You might be thinking, “Wow, she’s really on a pesto kick lately.” I’m here to clear something up: I’m not just on a pesto kick. I really truly just love pesto. Recently, I’ve been daydreaming about possible breakfast casseroles involving pesto. It’s true I’ve only gotten as far as eggs, cheese and pesto, but it just sounds so good! For now, you’ll have to settle with this one: Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake with Peas and Tomatoes (jump to recipe).
It has been raining NON-STOP and it’s just felt so right to practice this casserole over the past few weeks. In fact, I just read an article that said Seattle has only had 3 sunny/mild days since the start of October. I don’t even remember when those sunny days were… and I’m really starting to miss them.
Now is about the time when all those people from other parts of the country say we should expect this because it’s Seattle. Just so you know, this is a little bit over the top and it does not always rain in Seattle. The summer is absolute perfection, and I’m sure I’ll be complaining about heat in a few short months. Until then, bring on the casseroles.
I particularly love this casserole because you don’t have to cook any of the veggies ahead of time. Any day I can save a dish is a good day. As for the chicken, you can use any leftover chicken breasts or even rotisserie chicken. I always try to use brown rice pasta, but that can be swapped out as well.
For toppings, I automatically gravitate towards Whisps parmesan cheese crisps instead of bread crumbs. Spread some on top of a little mozzarella for the ultimate casserole cheese-y goodness. If you do a little supervised broil right at the end, you’ll get the nice crispies on top! Enjoy!
Other delicious pesto articles from Project Meal Plan:
- Store-Bought Vs. Homemade Pesto: Which is Cheaper?
- Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash for Two
- Turkey Pesto Tortilla Pinwheels
- Veggie Sticks with Easy Pesto Hummus
Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake with Peas
Pesto, chicken, noodles and more in this simple weeknight dinner! Perfect for leftover chicken! at ProjectMealPlan.com
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- 8 ounces dry brown rice pasta spirals (about 2 cups)
- 1/3 cup traditional prepared pesto
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 cup 2% greek yogurt (I use Fage)
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked diced chicken (about 3 cups, can use any leftover chicken)
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, very well drained
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (separated)
- 1/2 cup crushed parmesan crisps (I like Whisps)
- Cook pasta to al dente based on package directions. Particularly if you’re using brown rice pasta, don’t overcook!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small mixing bowl, add pesto, egg, and greek yogurt. Mix until completely incorporated.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, noodles, chicken, tomatoes, and spices. Mix thoroughly until cream cheese and spices are evenly dispersed.
- Add pesto yogurt mixture and peas to the large mixing bowl. Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
- Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon about half of the mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Continue by spooning the remaining chicken pesto mixture over the cheese.
- Finally, top with remaining mozzarella cheese followed by the parmesan crisps.
- Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and cheese is completely melted. Optional: Supervised broil for 3 minutes to give an ultra crisp top.
Prep: Store in airtight containers for up to 4 days.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of casserole
- Calories: 469
- Sugar: 5g
- Fat: 16g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Protein: 42g
To make this recipe, I used:
Thank you so much for checking out the Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake with Peas! Be sure to use #projectmealplan on social media if you make this yummy recipe! And follow me on Pinterest for meal inspiration every single day.