Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe
Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles Recipe

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Creamy, flavorful and so easy to fix, this meal-in-one will wow family and friends. Get ready for recipe requests for this easy chicken casserole! —Laura Kayser, Ankeny, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 6 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 jar (8.1 ounces) prepared pesto
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cup: 612 calories, 30g fat (13g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 829mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 42g protein

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, Alfredo sauce, milk and pesto. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture; toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil; sprinkle over casseroles.
  3. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
  4. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Originally published as Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles in Simple & Delicious May 2010, p59

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.


Reviews for Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles

AVERAGE RATING
(100)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (88)
4 Star
 (9)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (2)
1 Star
 (1)
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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2016

"Like other's said, this is delicious. After reading the reviews and then first trying it, I was a little disappointed. But after several more bites, I realized this is definitely a keeper. I cut this recipe in half, cooked the chicken beforehand, and as another reviewer suggested, used (undrained) petite diced tomatoes instead of crushed. I actually measured out the ounces instead of estimating "oh, this looks like about half a jar of pesto". I was able to get half of this recipe into a 9.5x9.5 dish, but it was near the top. Not sure how anyone could fit half of this in an 8x8. Secondly, a couple minutes before it was to be "done", I turned on the broiler, waited a few minutes, and stuck the dish back in, uncovered. That gave the bread crumb topping a little bit more crunch (not much, but some). For me and my husband, half of this recipe was WAYYYY more than enough. There are a lot of leftovers, but I'm not really upset about that :)"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2016

"Very easy to assemble, especially when you use the chicken from a ready made rotisserie chicken. The only down side is that I found it a bit bland. It needs some salt and pepper added to the mixture."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2015

"Superb! It was delicious the first time, and I just used the second casserole tonight. I defrosted it longer than recommended and it still took about 80-90 minutes to heat up, but it was just wonderful once it was reheated. This would be great for company or to bring to a potluck."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2015

"I made this and my family loved it. I made it on the stove top instead of in the oven. I also added peas and mushrooms but I made the sauce according to the recipe and it was delicious!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2015

"Excellent casserole! It's just me, so I was going to halve it, but then decided to share it with a friend and just made one casserole in a 9x13 pan. It was a big casserole!!!! More than filled the pan! I think next time, I will halve it and then bake it in a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Loved the flavor of the pesto!!"

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