Sometimes the BEST things happen by accident! Just like this creamy pesto pasta bake with chicken, spinach and roasted red peppers: Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake.
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I raided my cabinets recently to sort through and organize some of of the ingredients I had on hand. I had just bought chicken because it was on sale and ended up baking this casserole with some of the ingredients I came across. SCORE! This is everything for dinner in ONE DISH: Chicken, cheese, spinach and roasted red peppers surrounded by creamy pesto pasta.
You can make life even easier by using precooked chicken like a store-bought rotisserie chicken or recycle your leftover chicken! Word.
I used prepared jarred pesto but I have an awesome homemade basil pesto recipe if you want to make your own.
I LOVE the combination of chicken and pesto like in these Chicken Pesto Sandwiches and Chicken Pesto Pizza, so it’s pretty safe to say this is one of my new favorite pasta dishes. It’s also just as good (if not better) reheated so the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day at work.
Make it to your liking and add more or less of what you like… I think artichokes would be great in it also. I added some extra Italian blend shredded cheese as a topping. This is SO EASY to make! Enjoy! xoxoPrint
- 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins, cubed (or approximately 2-1/2 cups fully cooked cubed or shredded chicken)
- 1 (15-ounce) jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced thinly in about 1-inch strips
- 2 cups tightly packed roughly chopped spinach
- 1–1/4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish or cast iron skillet.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over moderate high heat and add cubed chicken. Cook 4-5 minutes (stirring constantly), or until cooked thoroughly and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Drain pasta once cooked. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, Alfredo sauce, pesto, roasted red peppers, spinach, 1 cup of the shredded cheese blend and cooked chicken. Transfer to casserole dish or cast iron skillet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.