Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake: A Hearty Family Favorite
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Craving a comforting, hearty dish that’s also packed with nutrition? This Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake is your go-to recipe. Combining tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and fusilli pasta with a rich, cheesy sauce, this bake is perfect for a cozy family dinner. Let’s dig into this delightful dish that promises to become a favorite in your household.

History

Did you know that pasta bakes, or casseroles, have been popular in American cuisine since the early 20th century? Originating as a way to make use of leftovers and stretch ingredients further, these versatile dishes have evolved into beloved staples, often featuring a variety of proteins, vegetables, and creamy sauces. The Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake is a modern twist, incorporating the health benefits of broccoli with the satisfying flavors of a traditional pasta bake.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake with a crisp green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette to balance the richness of the dish. Garlic bread or a warm baguette on the side will complement the creamy pasta perfectly. For a touch of freshness, garnish with chopped fresh parsley or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.

Storing Instructions

To store leftovers, transfer the cooled pasta bake into an airtight container. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days. For longer storage, freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers for up to three months. Ensure the bake is completely cooled before freezing to maintain the best texture and flavor.

Reheating Instructions

Reheat your Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the portion in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying out. Heat for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through. If reheating from frozen, allow the bake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Alternatively, you can microwave individual servings on medium power, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating.

Conclusion

We hope this Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake brings warmth and comfort to your dinner table. We’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you! Share your experiences in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more delicious recipes and cooking tips.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake Recipe

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Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake pinit
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Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 30 mins Rest Time 5 mins Total Time 55 mins
Cooking Temp: 200  °C Servings: 6 Calories: 543 kcal per serving
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Description

This Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake combines tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and fusilli pasta in a rich, cheesy sauce, all topped with crispy breadcrumbs. It's the perfect comfort meal for any night of the week, offering a delicious blend of flavors and textures that will delight your family and friends.

Pasta Base

Sauce

Breadcrumb Topping

Cooking

  1. Preheat Oven

    Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F).

  2. Cook Pasta and Broccoli

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, adding the broccoli florets during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Drain and set aside.

  3. Prepare Chicken

    If using raw chicken, cook it in a skillet with a bit of olive oil until no longer pink. If using pre-cooked chicken, shred it and set aside.

Make the Sauce

  1. Large saucepan

    In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion, cooking until fragrant and the onion is translucent.

  2. Stir

    Stir in the flour to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  3. Whisk

    Gradually whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth. Cook until the sauce thickens.

  4. Season

    Add the thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Combine Ingredients

  1. Mixing

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, shredded chicken, and the creamy sauce. Mix well to ensure everything is evenly coated.

  2. Assemble the Bake

    Transfer the mixture to a greased 23x33 cm baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top.

  3. Prepare Topping

    In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the cheese layer.

  4. Bake

    Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the dish is bubbly.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 543kcal
Calories from Fat 252kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g44%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 104mg35%
Sodium 800mg34%
Potassium 320mg10%
Total Carbohydrate 45g15%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sugars 7g
Protein 30g60%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Keywords: Chicken pasta bake, Broccoli pasta bake, Comfort food, Easy casserole, Family dinner, Cheesy pasta, Weeknight meal, Baked pasta dish, Creamy chicken bake, Broccoli casserole

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I use different types of pasta?

Absolutely! Feel free to substitute fusilli with penne, rotini, or any pasta you prefer. Just ensure it's cooked al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy during baking.

What can I use instead of panko breadcrumbs?

If you don’t have panko breadcrumbs on hand, regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers will work as well. They will give you a similar crunchy topping.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the bake up to a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap, then bake it just before serving. If baking from chilled, you may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.

Is it possible to make this dish gluten-free?

Definitely! Simply use gluten-free pasta and a gluten-free flour blend for the sauce. Ensure that your breadcrumbs are also gluten-free.

Did you make this recipe?

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Fiona O'Sullivan

Fiona O'Sullivan is the passionate editor of Great Food Ireland, a popular blog dedicated to celebrating traditional Irish cuisine and culinary heritage. With a rich background in food writing and a deep love for Ireland's gastronomic culture, Fiona brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to her role. She curates authentic recipes, shares culinary stories, and explores the vibrant food scene across Ireland. Fiona's dedication to promoting Irish food traditions has made Great Food Ireland a beloved resource for food enthusiasts around the world.

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