Dump-and-Bake Chicken Caprese Pasta
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!
Servings 8 servings
- 2 cups diced, cooked chicken
- 1 ¾ 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 ½ 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 recipe | Calories: 252.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.8g | Protein: 19.6g | Fat: 5.7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 35.9mg | Sodium: 496.3mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 1.5g