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Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

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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.

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 Recipe

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 0 about 6-8 servings 1x

Description

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

Scale

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

Instructions

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 mozzarella. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
  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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Recipe rating

696 comments on “Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti”

  1. I was looking for a good chicken dish found my way here via Pinterest. I must admit I am a cook that can’t leave a recipe alone… I did follow yours somewhat close I added fire roasted Mushrooms (love them) and since all I had in my frig was fresh sliced mozzarella I layered the slices in the dish It was awesome and so easy!! thanks for a great recipe! 

  2. Very good just the Alfredo sauce was to thick

  3. This recipe was yummilicious. I did not make the Alfredo sauce from scratch instead I used the sauce from the jar since I came from work and I did not have time waste. However it ended up tasting like heaven. I like to add some spice to my food and iadded a pinch of red pepper flakes when I was layering the chicken and a little more on top. I’ll tell you it was GREAT!!

  4. Ali – What a beautiful presentation! Your camera captures this dish perfectly. :)

  5. Just made this recipe without chicken as I am testing recipes for a birthday dinner. It was so easy to make and so delicious. I can really see how good it would be to add chicken to this dish. I make mine in ramekins and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the great find I will definitely be making this again.

  6. Can this be made and then put into the freezer for a freezer meal??

  7. Glad I found what looks like a simple yummy recipe that’s kid approved. Making this tonight! PS: we must be the exact same age cause I had the exact same school supply obsessions at the exact same time period. However my Lisa Frank love is still going strong

  8. Do I cook the chicken before mixing it all together and putting it in the oven or do I only cook the pasta and let the chicken cook in the oven? Thanks in advance for the clarification.

  9. This was sooooo yummy! My four kids loved it. My pickiest eater went back for seconds!! I have a tenth month old who was beating the high chair for more. This was hands down the best Alfredo sauce. Thank you:)

  10. Would I be able to use a jar of alfredo sauce instead of making my own? 

  11. I wanted a veggie so i put in some steamed asparagus. i did think green beans but glad i used asparagus instead

  12. So good! I added broccoli and mushrooms then doubled the alfredo sauce. We got enough for another meal. Would definitely make it again! Yummy! 

  13. Wow, what a great alfredo baked pasta, 
    Great photos too, really clear :)

  14. I made this for dinner tonight. I have to tell you that I’m not a fan of Alfredo sauce. This dish, however, changed that for me. This was a hit for my family of five. It was fantastic. I did make 1 1/2 recipes for the sauce and next time I will make a double recipe just because i like a saucier pasta dish. I would have done it this time but i didn’t have enough ingredients for a double. This sauce will be my go-to for Alfredo sauce from now on. It’s simple but flavorful. The only other thing I did differently was I sprinkled Italian seasonings on top of the top cheese layer. It added another level of flavor. I can also see myself taking this to a church potluck. Thank you for a great dish! 

  15. Thank you ever soon much for this recipe. I made it for the first time tonight and LOVE it! I added steamed broccoli and used 6 Italian cheeses instead of mozzarella.

  16. Made this last night loved it…have you ever made a double  or triple batch and kept in mason jars in fridge?

  17. I made this last week and it was a hit! I also didn’t make the Alfredo from scratch since I’m gluten free and the jar stuff I get is gluten free. It still worked out really well and VERY easy. It was just what I needed during the busy week. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  18. Absolutely delicious and easy ! I will be making my own Alfredo sauce from now on!

  19. This recipe was great! I will use a little more milk next time I think maybe a 1/4-1/2 cup more. I used skim milk, barilla whole grain pasta penne, whole wheat flour & the rotisserie chicken. Super easy & super delicious! 

  20. Kendra ,Great chicken alfreda.love it. N so easy.

  21. I seem to make this recipe Every. Other. Week. We love, love it, especially since I have perfected the process of making the roux and cheese sauce. And, this week I added some cauliflower puree to the sauce. Turned out great! https://healthykitchenhealthybudget.com/2015/03/16/chicken-alfredo-and-cauliflower/

  22. Hello Ali,

    You have an absolutely lovely blog!! I have a question about the dish. Can this be prepared in the morning, refrigerated and baked at dinner time? If so, are there any variations that need to be done? Thank you!! 

    • Unfortunately, this is one of those dishes that’s really best when made at the last minute. You could try to pre-cook the ingredients separately and combine just before cooking, but I’m afraid it won’t turn out as well.

  23. YUM! One of the best Alfredo recipes ever. My boyfriend and I ate it up. last week I followed the recipe to a pea, this week I am adding asparagus (its in the oven as I type this). Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  24. I made this tonight and it is delicious!  I’m going keep this in constant rotation. 

  25. I fix this all the time, my family loves it. I just wonder, what modifications would need to be made to do this in the crock pot?

    • Awesome!! Unfortunately, I don’t think this one would do all that well in the crock pot with the alfredo sauce. I’m afraid it would burn, or the noodles would dry out. If you figure it out, though, let me know!

  26. I just made this and followed the recipe exactly!  Perfection!!!

  27. aaahhhhh! just made this and it was sooooooo good! great big hit with the hubby, too :) im gonna make this again on saturday for my family get together! sooo good! thank you and God bless you! ok, thats 5 exclamation marks. i should calm down :D

  28. Hi there! I am cooking tonight for our family of 4. If followed your directions exactly, do you know how many calories this meal has? 

    • Hey Kathy, unfortunately we aren’t currently publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate — I hope that helps! Thanks for making my baked ziti! Hope you guys enjoyed it. : )

  29. Has anyone tried it with broccoli before???

  30. Definitely has potential. I will double the sauce next time. After putting it in the oven it all nearly cooked away and it became too dry. Maybe i made a mistake somewhere but, was way too dry. 

  31. Mmmmm, looks delicious!!

  32. Hi…I want to make this for a group of 40-50. I’ll be adding some veg as well. Any tips for preparation? I’m thinking of 3 rotisserie chickens. Or would skinless chicken breasts work better?

    • Hey Judi! Wow, that’s quite a crowd! I’ve never made this for that many people, but I think if you do 6 or 7 times this recipe, you should have enough. And as for rotisserie chicken vs skinless chicken breasts, I think it all just depends on how much time and money you’re willing to spend. Otherwise, either should work fine. I hope this was helpful!

  33. Delicious! Do you have the calorie count per serving?

    • Hey Jen, unfortunately we aren’t currently publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. Hope that helps!

  34. pretty bland…wouldn’t make again but was easy 

  35. I just wanted to thank you so much for this recipe!  I’m the primary caretaker for my 83 year old grandmother, who is extremely picky about her food – she’s an old school midwestern potatoes and casserole kind of girl – and she loves loves loves this.  I’ve started sneaking bell peppers into it and am planning on trying broccoli at some point – and am VERY intrigued by the idea of adding cauliflower to the sauce because yay stealth veggies – and it’s gone over a treat.  At this point I’m making it twice a month and freezing individual portions for her to reheat in the microwave and I don’t see it falling out of favor any time soon. 

    Anyway, thank you thank you thank you, it’s always wonderful to find something that Gran will smack her lips over and ask for more!

    • Thank you so much Bunny! I’m SO happy your grandmother loves the ziti, this makes my day! I love that you’re sneaking all those awesome veggies in too, great thinking! Cheers to you and your sweet grandmother, how wonderful of you to take care of her so well! : )

  36. Made this dish tonight and it was delicious. Thanks for share the recipe.

  37. Does it matter what kind of pan I would bake this in? If I used 2% milk will it taste any different? “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.” Could you please break this down for me? I don’t really understand this by how it’s worded. 

  38. my boy friend is a super picky eater so I have to be careful what I make. He LOVED this. Ate the entire thing between dinner and breakfast the next day and he’s not a big guy! I love this recipe will definitely be making it again. Thank you for making me look like a good cook ;)

  39. I like to add chopped artichoke hearts (canned) and some fresh spinach to mine. Love this recipe!

  40. Love this recipe!  I only make homemade sauces. This recipe was easy to throw together and tastes great.  I have substituted or added and always pleases any picky eaters.  

  41. Hiya
    i just made it for dinner. Its amazing. Thank you for sharing :)

  42. I want to make this recipe but need to know if the 12 oz. of pasta is cooked or raw.

    • Well, it calls for 12 ounces uncooked pasta. But then it needs to be cooked before adding it to the recipe.

  43. Very yummy. I added Cajun seasoning to the chicken and it was great. Even my picky nephew liked it. 

  44. Great work Ali! For some strange reason we haven’t tried the Alferdo sauce yet:) Your recipe looks like a wonderful way to start! Thanx so much for sharing this!

  45. I’m making this right now!!

  46. made this for my family last night and they loved it!! great recipe and so easy and yummy to make. thanks for sharing.

  47. Could I make the sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge for about 3-4 days?

  48. Could I also make ahead of time and freeze?

    • Hi Tameca, you sure can! I would assemble everything up to topping it with the cheese, it’s better to do that fresh. Just make sure everything’s completely cool before you freeze it. When you’re ready to reheat, add the cheese, and then stick it in the oven at 350 (covered with foil), for about an hour, then remove the foil, and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes (or until everything is bubbly and golden-brown). I hope that helps!

  49. Followed directions exactly and dish was way too dry! Will double alfredo sauce recipe next time! 

    • We’re sorry to hear it came out dry! Not sure what happened. : ( Hopefully that won’t happen again, surely not with doubling the sauce. Let us know how it turns out!

  50. Can I make this and put it in the freezer to eat later?

    • Yes, you sure can! Just make sure it’s cooled completely after baking, before you freeze it. We hope you enjoy!