Baked Ziti with Chicken
Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti is pure Italian comfort food, Chicken Parmesan translated into a pasta casserole. When I ferried this from the oven to the table there were choruses of “Oh, damn!” and “That’s what I’m talking about.” Which is my family’s way of saying, “Why, thank you, mother, that looks scrumptious.”
Herbs in Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
Fresh basil and oregano are wonderful additions to this casserole, if you have them at your disposal. If you don’t have them at your disposal, then dried are fine and dandy. The typical substation of fresh to dried is 3 to 1, which you will see in the ingredients below. And if you prefer to use 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning in place of the dried basil and oregano, go right ahead! You’ll get a few other herbs in the mix, which will blend into the sauce very nicely.
For the final basil garnish on top, use chopped or chiffonaded basil, and make sure that it’s fresh. If you don’t have fresh basil, just skip this part.
Rotisserie Chicken Pasta
You can definitely use a purchased rotisserie chicken in this pasta dish; it’s a perfect way to make it into something different. You can also use any plain cooked chicken you like, whether roasted, poached, grilled, or sautéed. If there are seasonings on the leftover chicken you are using, make sure they are compatible with the Italian flavors of this dish.
This is pure Italian comfort food, Chicken Parmesan translated into a pasta casserole.Tweet This
You can make this casserole ahead of time, and keep it covered in the fridge for up to a day. Then bake it when you are ready, adding another 10 or more minutes to the baking time if you are taking it straight from the fridge and putting it into the oven still cold.
This recipe can be easily halved if you are making it for a smaller group.
Holy moly look at that cheese pull, wouldja?
What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti:
Serve this with a green salad, such as Light Green Crunchy Salad, Romaine and Slivered Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing, or Endive, Arugula and Orange Salad.
Other Cheesy Chicken Dishes
- Bacon, Sage, and Provolone Chicken Rolls with Marsala Sauce
- One Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Baby Kale
- Spinach, Mushroom, and Chicken Quesadillas
- Chicken Parmigiana
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Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
- 1 pound dried ziti or penne rigate
- 3 cups marinara or other tomato sauce store-bought or homemade
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or I teaspoon dried
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 cups diced cooked chicken
- 3 cups grated mozzarella preferably fresh, divided
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Thinly sliced fresh basil to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
- Drain the pasta. In a large bowl combine the marinara sauce, basil, oregano and salt and pepper. Add the pasta toss to combine. Add the chicken, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the Parmesan and toss until everything is evenly combined. Transfer the pasta to a shallow 3 or 4-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella over the top.
- Bake the casserole for about 30 minutes until everything is hot and the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown. Sprinkle with the slivered basil and serve hot.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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Can you make it ahead of time and then just put it in the oven when ready?
yes! absolutely. You could even refrigerate this overnight. if it goes straight into the oven from the fridge you will need to add 10 to 15 minutes cooking time.
This recipe will definitely be saved! My family (and neighbor) loved it! I’ve already shared it with a few friends.
For anyone following a low-FODMAP diet, this worked great with FODY’s pasta sauce, low-fat mozzarella (not fresh which has more lactose) and brown rice pasta.
Dint get hot enough for me. Otherwise it was ok. It wasn’t in the fridge. Maiby the sauce should have been heated first
so sorry to hear – did you give it the full 30 minutes in the oven? sometimes our oven te3mps aren’t what we think they are – always worth using an oven thermometer every now and then to make sure your temp is accurate. 30 minutes should be plenty for it to get hot.
Can ricotta cheese or cream cheese be added
why not? I would go for ricotta. Maybe fill the casserole halfway, and then just dollop some small spoonfuls over the top, then scoop the rest of the pasta chicken filling over and bake. sounds pretty great, actually!