Filled with sun-dried tomatoes, provolone, and Parmesan cheese, this pasta dish explodes with great flavor. Cooking the mushrooms ahead of time also add a depth of flavor that’s really tasty.
I like a little spice in my food, so I seasoned my chicken with some cayenne pepper to add a little heat. You could also add red pepper flakes right to the sauce if you’re looking for something with a bigger kick.
Served with a Greek salad, this casserole makes a wonderful and easy dinner for any night of the week.
Baked Penne with Spicy Chicken
*Adapted from Marta Stewart’s Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 pounds penne rigate
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders (you can also use chicken breasts, but tenders cook up quicker and are usually more budget-friendly)
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups whole milk
- 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 (8.5 oz.) cans oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups shredded provolone cheese
- 1½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter two shallow baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salt water, cook pasta just short of al dente. Drain and return to pot.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken as desired. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- OPTIONAL: I pre-cooked the mushrooms here because I like getting a nice brown on them. You don’t need to do this if you don’t want…but it does add great flavor to the pasta! I just cooked them in the same pan I cooked the chicken in to pick up that great flavor.
- In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute.
- Remove pot from heat and add provolone and 1 cup Parmesan.
- Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup Parmesan.
- Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
To Freeze: Prepare your casserole through step 6; let cool. Cover dish tightly with foil and freeze. Pasta will stay up to three months. To Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place covered dish in oven and bake until center is hot, about 1½ hours. Remove foil and bake until top is golden, about 15 minutes.
Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips.