Mary Berry’s Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake, a fantastic family meal that is super easy to make. A creamy, cheesy white sauce, garlicky chicken, and juicy fresh tomatoes, what a glorious dinner! Even fussy kids will love this casserole that sums up what comfort food is all about.
When you have kids, feeding them can be one of the biggest challenges. I’m forever wondering what else to cook for the day. Toddlers are by definition creatures of habit, and they like to stick to their ( very few) favourite dishes (don’t we all, though?).
Before I had the girls, I never worried what else to cook. It was a simple matter of opening the fridge, throwing together some bits and pieces to make a quick salad, sandwich or an easy dish.
Well, things don’t work this way with my two little cheeky girls. I can’t just give them a salad and hope for the best. They are not the fussiest kids, truth must be said, but not the easiest either. They will never eat the same dish for lunch and dinner.
If I’m lucky, they might have the same dish at one meal the following day, otherwise they expect something different. I know, high maintenance, aren’t they?
They are kind of ok with pasta, and at some point they were only accepting pasta with tomato sauce. Until I discovered this recipe and decided to give it a go.To my great surprise, they loved it! Once again, the great cook Mary Berry comes to the rescue. This is by far one of my favourite pasta dishes.
How TO make chicken pasta bake
This dish has everything you wish for: garlicky grilled chicken, heart-soothing cheese sauce, and the good old pasta. Plus, some nice and juicy tomatoes to give it a fresh kick. Start by boiling the pasta with salted water until al dente. Drain, and set aside.
To grill the chicken:
- cut the chicken breasts into pieces, add them to a bag together with the garlic granules, paprika, salt, and pepper
- shake the bag well to coat the chicken pieces evenly
- heat up a grill pan or a simple frying pan, add a bit of oil, and cook the chicken pieces for 5-6 minutes
Next, we need to make the creamy cheese sauce:
- melt the butter in a pan, add the flour, and whisk well
- gradually pour in the milk, and continue to stir until it thickens into a sauce
- add the cheese, dijon mustard, salt and pepper
To put the dish together: pour the sauce over the pasta, and mix well. Transfer half of it to an oven-proof dish, spread the chicken over the pasta, add the remaining pasta, and top with chopped tomatoes.
How long do you bake the creamy chicken pasta for?
Have the oven pre-heated at 180 degrees Celsius (360 Fahrenheit). Pop the pasta in and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly hot. Be careful when you take the dish out of the oven, the sauce makes the pasta extra hot, so I’d leave it to cool for a bit before trying it out. If you are after more cheesy pasta goodness, how about my Baked Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese?
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Mary Berry's Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake, a fantastic family meal that is super easy to make. A creamy cheesy pasta sauce, grilled garlicky chicken, and juicy fresh tomatoes, what a glorious dinner!
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 cups penne pasta (about 200 g)
- 2 tbsp butter (about 30 g)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain the water and set aside.
Cut the chicken breasts into pieces, add them to a re-sealable bag together with the garlic granules, paprika, quarter a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
Heat up the oil in a pan or a grill pan, add the chicken and cook for about 5-6 minutes until cooked through.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and stir to make a paste.
Gradually pour in the milk, continuing to stir until it thickens into a sauce.
Add the parmesan, dijon mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the sauce with the pasta.
Transfer half of it to an oven-proof dish, then arrange the chicken pieces over it, and add the remaining pasta.
Chop and deseed the tomatoes, then top the pasta with them.
Bake at 180 degrees C (360 F) for 20 minutes until bubbly hot.