Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

This Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe is made with a lightened-up alfredo sauce, it’s easy to customize with extra veggies and seasonings, and it is always so comforting and delicious.

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti Recipe

Creamy, cozy, cheesy, carb-y comfort food alert.

This time of year, when everyone seems to be craving warm pasta dinners around the table on chilly winter nights, this chicken alfredo baked ziti recipe always goes viral here on the blog.  And this time of year, when I make a batch for myself, I’m always reminded how unbeatable this Italian casserole will always be.  I mean, creamy alfredo sauce, savory chicken, hearty pasta, two delicious kinds of melty cheese — what’s not to love?!  There’s a reason why this one will always be a classic.

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That said, while this recipe already features my lightened-up alfredo sauce recipe, there are all sorts of other ways you can make this comfort food a bit healthier if you’d like.  From subbing in whole wheat pasta (this one is my go-to), to adding in your choice of veggies (we’re quite partial to broccoli in our house), to making it all gluten-free if you’d like (easy to do with a few simple tweaks), options to customize this casserole abound.  And bonus, it can be ready to serve a big crowd in less than 45 minutes.

Who’s ready for a helping?

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

My original photo for this recipe from 2014.

DeLallo Penne Pasta | Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti Ingredients:

To make this Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe, you will need:

  • Pasta: Feel free to use any shape (ziti, penne, fettuccine, etc.) and variety (classic, whole-wheat, gluten-free, etc.) of pasta that you prefer.
  • Shredded, cooked chicken: I either shred a rotisserie chicken, or use leftovers from this baked chicken breasts recipe.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: Feel free to use part-skim or full-fat.
  • Alfredo sauce: We will use my lightened-up alfredo sauce recipe, made simply with olive oil (or butter), garlic, flour, chicken stock, low-fat milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Also, this recipe is not naturally very saucy.  So if you would like, many of our readers recommend doubling the sauce.
  • Toppings: Freshly-grated Parmesan is a must, in my book.  And feel free to sprinkle on some chopped parsley for extra freshness and flavor.

Also, see below for suggestions on other delicious ingredients you can add in to this easy baked ziti.  (Here’s lookin’ at you, broccoli and Cajun seasoning. )

Alfredo Pasta | Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

How To Make Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti:

Alright, let’s talk about how to make baked ziti!  Simply…

  1. Prepare the alfredo sauce.  To make the alfredo recipe, just sauté some garlic in olive oil (or butter).  Stir in some flour to thicken, add stock and milk and bring to a simmer.  Then stir in the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and you’re ready to go!
  2. Cook the pasta (and chicken).  Meanwhile, do some multi-tasking and cook your pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of generously-salted water.  Also, if you are cooking your chicken from scratch (vs. using leftovers or shredding a rotisserie), go ahead and cook it while the pasta and sauce are being prepared.
  3. Layer everything together. Once your pasta, sauce, and chicken are all ready to go, it’s time to combine everything!  In your pasta pot, stir together the pasta, alfredo sauce and chicken until combined.  Then spread half of the pasta mixture out evenly in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella.  And repeat with the remaining pasta mixture, and remaining half of the mozzarella.
  4. Bake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and has started to brown a bit on top.
  5. Add toppings.  Remove and sprinkle with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan and finely-chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
  6. Serve.  Then dish it up while it’s still nice and warm, and enjoy!

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti Casserole Recipe

Possible Variations:

There are so many ways to customize this chicken alfredo bake!  For example, feel free to…

  • Add in veggies. Broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, and any number of other veggies would be delicious added to this chicken alfredo recipe.  Just note that they won’t get cooked much during the 20 minutes of baking time.  So if whatever veggies you add require a longer cooking time, feel free to toss them into the boiling water with the pasta for a few minutes or sauté (or roast) them for a few minutes before adding them to the casserole.
  • Add in extra Italian herbs. If you would like an herbier chicken alfredo pasta, feel free to add some dried Italian seasoning or chopped fresh Italian herbs into the alfredo sauce.  (Or, you can also sprinkle some chopped fresh basil on top of the pasta after baking.)
  • Nix the protein.  Not into chicken?  Feel free to use shrimp in this recipe instead.  (Or make it vegetarian and add in some extra veggies instead.)
  • Make it spicy. I really love sprinkling lots of crushed red pepper into (and on top of) this casserole to give it a bit of a kick.
  • Make it cajun. To give this recipe a Cajun twist, feel free to stir 1-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (to taste) into the alfredo sauce.
  • Make it gluten-free.  Just use your favorite certified gluten-free pasta, and my gluten-free alfredo sauce recipe.

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti with Parmesan

Recommended Side Dishes:

To balance out this chicken alfredo baked ziti recipe, I would recommend the following sides:

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti | Gimme Some Oven

Enjoy, everyone!

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Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

This Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe is made with a lightened-up alfredo sauce, and is always so comforting and delicious.  See notes above for possible ingredient variations.

Ingredients:

Chicken Baked Ziti Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces uncooked ziti (or any pasta shape)
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)
  • 1 batch alfredo sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • toppings: lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, finely-chopped fresh basil or parsley

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

To Make The Chicken Baked Ziti:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of well-salted boiling according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken and alfredo sauce. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.
  3. Pour half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.

To Make The Alfredo Sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
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Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti Casserole Recipe

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779 comments on “Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti”

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  1. Lisa Frank all the things! That was me too…in fact, I still have a Lisa Frank journal to write recipes in. It’s ah-may-zing.
    Almost so much so as this recipe. I don’t have kids to send back to school….sooo, more for me! Pinned!

  2. Ali, You have officially made my day and made me chuckle at the memory of back-to-school shopping. I already had my arsenal of Lisa Frank supplies in my mind before I even read that you also rocked the Lisa Frank gear. And Trapper Keepers? Greatest things ever! Especially when covered in graffiti made by a White Out pen, and trying so hard not to get in trouble for making the Velcro noise during class. Those were the days. :)
    Anyhow, this ziti looks insanely delicious and I might just have to make it right. this. minute. And dream of the day when I have a reason to buy every school supply in sight.

  3. Lovely dinner idea Ali! The whole family would really enjoy this one :) xo

  4. Perfect family dinner. I think everyone would eat this. I mean, it looks awesome!

  5. Yum!! I love baked ziti, but I’ve never thought to do it with alfredo. I’d love to try this some day!

  6. I’m going to be craving this all day now! Looks amazing!

  7. This looks fantastic and so comforting on a cold day Ali!

  8. Perfect weeknight dinner!

  9. This looks like the kind of thing that my family would go crazy over. And even though my kids aren’t school-age yet, I did a little back-to-school shopping of my own (gotta have some new boots for the fall!), so I need to balance out the splurge with a LOT of economical cooking. :)

  10. This looks great! What size baking dish did you use?

    • Ah! Just added that in. I used the equivalent of an 11×7-inch baking dish, but any size around there will work. Enjoy!

  11. I saw the picture and I thought, “Is this for real??” This looks absolutely, indulgently delicious! I can’t wait to try this. Pinning!

  12. Thanks for an amazing recipe. . will definitely be making this one soon. . my kids go back to school next week!

  13. Can I pretend I have kids and make this every single night for dinner? lol! Looks fantastic!

  14. This looks so delicious. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  15. That sauce looks incredible!!! Sometimes I find macaroni cheese a bit dry but this looks just wonderful!

  16. You used those gel roller pens in every color to pass notes in class, amiright? ;)

  17. Haha can still smell those scented markers!

  18. Kind of an goofy question, but what types of veggies would you recommend for this? Unfortunately, I go strictly by the recipe and have a hard time being creative with things! Thank you for any input!

  19. AWESOME recipe, Ali! I love your skinny Alfredo sauce version!

  20. totally craving this for dinner now! YUM!

  21. Just so you know, this post didn’t come up on my Feedly! Your posts always come up first thing in the morning, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a bug or anything :)

    And the pasta looks delicious!

  22. Ali, yum! You nailed it! I don’t have kids going back to school but I cannot wait to make this for myself! :)

  23. This looks and sounds amazing, yum!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  24. This sounds spectacularly delicious. I will hopefully get to try this soon… :-)

  25. My kids and I are back to school and teaching this week, so we are very much in need of easy dinners around here! This looks like the perfect cheesy comfort food!

  26. Yum, yum, yum!! Could totally do with a big plate of this now, looks so delicious!

  27. Ali, this looks like the perfect dinner for weeknights! I love that you made your own alfredo sauce…Thanks for thinking of those of us with school-aged kids:)

  28. This pasta looks absolutely fantastic!! Wow!

  29. I’m sitting here visiting blogs on my laptop with Lucy Goose snuggled up to me…she’s pointing at your photos and saying “Teese, Teese!! MMMMM…..” So I think this DEFINITELY needs to go on my meal plan!

    School supplies are not nearly as fun as they used to be. Jon David’s list requires PLAIN FOLDERS and very specific markers/crayons. Snooze.

  30. Omg I was just talking to Rich about all of the 5 subject mead notebooks I would buy and how I couldn’t wait to get the best colors – lol. Good times!

  31. What a comforting meal to come home to after an exciting first day of school!

  32. looks delish – any thoughts how to make the alfredo sauce gluten free? thanks!

    • I’m working on a new GF alfredo recipe. Coming soon! :)

    • Ali… To save time on this, could it be just as good with a store bought Alfredo Sauce?

    • Hey Nancy! I really recommend homemade alfredo sauces, because the store-bought varieties are usually SUPER processed and full of mystery ingredients and (in my opinion) not nearly as tasty. But it would work as a substitution, so it’s totally your call.

    • Hi Nancy! I’m not a big fan of store-bought Alfredo sauce, due to all of the processed ingredients. But sure, the recipe would still work with it. Enjoy!

    • Ali,
      I’m sure this is obvious to you and you’ve already experimented, but I sub cornstarch for flour when I’m trying to GF my recipes. It’s a good place to start at least! I love this recipe. I add fresh veggies for color – whatever the local market has on hand. Quick, easy, tasty. Thanks!

  33. This looks incredibly delicious! I love everything about it!

  34. I have had no problem substituting unsweetened almond milk for recipes that call for dairy. I also use Gluten free flour blend when I make your homemade cream of soup recipe. It is my favorite cream of soup now.
    I also wanted to tell you my secret for chicken, I put several packages of chicken breasts in the slow cooker with salt and pepper for several hours on low. I shred with a fork, then transfer 2 cups to a freezer safe bag. Defrost as needed for recipes that call for chicken. Delicious and a great time saver.
    I love your blog and have loved everything I have made from your site so far. I pin everything I plan on trying to make…it’s my way of supporting local!

    • Thanks for the tip on cooking chicken in the slow cooker and then freeze the amounts for recipes! Will be doing this.

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  37. Use evaporated milk. You won’t be disappointed!!!

  38. Made this today and it is very good!

  39. Wondering if this could be a make ahead dish and freeze for later? If so how would I go about it? Freeze before bake or freeze after baking?

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  42. Ali…thank you thank you thank you! I currently have this amazing bake in the oven and my kitchen smells amazing. I love how you introduce your recipes with Ali tales, your sense of humor makes your blog even more delicious. Thanks for the step by step instructions too, I am so domestically challenged and even I can follow along and make culinary miracles. Love love love the casserole series, you are the BEST!

  43. Thank you! I was just wondering what to do with the chicken I’d defrosted (clearly I don’t have this whole “menu planning” thing down) and this popped up in my feed! Can’t wait to try it out! :)

  44. Made today with leftover rotisserie chicken my husband and I loved it.

  45. Do you think I can make this ahead and then freeze to use at a later time?

  46. Your description of back to school shopping really hits close to home. Although we didn’t have trapper keepers in the 90s, absolutely everything else is so familiar. The Lisa frank folders, smelly markers and having to get new crayons. Even though we needed almost none of it for school. Ah, memories.

  47. I made this tonight and OMG was it fantastic!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I added bacon bits with the cheese too lol. Everything is a little better with bacon.

  48. This looks delicious, cant wait to make it for the grandkids, just wondering if I can get the nutritional values for this meal..Thank you

  49. Made this tonight. I cooked my chicken instead of buying it already cooked. I used about 3 cups and everything else was exactly the same. This is Soooo good. I can believe how good this turned out. Awesome recipe and definitely a keeper. I will make this again