Weeknights may be busy, but that doesn’t mean dinner has to be boring. A delicious 30-minute Italian meal that only takes 15 minutes to prep is entirely within reach with this Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Pasta Bake.
Honestly, if given the opportunity, I could eat baked ziti every day. I have even eaten it for breakfast (many times), which is pretty much my litmus test for defining my favorite dishes. Armed with only a fork, I have enjoyed it cold straight out of the pan. Shhh! Let’s keep that between us.
My family, on the other hand, likes a bit of variety. So, I have put a spin on the classic baked ziti and added a few new delightful flavors; roasted red peppers and chicken.
Rich and creamy ricotta cheese is combined with pureed roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese and garlic to create an incredible sauce for your pasta. Topped with slices of fresh mozzarella, this is one pasta dish you will certainly catch me eating out of the fridge when no one is looking.
Love from our Simple Kitchen to yours!
The 30-Minute Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake
- 1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers marinated with garlic, drained
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 8-oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1 lb mini penne pasta
- 12-oz pre-cooked chicken, chopped
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
Preheat oven to 350°F.1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Fill a large pot with water and cover it. Bring water to a boil, over high heat. Add a handful of salt. Cook pasta to al dente; meaning it still has a little bite to it. Al dente pasta absorbs sauce better while it cooks and this is going into the oven.
Meanwhile, puree drained red peppers. Pour pureed peppers into a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add ricotta, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Whisk to combine. Allow to simmer while pasta cooks.
Drain pasta, reserve at least ½ cup pasta water and return to same sauce pan. Add reserved pasta water to sauce and whisk to combine. Add sauce and chicken to penne and stir to combine. Pour into a casserole dish and cover with slices of mozzarella.
Bake for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!