This Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake is a perfect use of leftover cooked chicken! Deliciously cheesy, saucy, and full of pesto chicken goodness! Assemble ahead and bake the next day, or freeze leftovers for later!
8 ounces dry penne pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup traditional prepared basil pesto
3/4 cup 2% plain greek yogurt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temp
16–24 ounces cooked chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2/3 cupfrozen peas
1 teaspoongarlic powder
1/2 teaspoononion powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or fresh sliced mozzarella
1/2 cup crushed cheese crisps or other crispy topping
Cook pasta: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta to al dente based on package directions. Drain well and rinse pasta with cold water to reduce the temperature, then add the pasta to a large mixing bowl. Pour the whisked egg over the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Mix: In a small mixing bowl, add pesto, greek yogurt and cream cheese. Mix until the cream cheese is well combined into the pesto and yogurt. To the large mixing bowl with cooked pasta, add pesto yogurt mixture, chicken, tomatoes, peas, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and optional red chili pepper flakes. Mix thoroughly until everything is well combined.
Assemble: Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish (or equivalent 2 quart baking dish). Spoon about half of the pesto pasta mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon the remaining chicken pesto mixture over the cheese and use a spatula to flatten the mixture into the dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese followed by the cheese crisp topping.
Bake: Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and cheese is completely melted. Finish with supervised broil for 3 minutes to give an ultra crisp top.
Serve & store: Serve immediately, or store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.