Easy dinners. You asked for it! This Parmesan Chicken Baked Ziti is the perfect amount of cozy and comfort, without being heavy. I mean, I love cheese, but I can’t stand when there’s giant globs of melted cheese in my baked ziti. I want ooey gooey stringy cheesy bites every time.
With less than 10 simple ingredients (which you probably already have most of in your pantry), this satisfying dinner can be on the table in no time.
I’m actually sad to admit this, but it’s been a while since I’ve use plain old regular pasta. I’ve been experimenting lately with brown rice pasta, gluten free pasta, and even black bean pasta (which by the way, I’m not a fan of). And while this can be done with any of those alternatives, there’s nothing quite like the original.
I love how easy this meal is to make. And I know you will too. I got lucky with this one, because even my kids ate it! I make no promises here, but it really is THAT good.
Don’t be afraid. You got this.
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cups tomato sauce (I love the Tomato Basil Sauce from Trader Joe's)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 large pinches of salt, then add the pasta and cook according to the package, about 10-11 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 2) Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium/high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, the garlic powder, and dried basil. Cook for about 5 minutes until chicken is just cooked through. Turn off heat and set aside.
- 3) Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it, then return the hot pasta to the pot. Add the chicken, tomato sauce, chopped fresh basil, and mix together until the pasta is well coated.
- 4) Add half of the pasta mixture back to the skillet that you cooked the chicken in, (or you can use a greased 9x11 baking dish). Sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan. Add the rest of the pasta, then top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
- 5) Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with extra fresh basil and serve warm.
Loving life right now.