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


  • 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.


  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.

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MY REVIEW User ID: 8937694 256845
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2016

"have made this dish so many times"

PrplMonky5 User ID: 6612040 243184
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 :)"

athom73 User ID: 8703258 242024
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."

doreensanzone User ID: 1270959 237514
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."

jpmcatsx3 User ID: 5098913 230157
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!"

luigimon User ID: 1692040 227907
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!!"

krysfielder User ID: 5728656 227548
Reviewed Jun. 6, 2015


HDMom08 User ID: 1383653 227088
Reviewed May. 28, 2015

"Easy and really tasty. It got my husband to eat spinach! Huge!"

17sebenedict User ID: 7951529 223254
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2015

"A delicious recipe! I used bow tie pasta instead of penne to have a cuter look lol! I will for sure be making this again!"

PatsCookin User ID: 2406774 222483
Reviewed Mar. 10, 2015

"This was really good and so quick to make. I didn't have crushed tomatoes so I used a 14 1/2 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes and that worked fine. We eat small portions so this made 3 8-x-8 casseroles for us. I lined my casserole with plastic wrap, a sheet going in each direction and extending beyond the sides, filled the casserole and then brought the extended pieces up to wrap the casserole ingredients. Finally, I wrapped it all in aluminum foil and labeled it for the freezer. To prepare, unwrap it and put it in a casserole the night before it is to be served and thaw in the fridge overnight. It takes up less room in the freezer and frees the casserole to use in the meantime."

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