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Chicken Penne Casserole

This is my family’s favorite casserole recipe. I make it every week or two and we never tire of it. I like that I can clean my kitchen and then relax while it bakes. It won’t disappoint! —Carmen Vanosch, Vernon, British Columbia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 45 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, peppers and seasonings; saute until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • In a blender, pulse tomatoes and tomato paste, covered, until blended. Add to chicken mixture. Stir in broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheeses. Repeat layers.
  • Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, 15-20 minutes longer.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 579 calories, 28g fat (12g saturated fat), 128mg cholesterol, 1357mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 47g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Autumn
    Jan 27, 2021

    This is a delicious casserole! It does take some prep work before baking, but well worth it. We found it to be dry the first time, so we like to double the sauce.

  • Meredith
    Nov 10, 2020

    Pretty good. I followed this recipe, except for the salt and red pepper flakes. The chicken was tender and had lots of flavor.

  • Roland
    Sep 24, 2020

    By substituting eggplant, zucchini and/or mushrooms for the chicken, this could be a very good vegetarian casserole. You could also use any or all of those ingredients to "bump" up the dish, if you like those ingredients. As one previous reviewer mentioned, I love that the recipe is versatile enough to accommodate variations to the family's tastes.

  • Adele
    Sep 24, 2020

    To the commentor who used Parmesan because they didn't have Romano: those two cheeses are pretty much interchangeable.

  • Jayne
    Sep 24, 2020

    Looks fabulous. Can’t wait to try it.

  • lisamarie1081
    Sep 9, 2020

    No comment left

  • Janet
    Jul 3, 2020

    I really want to try this recipe but I live in a very hot climate and don't want to turn on my oven. Has anyone tried making it in a crock pot?

  • Tina
    May 9, 2020

    Excellent recipe, everyone loved it. The sauce would be great with any pasta. I am going to make a lasagna today using the sauce.

  • resalee
    Apr 16, 2020

    This did not take as long to make as I thought it would. I did do a few short cuts though. I didn't blend the tomatoes and it turned out just fine. I only simmered the chicken mixture 10 minutes and only left the dish in the oven for 10 minutes after uncovering. It still was delicious. Ground beef or sausage could easily replace the chicken. I'm not a big fan of chicken in red sauces but most dishes of this kind use beef or sausage so the chicken was a nice change of pace. The chicken could even be shredded or cut very small so it's not as noticeable. This could easily be prepared ahead of time for a busy next day. Prepare the chicken mixture and refrigerate since it's the step that takes the longest or prepare the entire dish and bake it the next day. We are a family of 5 and so there is only a few small servings left over. Next time I may double it and bake it in a 9x13 pan instead of an 8x8.

  • Amanda
    Dec 11, 2019

    Made this for my family of picky eaters. I read previous comments as well prior to making. Yes it does take some prep time as people have statdd. Also, scared for it to be "bland" as I knew I'd be leaving out salt to accommodate sodium-restricted family members, I took the advice of doubling up the other spices. I used mozzarella, provalone and parmesan for the cheeses. This was a HUGE hit with everyone and I love that it seems like this recipe could leave room for a lot of little personal tweaks and substitutions if one so chose to implement any. Definitely committing this to the recipe book!