CHICKEN ALFREDO BAKED ZITI

This Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe is made with a lightened-up alfredo sauce, it’s easy to customize with extra veggies and seasonings, and it is always so comforting and delicious.

Creamy, cozy, cheesy, carb-y comfort food alert. ♡

This time of year, when everyone seems to be craving warm pasta dinners around the table on chilly winter nights, this chicken alfredo baked ziti recipe always goes viral here on the blog.  And this time of year, when I make a batch for myself, I’m always reminded how unbeatable this Italian casserole will always be.  I mean, creamy alfredo sauce, savory chicken, hearty pasta, two delicious kinds of melty cheese — what’s not to love?!  There’s a reason why this one will always be a classic.

That said, while this recipe already features my lightened-up alfredo sauce recipe, there are all sorts of other ways you can make this comfort food a bit healthier if you’d like.  From subbing in whole wheat pasta (this one is my go-to), to adding in your choice of veggies (we’re quite partial to broccoli in our house), to making it all gluten-free if you’d like (easy to do with a few simple tweaks), options to customize this casserole abound.  And bonus, it can be ready to serve a big crowd in less than 45 minutes.

YIELD: ABOUT 6-8 SERVINGS
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINS
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 30 MINS


INGREDIENTS:
CHICKEN BAKED ZITI INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 ounces uncooked ziti (or any pasta shape)
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)
  • 1 batch alfredo sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • toppings: lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, finely-chopped fresh basil or parsley
ALFREDO SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


DIRECTIONS:
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN BAKED ZITI:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of well-salted boiling according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken and alfredo sauce. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.
  3. Pour half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.
TO MAKE THE ALFREDO SAUCE:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Remove from heat and set aside.


Recipe adapted from: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/

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