It’s gotten so cold outside that I crave comfort food. These days I cold consume copious amounts of soups, curries, casseroles with mash and pasta bakes. I had to experiment a little to get my chicken pasta bake right but this one is even loved by one of my boys, who is the fussiest eater ever. Some extra herbs and seasoning did the trick.
You can use cooked meat and make that roast chicken go a lot further by bulking the pasta bake with veg. It is also the perfect dinner to whip up in a hurry when you don’t know what to cook and there is this lonely chicken breast in the fridge and some veg lurking at the bottom shelf.
This is a great dish, which you can also prepare in advance. I tend to cook it the night before and have it ready for when we come home from work/school the next day. All it takes is warming the pasta bake up and you have dinner on the table in no time.
I like to prepare everything before I start cooking so I have everything at hand.
Dice / chop your onion, vegetables depending on what you will be using. Grate your cheese. Dice the chicken.
CHICKEN PASTA BAKE
- 300 gram chicken breast / boneless thigh / cooked or uncooked
- 300 gram uncooked pasta
- 300 gram vegetable broccoli / cauliflower / peppers / sweetcorn / courgette
- 1 medium onion
- 1/3 tsp paprika powder
- 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
- 3/4 tsp chicken seasoning or crumbled chicken / vegetable stock cube
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP flour
- 400 ml milk
- pepper to taste
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- Once pasta is more than half way cooked, add your vegetables to the pan (if you are using broccoli / cauliflower / frozen sweetcorn). Cook pasta and veg until they are both al – dente. Set aside once drained.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add your chopped chicken (raw or diced). Add the onion and your seasoning & herbs from the list. If you are using peppers / courgette also throw them in and cook on the medium heat for about 8-10 minutes.
- Mix your cooked pasta, vegetables and chicken in an oven – proof dish. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).
- In a separate pan prepare the cheese sauce – melt the butter, add flour and once mixed, add milk gradually. The sauce will thicken. Season with pepper and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add 3/4 of cheese and once all is mixed pour the cheese mixture over the pasta & chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden on top.
What is your ultimate comfort food when the weather gets colder?