Mmmm…who doesn’t love a piping hot plate of baked ziti…all the cheese melting over that soft, starchy goodness??!!
Baked ziti is a great dish to eat on its own, but it can also be enhanced when a protein is added. Red meat is an obvious choice as this is a takeoff on the classic spaghetti and meatballs dish.
But chicken is a great way to change things up and it is also a leaner, healthier option. Read on to find out more about our chicken ziti casserole recipe and the variations you can make on this protein and pasta dish.
Chicken Ziti Casserole
The recipe we have here is pretty basic and relatively easy to make. You start by preparing the chicken and ziti as desired.
Then you combine them with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake until hot and bubbling and serve for a meal that is sure to put a smile on your family’s faces. The cheese is perfect for holding everything together making the dish more cohesive and extra delicious.
And when you think of the variations you can make on this recipe, there really is no end in sight. You can add vegetables like onions, zucchini, spinach, and tomatoes.
You can use different kinds of cheese. Ricotta or cheddar can be the perfect addition to this Italian meal.
You can even play around with the sauce you use. Alfredo works rather well in this chicken and pasta dish.
The seasonings you use can also give the dish a flavorful spin working to customize it to your family’s individual tastes.
If you want to make your dish more health-conscious, whole wheat ziti is available. Low-fat cheese can also make a good substitute for cheeses that use whole milk.
Baked Ziti with Chicken Recipe
Of course, you can cook ziti by boiling it in water and then add cheese to it, but baking the dish really works to bring the tastes together binding it with cheesy goodness.
Baked ziti is an Italian American dish that traditionally uses a Neapolitan style tomato-based sauce.
To make the dish, start by boiling the ziti. Prepare a tomato sauce that can include cheese, ground meat, mushrooms, peppers, onions, sausage and more. Cook and drain the ziti and combine it with the sauce.
The pasta is then put in a pan and layered with varieties of cheeses. The dish is then baked in the oven and served hot.
In addition to layering with cheese, you can also layer with vegetables and meats, like chicken!
As mentioned earlier, you can make variations on the chicken baked ziti dish by changing up the sauces, cheeses, and veggies and so on. In addition, here are some unique chicken and baked ziti recipes we found.
Chicken Alfredo Bake: If you want a creamy variation on your chicken ziti dish, this Alfredo bake is the way to go.
To make this dish you begin by preparing a sauce that consists of butter, garlic, flour, milk and parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. The cooked pasta is placed in a large bowl and the sauce is poured over the top. The dish is then baked, sprinkled with parsley and additional cheese, and served.
Creamy Chicken, Green Chile, and Ziti Casserole: This dish is perfect for those who prefer their chicken and ziti with an extra kick. To prepare, cook ziti as directed while mixing a combination of cream of mushroom soup, green chiles, and cumin.
Add the ziti and chicken to the mixture and put half the mixture into a baking dish. Top with slices of Colby Jack cheese.
Repeat layers, top with cilantro and serve.
Butternut Squash and Chicken Ziti: Here’s a healthy variation your family is sure to love. To make it, start by bringing a butternut squash soup to a boil on your stove.
In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil to sauté onion and garlic. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and chicken.
Combine Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.
In a baking dish, combine butternut squash sauce, ricotta cheese, pasta, and chicken. Dot with ricotta cheese and spread a layer of the Parmesan bread crumbs on top. Bake until cheese is melted, and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Crumble heated sage leaves on the top and serve.
Chicken and ziti make a great base for several filling and delicious dishes. Which will you be serving your family tonight?Print
Baked ziti is a great dish to eat on its own, but it can also be enhanced when a protein is added. Red meat is an obvious choice as this is a takeoff on the classic spaghetti and meatballs dish. But chicken is a great way to change things up and it is also a leaner, healthier option
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce (any variety)
- 4 cups cooked ziti (6 oz. uncooked)
- 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- In a 2 quart casserole stir together spaghetti sauce, cooked ziti, chicken, and 1/2 cup Mozzarella.
- Sprinkle with rest of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chicken ziti casserole, baked ziti with chicken recipe
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Budhaditya Bose / Free to use, Pexels.