Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake | Cheesy Baked Chicken Penne Pasta
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 Servings
  • Chicken thighs – 600 gms, boneless & skinless, cut into small bite-sized cubes
  • Penne pasta – 300 gms
  • Cheddar cheese – 100 gms, grated
  • Cheese slices – 10 or more
  • Onion – 1, large, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves, grated
  • Red bell pepper – 1 small or half of a big one, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • Green bell pepper – 1 small or half of a big one, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • Italian seasoning – 2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes – ½ tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil – 4 to 6 tbsp
For white sauce:
  • Butter – 4 tbsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • All-purpose flour – 2 tbsp
  • Milk – 1 lt / 4 cups
  • Cheddar cheese – 100 gms, grated
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  1. Cook the penne pasta according to packet instructions. Cook it 2 minutes lesser than what is recommended in the packet as pasta will continue to cook while baking. Rinse the cooked pasta in running water and let it sit in a colander to allow excess water to drain out.
How to cook the chicken:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add finely chopped onion and grated garlic. Sauté the onion & garlic for 8 to 10 minutes on medium high flame until the onion softens and becomes translucent. You don’t need to brown the onion.
  2. Now add the chicken cubes to the skillet and cook them along with onion for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Chicken should turn opaque by now.
  3. Next add both the bell peppers, stir them in and sauté them along with chicken for 10 minutes on medium flame until they soften a little.
  4. Now it’s time to add all the spices to the chicken. Add Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, salt & pepper to taste. Give a good stir to ensure all the spices are mixed in evenly.
  5. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, take the skillet off the heat and transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl. Set it aside until needed!
How to make the white sauce
  1. Heat a deep saucepan and add butter & olive oil to it. Once the butter melts completely, add all-purpose flour and continue to stir using a wire-whisk or spatula.
  2. Once the flour slightly changes its color and raw smell is almost gone, in about 1-2 minutes, pour in the milk while continuously stirring the sauce.
  3. Let the sauce come to a simmer and thicken. Then add the grated cheddar cheese and stir to mix well. Let the cheese melt on low heat, about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and now start assembling the chicken pasta bake!
Final assembly:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and place the wire rack at the middle of the oven. Take a large baking dish and brush the bottom of the dish as well as all the sides with butter or olive oil.
  2. Transfer the cooked pasta to the large bowl having chicken and mix well using a spatula.
  3. Now transfer ⅓ of chicken-pasta mixture to the greased baking dish. Flatten the chicken & pasta to make an even layer. Then drizzle ⅓ of the white sauce on top of the pasta.
  4. Now place cheese slices on top of white sauce covering all the chicken & pasta.
  5. Repeat the same with half of remaining chicken & pasta mixture, followed by half of remaining white sauce and topped with cheese slices.
  6. Make the final layer by evenly spreading remaining chicken & pasta on top of the sliced cheese, drizzle remaining white sauce and then finally top it up with grated cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake the chicken pasta in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese on top is completely melted and bubbling. Your chicken pasta bake is ready!
  8. Serve it with your favorite roast chicken or a simple salad. Enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at