This Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Bake is made with ANY kind of pasta and a 15-minute Alfredo sauce with chicken and broccoli! Use leftover chicken or a rotisserie for an easy shortcut and top it with breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers.
Be sure to serve this with a side of Garlic Bread with Cheese.
Chicken Alfredo Bake
This Chicken Alfredo Bake is loaded with so many classic flavors that blend together in the best possible way.
You can use whatever pasta you have in your pantry. Penne, bow tie, and rigatoni are all great choices. I personally love using medium pasta shells because they fill up with that delicious sauce.
As for the Alfredo sauce, there is a ton of it in this recipe to make absolutely sure that this does not dry out when you bake it. It’s completely moist and delicious, and a great make-ahead meal.
Finally, this is a great way to make use of leftover chicken, or a use up a rotisserie. Let’s get it started.
See bottom of post for ingredient quantities and full instructions
- Broccoli florets– Frozen may also be used. Let it thaw and pat it dry.
- Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast– or 2 cups cooked/diced chicken
- Olive Oil
- Medium pasta shells-Any kind of pasta may be used.
- Mozzarella cheese– Low moisture mozzarella shredded from a block melts the best.
- Salted Butter
- Garlic– Fresh garlic minced at home is best. A garlic twister makes it easy.
- All-purpose flour
- Half and half
- Parmesan cheese– Shredded from a block at home. It’ll have the smoothest consistency in the sauce.
- Romano cheese– Shredded from a block at home.
How to Make it
Boil the Pasta
- Cook the pasta until it just hits the al dente point. Add the broccoli during the last 3 minutes.
Prepare the Sauce
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the half and half. Bring to a light bubble. Decrease heat to low.
- Slowly sprinkle in Parmesan and Romano cheeses, whisk until well combined. Remove from heat.
Add Pasta, Chicken, and Broccoli
- Add cooked pasta shells, chicken, and broccoli. Stir to combine.
Assemble the Casserole.
- Add the pasta to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Top with Cheese and Bake
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and bake uncovered at 350° for 10 minutes.
- Optional: Top with crushed Ritz crackers and bake for 5 more minutes.
- This is a great recipe to use with leftover chicken breasts or Rotisserie Chicken.
- ANY kind of pasta works for this, fusilli and penne are great alternatives. You could even use Tortellini!
- 1/2 heavy cream + 1/2 milk works as well if you don’t have half and half. I don’t recommend using all milk, the lower fat content can cause the sauce to curdle and the sauce will be much thinner.
- Cooked shrimp or steak can also be used.
- Vegetables can easily be added, such as frozen peas and carrots.
- You can use all Parmesan cheese if you don’t have Romano.
Make Ahead Method
2-3 days ahead:
- Assemble as instructed. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
- Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking OR, cover and add 15 minutes to baking time if baking from a cold state.
2-3 months ahead:
- Freeze in a casserole dish or disposable aluminum baking pan, cover top with 2 layers of foil.
- Let it defrost overnight in the fridge. Cover and add 15 minutes to baking time, remove cover and bake as instructed.
- If baking from a frozen state: Bake covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and bake as outlined.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Chicken Alfredo Bake
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 large chicken breast, or 2 cups cooked/diced chicken
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ¾ lb. medium pasta shells, can sub any kind of pasta
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 7 Tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3.5 cups half and half
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the Chicken
- Butterfly the chicken breast and cut the seam to create two thinner slices. Pat dry and season each side salt/pepper.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on each side, decrease heat if oil gets too hot. Each side will need 4-5 minutes.
- Remove chicken from heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes prior to dicing into cubes.
Boil the Pasta
- Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to 4-6 quarts of boiling water. Cook the pasta no more than the al dente point, (8 minutes for medium pasta shells), refer to box for specific time.
- Add the broccoli during the last 3 minutes of boiling. Drain.
Prepare the Sauce
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and heat for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the flour, heat for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the half and half. Allow it to come to a gentle bubble.
- Decrease heat to low and stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan and Romano cheese, whisking continuously until well combined. Turn off heat.
Assemble the Casserole
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Stir in the chicken and steamed broccoli.
- Add to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- If desired, top with crushed Ritz crackers (or breadcrumbs), and bake for 5 more minutes.
- PRO TIP: Let the casserole sit for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. This allows the pasta to absorb the sauce and gives the piping hot casserole time to cool slightly prior to serving.
You can use all Parmesan cheese if you don't have Romano.
This sauce will satisfy a full pound of pasta if you prefer. Since we're baking it, I like to have extra sauce so that it's not at all dry. This is especially important if you plan on having leftovers as the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce in the fridge.