This leftover chicken pasta bake recipe is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken and is sure to become a real favorite with the whole family.
With its rich tomato sauce and creamy cheese sauce, this recipe for chicken pasta bake is easy to make and is delicious comfort food at its finest.
We are always experimenting with leftover chicken recipes in our house. My husband and I love our leftover chicken curry and chicken chili and this chicken & pasta bake is a firm favorite with the kids.
I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.
How to make Chicken Pasta Bake
This chicken and pasta bake is made up of three elements - a chicken ragu, a cheese sauce and the pasta.
To make the ragu part of the leftover pasta bake, you start by frying onion and garlic then adding in a can of chopped tomatoes, some chicken stock, tomato paste and herbs and letting it bubble until it thickens.
Then stir in the leftover roast chicken, and heat it through and you're done.
Next, stir the ragu and the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta, mix it all together, transfer to a baking dish and top with cheese.
Finally, put it in the oven or under the broiler until it the cheese is melted and bubbling.
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Cheese Sauce for Pasta Bake
If you have a Thermomix, I would definitely recommend using our Cheese Sauce recipe in our Thermomix Mac and Cheese to make this cheesy chicken pasta bake.
It is so easy to make and will free you up to get the chicken ragu ready while the Thermomix does the cheese sauce for you.
If you don't have a Thermomix, not to worry! It is still easy to make a cheese sauce in a saucepan - you just need to stir it a lot as it thickens. I find using a whisk helps to ensure you have a nice smooth sauce.
You could also use leftover chicken in this dish: Creamy Chicken Tomato Pasta.
What stock to use
As with all my recipes, I use our homemade chicken bone broth in this leftover chicken pasta dish. This not only tastes amazing but it is full of fantastic nutrients.
If you are using a leftover roast chicken, then it is easy to make up a batch of this bone broth using the carcass, but you will need to plan ahead and ideally make it that morning or the day before.
Alternatively, you can use any chicken stock you like - store bought or stock cube is fine.
The best pasta for pasta bake
You can use any pasta for this baked chicken pasta dish. Personally I prefer to make a penne chicken pasta bake or use rigatoni. It would also work well with shells or fusilli, or even spaghetti.
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Leftover Chicken Pasta Bake
For the Chicken Ragu
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- ½ pint chicken stock (250ml)
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups leftover roast chicken (250g)
For the Cheese Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter (20g)
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (20g)
- 1 cup milk (200ml)
- ⅔ cup grated cheese (80g)
To Make the Pasta Bake
- 1 lb penne pasta (550g)
- ½ cup grated cheese
For the chicken ragu
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and cook over a medium heat until softened.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the can of tomatoes, herbs and tomato paste and mix together.
- Pour in the stock, season with salt & pepper and bring to the boil.
- Let it cook & bubble for a good 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to end up with a good thick sauce.
- Stir in the chicken and heat through for around 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the cheese sauce and pasta.
For the Cheese Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Stir in the flour.
- Using a whisk or wooden spoon, gradually add in the milk, stirring all the time.
- Continue stirring over a medium heat until the mixture has thickened to sauce consistency.
- Stir in the grated cheese and continue stirring until the cheese has all been incorporated and you have a thick creamy sauce.
To assemble the Pasta Bake
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain the cooked pasta and return to the saucepan.
- Stir in the chicken ragu and cheese sauce and mix well together.
- Tip all the ingredients into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake in the oven at 400F / 200C or under a preheated broiler until the cheese on top is bubbling and starting to brown.