Cheesy Baked Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Cheesy baked pasta with penne, broccoli, chicken, and sundried tomatoes.

This cheesy baked pasta with chicken and broccoli is a simple and filling dish that satisfies that carb craving while providing you with a good dose of vegetables.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Recipe by Dee

Ingredients

  • 2 oz penne

  • 1 uncooked chicken thigh or 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken

  • 1 cup white cheddar plus extra

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt

  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets and stems

  • 4 sundried tomatoes cut into thin strips

  • 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. chili flakes

  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice

  • Fine sea salt

  • Grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

Directions

  • Place the chicken thigh in a bowl and sprinkle both sides with salt. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Set the oven to 375 F or 190 C.
  • Fill a 2.5 quart saucepan with water and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then add a large pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Place a 10 inch skillet over medium heat (or you can use the cleaned saucepan you boiled the pasta in). Once the pan is hot, a drop of water should sizzle and disappear, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the chicken in the pan and cook for 7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside to cool, then shred into pieces.
  • Place the cheddar, greek yogurt, chili flakes, and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Taste and add salt as needed. Add the cooked pasta, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and cooked shredded chicken. Pour the pasta into a 6 inch casserole dish and sprinkle with the extra cheddar.
  • Place the pasta in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown in parts. Remove from the oven and let the pasta rest without cutting it for 10 minutes.
    Enjoy!!

Notes:

  •  You can try making this with Homemade Pasta. If you try making it with homemade rigatoni cook the pasta for 7 minutes, or until al dente, then continue with the recipe.
  • This baked pasta is kind of like lasagna. If you don’t let it rest before cutting it, it will be watery, so let the pasta rest for at least ten minutes before eating it.
Cheesy baked pasta with penne, broccoli, chicken, and sundried tomatoes.

Ramblings: Broccoli and Cheese and Other Things

I watched an episode of some show as a kid (it may have been Hey Arnold) where evil vegetables are attacking the characters in the show. 

The characters are running away, scared for their lives, and finally realize that the only way to defeat the evil veggies is to “gasp”… eat them!! 

But they don’t like plain veggies, so the kids manage by throwing condiments on the veggies before eating them alive.

(Which is a little gruesome when you think about it.)

One thing in particular that I remember is when the kids add cheese sauce to the broccoli.

I didn’t get it. I was the weird kid who loved broccoli; steamed, roasted, raw, microwaved, whatever kind of broccoli, I loved it. So, I didn’t see the point in adding cheese to make it yummy because it already was yummy.

Besides, the idea of cheese on broccoli seemed odd.

Twenty plus years later, I’ve finally caved and made a variation of cheese and broccoli in this cheesy baked pasta with chicken and broccoli.

And surprise, surprise, the cheese and broccoli combo is delicious.

So I guess I’ll just add it to the ever growing list of “I guess they were right, and I was wrong” flavor combo.

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