Last Updated on June 18, 2023 by Liza Hawkins
You’ll love this creamy chicken pasta bake, made with seared chicken thighs for extra flavor and tenderness. Enjoy it fresh for dinner, and then savor the leftovers throughout the week for lunches.
When I was at ALDI recently, I picked up a package of fettuccine nests in the pasta section with the intent of using them for shrimp pasta. Instead, though, I decided to use them for a thrown together casserole, instead of broken pieces of spaghetti or a short pasta.
This particular type of fettuccine has sort of an “egg noodle” bite to it, which lends itself to being a perfect casserole base: smooth and velvety, but still with a bit of tooth to it.
And, just like those fettuccine nests, this creamy chicken pasta bake is really versatile, too.
Along with the fettuccine, I used seared chicken thighs here because they’re an inexpensive and flavorful cut that holds up to baking without getting dried out. You could easily use leftover roast chicken or even pieces from a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
Instead of store-bought stock or broth, which would be perfectly fine, I used my own homemade Instant Pot chicken stock. Don’t have an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker? Try my overnight chicken stock in the slow cooker, instead.
I served a veggie on the side, but could have folded in steamed broccoli, asparagus or peas just before baking. Yum!
You'll love this creamy chicken pasta bake — the seared chicken thighs are what makes it!
- 6 ounces dry fettuccine
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
For the chicken:
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter or olive oil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until just before al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
For the chicken:
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet, then warm it over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry, and then sprinkle the thighs on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Place the thighs into the hot skillet and let them cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip the thighs, and continue cooking them for another 4 minutes. Remove them to a plate to rest.
- Pour the remaining oil and bits into a medium sauce pot.
- Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces.
For the sauce:
- Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the medium sauce pot (with the leftover bits from the chicken), and warm it over medium heat.
- Add the onion, salt, pepper, garlic pepper, and dried parsley, and continue cooking until the onion starts to become translucent.
- Add the garlic, give a stir, and cook for one minute longer, then increase the heat to medium-high.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over the onion mixture, and then whisk it until turns into creamy paste.
- Let it cook for a minute, then pour the chicken stock and milk into the sauce pan all at once.
- Whisk the sauce off and on until it starts to thicken and come to a boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
To make the casserole:
- Add the cooked pasta to the thickened sauce, making sure it's coated completely.
- Toss in the chicken pieces.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish, and then top with the shredded cheese.
- Bake it uncovered for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the the edges are bubbly.
Let the creamy chicken pasta bake rest for 5 minutes before serving. Try mixing in a cup of blanched broccoli, asparagus, or peas with the chicken, just before baking!
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- OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Balloon Whisk
- Calphalon 1943876 Classic Nonstick Sauce Pan with Cover, 2.5 quart, Grey
- Corningware French White III Oval Casserole with Glass Cover, 1.5-Quart
- OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Tongs with Black Silicone Heads
- Qimh Collapsible Colander Set of 3 Round Silicone Kitchen Strainer Set - 2 pcs 4 Quart and 1 pcs 2 Quart- Perfect for Draining Pasta, Vegetable and fruit (green,blue, purple)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 1426mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 50g