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There’s no need to boil the pasta or pre-cook the chicken! With this Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta, you just stir together the ingredients and let the oven do the rest of the work. It’s an easy dinner that comes together with just 10 minutes of prep!Green casserole dish with an easy and healthy Dump and Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta casserole for dinner.

Y’all know that I love a good dump-and-bake meal, and this pesto pasta just might be one of my finest creations yet!

When I say “dump-and-bake,” I truly mean it. This isn’t your average casserole that requires boiling the pasta first, browning the chicken first, or whisking a sauce from scratch. Nope, I don’t have time for that…and I’m guessing that you don’t either!

Are you ready to see just how easily this one pot meal comes together? It will be baking in the oven in just 10 minutes…

How to Make Chicken Pesto Pasta | 1-Minute Video

How to Make Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta | Step-by-Step Instructions

First, you’ll combine the uncooked pasta, raw chicken, fresh tomatoes, and little bites of mozzarella cheese.

Raw ingredients for chicken pesto pasta

Since this is a dump-and-bake dinner, I keep the prep time minimal by using these fresh mozzarella “pearls” so that I don’t have to dice the cheese. I found my pearls at Walmart, but you can certainly use regular fresh mozzarella if that’s what’s available.

The important part is to make sure that your mozzarella is in very small pieces so that it melts smoothly into the pasta dish as it bakes.

Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella Pearls

Next you’re going to whisk together the liquid base of your casserole. Remember, you’re cooking your pasta right in the dish, so you need plenty of liquid for that pasta to absorb.

My boys adore this Classico Basil Pesto (find it in most grocery stores near the other pasta sauces), but you can use homemade pesto or any other brand of pesto that you like. Costco sells a really great pesto sauce in the refrigerated section, but this jarred stuff is definitely my kiddos’ favorite.Classico Basil Pesto

You’ll combine the pesto sauce with chicken broth, minced garlic, and salt.

Glass mixing bowl with pesto sauce.

Then just stir together the raw ingredients with the liquid mixture, and dump it in your dish!

Raw assembled Chicken Pesto Pasta casserole before baking.

The casserole will bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, and the end result is this flavorful pesto pasta that has absorbed most of the broth. The noodles are studded with tender chicken, pockets of melted mozzarella cheese, and plenty of fresh veggies — all in one convenient dish!

Green casserole dish full of chicken pesto pasta garnished with fresh tomatoes and basil.

If you’re ready to serve your family a quick weeknight meal this season, then check out the video below to see just how simple this Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta really is!

An easy and healthy dinner recipe made with chicken breasts: Dump and Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta

Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta

4.50 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 361.5 kcal
There's no need to boil the pasta or pre-cook the chicken for this 10-minute Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced fresh mozzarella
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup loosely packed chopped or torn fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together uncooked chicken, uncooked pasta, tomatoes, and diced mozzarella.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, pesto sauce, minced garlic, and salt.
  • Pour the broth mixture over the pasta mixture in the dish. Gently toss to combine.
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until pasta is tender and sauce thickens a bit).
  • Garnish with fresh basil just before serving.

Video

Notes

Cooking Just for Two? Cut the ingredients in half and prepare the pasta in a 1-quart baking dish. Baking instructions remain the same.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 361.5kcalCarbohydrates: 22.6gProtein: 35.2gFat: 13.5gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 81.7mgSodium: 610.4mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 2.3g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: The Seasoned Mom
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was so good! So much flavor and super easy especially when you have a clingy 1 year old!????

    1. Hi, Liz! I would freeze it after baking. The quality of the pasta will not be quite as good as when it’s fresh out of the oven, but it should still be fine. I would reheat it covered in a 350-degree F oven until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes).

  2. This is one of our favorite meals! If I switch to whole grain pasta would I need to increase the bake time to make sure the pasta is cooked enough?

    1. Hi, Jeannie! It will really just depend on the pasta that you use (brand and shape), but in general whole grain pasta doesn’t have a drastically different cooking time than the regular pasta. If we’re comparing Barilla regular rotini to Barilla whole grain rotini, for example, the regular rotini has a suggested cooking time of 7 minutes, while the whole grain version has a suggested cooking time of 9 minutes. So for this recipe, you may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time, but it probably won’t be too significant. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. 4 stars
    Great flavor, just a bit too much liquid left. Next time I’ll probably reduce bone broth by half. I doubled it and baked in extra deep glass 9*13 for 1 hour at 450 because all I have is a small convection oven for now, so I typically add time and temp.