An easy recipe for Baked Penne with Chicken and Peas, perfect for a crowd or bake one and freeze one for two meals in one!
I don’t know about you but when it comes to cooking pasta I often like to cook the entire box instead of only using half. Sure sometimes I’ll make or create recipes that only use half but most of the time you can find me using the entire box.
Pasta never goes to waste in my house. If I make a casserole like this Baked Penne with Chicken and Peas I’ll have it on the dinner menu a few nights, or I’ll freeze half to have a stash of go to freezer meals.
This recipe is simple and delicious and the burst of sweet peas in a great addition in this dish. I use thawed frozen peas but you can use fresh peas as well. You can even substitute or add whatever you like or have on hand. That’s what makes this recipe so versatile. I make this often for family and friends and everyone always asks me for the recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper in my book. It’s pure yumminess all in one dish!
Baked Penne with Chicken and Peas
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups warm milk
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Fresh black pepper
- 2 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook penne per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add in milk stirring constantly until sauce thickens and creamy, about 7 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese melts and sauce is creamy.
Stir in dijon mustard, parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon zest, salt and pepper until blended. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Add in cooked penne, chicken and peas and stir until combined.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
If starting with uncooked chicken breast - Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place 2 (6 ounce each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Allow to cool then shred or chop.
Freezer instructions - Follow instructions but instead of baking as directed, place desired amount of pasta mixture in a freezer safe baking dish. Allow to cool then cover and freeze. To cook from frozen, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60-90 minutes until hot and bubbly.