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You don’t even have to boil the pasta for this quick and healthy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta! With only 5 minutes of prep, the easy, family-friendly recipe is a fresh and fast way to get dinner on the table!

AN overhead shot of a Dump and Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta dinner in a white dish

You get home at the end of the day and the last thing that you feel like dealing with is a complicated supper. You’re tired, your family needs your attention, and there are piles of laundry threatening to take over your house. Heck, you don’t even know what to make for dinner!

A side shot of a Dump and Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta

It’s evenings like this when I turn to simple, fresh meals that I can feel good about feeding my family — but that don’t require much effort on my part!

Classic Italian ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and pasta come together in a one-dish casserole that you only have to stir together. There’s no need to even boil the pasta!

What is “Caprese” Pasta?

The term “Caprese” typically refers to a simple Italian salad that’s made with sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil, and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I borrowed the same flavors from the classic salad and transformed them into this healthy entree by adding chicken and pasta!

A close up of Dump and Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta

As the penne cooks in the oven it absorbs most of the broth and releases starches that thicken the sauce. Combined with the melted cheese, the end result is a light-yet-creamy sauce that coats the roasted chicken, vegetables, herbs and pasta.

In other words, this Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta is a simple (and delicious) solution for those busy evenings when you just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to worry about dinner!

An overhead shot of Dump and Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta

Cook’s Tips – Chicken Caprese Pasta

  • Some readers have noted that they found the dish to have too much broth at the end of baking. I prefer this, because when you stir the dish together it acts as a “sauce” and prevents the pasta from feeling dry or sticky. However, if you do NOT want much broth in your pan, that’s fine too. It’s a matter of personal preference. You can reduce the liquid to 2 1/2 cups for a less “soupy” final product.
  • Cooking for Just Two? The recipe ingredients can easily be cut in half (or in quarters) and baked in smaller dishes. If you cut the recipe in half, use an 8-inch square baking dish. If you want to prepare just 2 servings, cut the ingredients into fourths and bake in small individual dishes. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.

More Chicken Pasta Recipes To Try;

Chicken Caprese Pasta in a white casserole dish

Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta

4.15 from 7 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 252.4 kcal
You don't even have to boil the pasta for this quick and healthy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta! With only 5 minutes of prep, the easy, family-friendly recipe is a fresh and fast way to get dinner on the table!


  • 2 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • 1 3/4 cups halved grape tomatoes (can substitute with a can of undrained diced tomatoes)
  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) uncooked uncooked penne pasta
  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth*
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, tomatoes, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, about half of the basil leaves, minced garlic, and salt.
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 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 remaining ½ cup of mozzarella over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
  • Garnish with remaining basil leaves just before serving.


*Some readers have noted that they found the dish to have too much broth at the end of baking. I prefer this, because when you stir the dish together it acts as a "sauce" and prevents the pasta from feeling dry or sticky. However, if you do NOT want much broth in your pan, that's fine too. It's a matter of personal preference. You can reduce the liquid to 2 1/2 cups for a less "soupy" final product.
Cooking for Just Two? The recipe ingredients can easily be cut in half (or in quarters) and baked in smaller dishes. If you cut the recipe in half, use an 8-inch square baking dish. If you want to prepare just 2 servings, cut the ingredients into fourths and bake in small individual dishes. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
Want to Prep Ahead? I like to use leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken for this meal. To prepare the ingredients in advance, you can dice the chicken and tomatoes the day before. Keep them in the refrigerator so that you only have to stir the ingredients together before baking!


Serving: 1/8th of the recipeCalories: 252.4kcalCarbohydrates: 33.8gProtein: 19.6gFat: 5.7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35.9mgSodium: 496.3mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 1.5g
Keyword: Caprese Chicken, Caprese Pasta, Italian Chicken Pasta
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

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!

Read More

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  1. Oh this is such a pretty dish, Blair! I love caprese ANYTHING, so I need to make this. That melty cheese and fresh flavors sounds so good! And I love the ease of it, too! Perfect for the summer!

  2. This looks wonderful. Once my tomatoes are ripe, I’ll be able to use fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden to make this.

      1. Can i add shrimp instead of chicken and when should i add it at the beginnng or towarss the end?? i would be using extra large raw shrimp>?? Thanks=

        1. Hi, Gloria! Absolutely. The shrimp will work well. I would wait to add it at the end. The raw shrimp will only need about 10 minutes in the oven (maybe up to 15 if they’re really large). Keep a close eye on them because you don’t want them overdone or they’ll get rubbery and chewy. 🙂

  3. Love those easy peasy recipes, especially as we are heading into the nice weather. Looks delicious. Wishing you a very Happy mother’s Day Blair! Take Care

  4. Simple and delicious! I loveeee basil and tomato paired with cheese! <3

    I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day Weekend!

  5. I made this over the weekend and we loved it. It almost tasted better the 2nd day! i did use a sprinkle of basil seasoning instead of basil leaves, but otherwise followed the recipe.

    I’m so glad you put the nutritional information at the end of your recipes. I’m trying to track my calories on myfitnesspal.com, so added in your recipe.


    1. That’s great, Megan! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, and thank you for letting me know! 🙂

    1. Hi, Mira! Yes! You can definitely use raw chicken. I would just make sure that it’s diced into bite-sized pieces so that it cooks within that 40 minute period. 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  6. Hello Blair, I made the Dump and Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta. It was dee-licous. My husband and I really enjoyed it. We like the fact that everything is done in one pan. We couldn’t wait to have it again the next day. I took your suggestion and bought a rotisserie chicken to prep ahead and it worked out perfect! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes. I also enjoy reading your week in meals too. Thank you for the great recipes. I will definitely be making this again soon.

    1. That’s great to hear, Annette! I’m so glad that you and your husband enjoyed the meal. Isn’t the rotisserie chicken such an easy shortcut?!

      Thank you for letting me know, and have a great week!

  7. If you do not use a rotisserie chicken, how do you typically cook your chicken before making this dish?

    1. Hi, Lyndsey! I really use just about any cooked chicken that’s easy at the time. Leftover grilled chicken works, frozen or refrigerated cooked chicken works (like the kind that Perdue and Tyson make), or I sometimes roast chicken breast in the oven on my own. You can also boil it.

      If you prefer to cook your chicken at home, I use raw chicken tenders (breast meat is fine too, but the tenders cook faster). My preferred cooking method is to place the chicken tenders in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Allow to cool before chopping and using in the recipe.

    1. Hi, Jen! Yes! I think that it would work really well in a slow cooker, although I have never tried it myself. I wouldn’t know how long the pasta would take to cook without testing it first. If you give it a shot, I would start with about 3-4 hours on low, check it, and then just keep an eye on the pot until the pasta is tender. 🙂

  8. I have twins so I am always looking for quick and easy dishes. But I love a pretty colorful dish on the table, and this is perfect for that! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Abi! I agree — it meets all of the important criteria (quick, easy, colorful)! 🙂 Good luck with your twins!!

  9. Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight. It was fabulous! Definitely going on my Pinterest tested and approved board!

    1. Hi, Renee! That’s great! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing on Pinterest, too! 🙂

    1. Hi, Mary! I don’t know for sure, since I’ve never actually tried freezing it myself. I definitely would not freeze it before baking. If anything, you could try freezing it after it’s baked and cooled. I can’t promise that the texture of the pasta or veggies will be the same, but it would probably be okay. 🙂

  10. You mentioned a can of tomatoes if you didn’t have the fresh ones. What size would you recommend? Thanks for a great looking recipe.

  11. I’m making this tonight! I’m super excited! We’re a huge pasta family, and we also love anything with basil or pesto, so I’m sure this will be a huge hit! I can’t wait for it to come out of the oven!

  12. Hi Blair,
    This was delish, I subbed the wheat pasta out for green lentil penne pasta and it was phenomenal. So that’s always an option for a gluten free family. Thanks for a great meal


    1. Hi, Amy! Yes! I think that’s a great idea! I would stir about 1/4 cup of pesto right into the dish with the other ingredients before baking! Let me know if you give it a try. 🙂

    1. Hi, Christina! Yes, technically you could use water and the cooking process would work; however, I wouldn’t suggest it because the chicken broth gives the dish a lot of flavor that the water would be lacking. 🙂

  13. I think it is my all-new favourite.healthy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta! recipe was simple and delicious!My taste buds love this.Life changer!
    How nice easy and tasty This healthy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta was too yummy?

    1. I’m not sure, Katy. I like to have at least some broth left in the dish at the end to keep everything moist — otherwise the pasta gets too dry and sticky. It shouldn’t be swimming in tons of broth, though. Maybe the pasta measurement was off? Not sure exactly what you did so it’s hard for me to help troubleshoot. 🙂

      1. I measured three cups of pasta but that left about one cup in the box-maybe next time I will use the whole box. I just drained some of the extra broth and it was delicious! Thanks for your response.

        1. Sounds great, Katy! You can either use more pasta next time or just decrease the amount of broth. Either way should work fine! 🙂

  14. Hi: The pin I found on Pinterest for this recipe did not have your URL on it. I had to come here and repin so I could find it again. It looks so good I have to find it. You have so many great recipes I am pinning away

    1. Hi, Susan! I’m so glad that you found the recipe, and thank you for pinning! I hope that you get to try it soon! 🙂

  15. Thanks for the recipe! We added fresh mozzarella cheese since we were out of the shreds. We also drizzled a balsamic glaze over the top after cooking. YUM! One thing, It took way longer than 5 min prep because we had to cook the chicken. Maybe add a little extra time to the total. Other than that, a great weeknight dinner!

    1. Hi, Tara! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! 🙂

      You’re right — it definitely adds time if you have to cook the chicken first. I like to use rotisserie chicken or a pre-cooked chicken like Tyson Grilled n’ Ready strips or Perdue Shortcuts when I’m in a rush to avoid that extra time. Hope that helps, and thanks again for your note!

  16. Hi Blair,
    I’m thinking of making this tonight but I’m concerned about the precooked chicken getting dried out during the baking time does that typically happen?

    1. Hi, Jaime! No, I’ve never had anyone complain about the chicken drying out. Usually casserole recipes call for cooked chicken, so that part isn’t unusual. Hope you get to try it! 🙂

  17. It’s going to be end of mine day, except before finish I am reading this fantastic article to improve my experience.

  18. Super delish!!! I used 2.5 cups broth, added spinach and drizzled balsamic at the end!!! Will be making again. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. 4 stars
    I actually ran into the opposite problem as some of the posters. I didn’t have enough liquid. I don’t know if it was the pan I used or the pasta. What was done was done to perfection but the noodles around the outside and on top were dry, as if they didn’t get any of the broth at all.
    I’m planning on making this again. It was a hit(what they could eat of it, lol) but I will be increasing the amount of broth to 3 cups.
    Thank you for the new go-to chicken-pasta recipe.

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I’m glad that you can enjoy it with a few tweaks! Different pans, different pasta, and the different temperatures that our ovens cook at can all play a role in these subtle differences, so hopefully it will be perfect the second time around. 🙂

  20. It’s remarkable to go to see this web page and reading the views of all friends on the topic of this
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  21. 4 stars
    I really like this recipe. It works great with gluten free pasta too. We also liked it with sun dried tomatoes. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Carolyn! Yes — you can definitely cook the pasta first; however, you’ll need to significantly reduce the amount of liquid that you use in the recipe, since the pasta will not absorb any liquid if it’s already cooked. The uncooked pasta absorbs liquid as it bakes, and also releases starches that thicken the “sauce” in the casserole, so it will just be a different texture. 🙂

  22. or cook the pasta before hand,, only 10 minutes extra, and do that while getting everything ready,, then you won’t have to bake so long,, basically to just warm up

  23. I have already made this twice, we love it. I don’t have basil tonight, going to add in raw spinach and try that.

    1. So glad that you like it, Debora! I’m sure the spinach will be delicious — just a different flavor than the basil. Enjoy!

  24. 5 stars
    I love all the leftover broth. It is absolutely delicious to dip crusty bread in. I make this for my picky girls all the time and they love it.

    1. That’s awesome, Jessica! Picky kids are the toughest critics (I know, because I’ve got them in my house, too!). 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to come back here and let me know that it’s a success.

  25. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!
    I wasn’t sure at first but will definitely make this again! I didn’t have low sodium broth. For anyone that says no way, definitely use low sodium. I also didn’t have fresh basil so I used baby spinach & a sprinkle of dried bail. The end result was super! I did sprinkle the leftover mozzarella on top and broil it at the end. Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. Last night I tried the Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin, tonight it was this wonderful Chicken Caprese Pasta. You make recipes easy to follow and use minimal ingredient but the flavor is large! This was another winner. I’m a forever fan. Looking forward to trying more of your creations.

    1. Oh, that’s so wonderful to hear, Kathy. Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind note. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the easy recipes! 🙂

  27. Love this recipe! Just wondering why the amount of pasta stays the same (3 cups) when the recipe is reduced by half? Seems like a lot of pasta for 4 servings.

    1. Hi, Sherry! I think that’s just a technical glitch with the online auto calculator. If you’re cutting the recipe in half, you definitely need to cut the amount of pasta in half as well. You want to keep all of the proportions the same. Hope that helps!

  28. The calculator is fine for those asking why it reads 3 cups. The ‘3 cups’ is coming from the list of ingredients. The calculator can’t change the text of the ingredients. Read to the left of the “(” to see how much pasta you need.

  29. 5 stars
    This was yummy. I went with a gluten free option on the pasta. I used chickpea and red lentil rotini. It was what I had on hand. I mixed the two together which gave the dish some extra color. I think next time I will leave the pasta on the bottom and layer everything else on top instead of mixing everything together. We had some pasta that was overcooked that I suspect was because they weren’t in the broth. I saw the comments about the end result being soupy and suggestions to reduce the liquid. I used what was called for and it wasn’t soupy at all.

  30. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used gluten free pasta and it worked wonderfully. The leftovers also heat up very well the next day! I sliced up some Italian chicken sausage and used that instead of the chicken – so good!

  31. Hi! Thank you for the recipe! Can you provide instructions how to cook the chicken? Thanks for your help!

    1. Sure! Here you go:

      Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken. You’ll need a total of about 2 cups shredded. I find that 1 lb. of chicken breasts yields about 2 cups of pulled chicken, but there’s some flexibility here — it doesn’t need to be exact.

      Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed.

      Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.

      Canned Chicken: Yep, even canned chicken from the pantry will work in this recipe.

    1. The only tips we have are to use as big of pans as possible and to work in batches. You could try keeping the dish warm with buffet warmers and rotate pans. Sorry we aren’t much help!