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?
My original photo for this recipe from 2014.
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. ♡)
How To Make Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti:
Alright, let’s talk about how to make baked ziti! Simply…
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!
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.
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.
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.
Add toppings. Remove and sprinkle with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan and finely-chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Serve. Then dish it up while it’s still nice and warm, and enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
My mom and I made this. It was pretty easy to make, and tasted amazing.
Thank you, we’re glad you two liked it!
I’d love to add broccoli to this dish. Would you recommend adding cooked, frozen or fresh broccoli before baking it? Thank you!
That’s an excellent idea Taryn! We recommend boiling fresh (or frozen) broccoli florets for about five minutes, then strain and add to the casserole. You’ll want the broccoli somewhat cooked, but not-overcooked, so this is your best bet. We hope this is helpful, and that you like the recipe! :)
Do you think you could add some breadcrumbs on the top
Yes, definitely, we think that’s a great idea! :)
This recipe is amazing. I added steamed spinach and it was a hit!!
Thanks Tanisha, we’re so glad you enjoyed it, and steamed spinach sounds like a great addition!
If you want to add veggies that need to be cooked add them to the pasta the last 5 minutes it is cooking…saves a pot and water and it all can go in together!
Great tip Suzanne, thank you for sharing! :)
can you use already made alfredo sauce?
Sure Madison! We hope you like the recipe!
I just made this and my daughter said it’s delicious! I agree but I bet I don’t want to know how many calories are in it! Thanks :)
Thanks Katina, we’re glad you and your daughter liked it! :)
Do you know the nutrition facts? How many calories per serving? Thanks!
Hi Kaitlyn! We’re sorry but we currently are not 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. We hope that helps!
Will this recipe be ok for a freezer meal? I love the recipe and we are expecting a baby in a few weeks I’d love to be able to make a few trays of it now and pop them in the freezer for quick meals when the baby comes.
Hi Lisa! Congrats on the upcoming arrival of your little one, how exciting! Yes, you should be able to freeze this just fine, just make sure everything is cooled completely before you pop in the freezer, and hold off on sprinkling the cheese on top until you are ready to bake. We hope this is helpful!
can I make ahead and freeze?
Hi Miriam! Yes, you sure can, just make sure everything has cooled completely before you freeze. Also, we recommend not sprinkling the cheese on top until right before you’re ready to bake. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!
Looks delicious! Does this meal freeze well?
Thanks Laura, it does! Just make sure it’s cooled completely before you freeze. Or, if you’re freezing before baking, just leave off the cheese on top, until right before you bake. We hope you enjoy!
Just made this for the family for supper tonight. It was a big hit. My son said it gets a 10 spoon rating (and our rating system only goes as high as 5 spoons!). Thanks for sharing this great recipe!
Yay, we’re glad to hear that Bobbi, thanks for sharing! :)
Hi, can you make this with Mariana sauce instead?
Hi Kim, you could, it’ll just be a completely different taste! :)
Tasty. Added some cooked bacon. I fried the chicken in a pan sprinkled with garlic and herb salt, then shredded it to add to pasta. Also added a little sprinkle of chilli flakes and mixed all together. Needed more sauce so next time would double sauce ingredients. I gave it 9. Maybe with the extra sauce it would be better (and possibly some vegie content). Thanks for a great recipe.
Thanks for sharing Brenda, we like your additions! We’re sorry you ended up not having as much sauce as you would have liked. Thanks for your feedback! :)
OMG, I just made this and it was incredible! The alfredo sauce tasted legit, and the gooey cheese just made it heavenly! Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t wait to try more of your pasta dishes!
Thank you Alice, we’re glad you liked it!
Just made it for dinner tonight and future lunches next week, and..Oh. My.NOM.
I added some asparagus to mine for the sake of getting some green veggies in. And sometimes I like my alfredo with a little spice kick, so I added a little bit of cayenne pepper.
Either way, so glad I found this!
We’re so happy you liked it Tasha, and that asparagus and cayenne sound like excellent additions! :)
Can I made ahead this recipe and bake it 1 hr before my company comes!!!! and I also would like to add half a block
of lite cream cheese?
Yes, we think that should be perfect! And the light cream cheese should be fine too. We hope you enjoy! :)
hey! i wanted to make this recipe tonihgt and i was wondering if i could use alfredo souce from walmart that comes in a jar! and if so would you just heat the sauce like you did
Hi Ramsha! We think that would definitely be fine, and yes! We hope you enjoy!
@KAITLYN – the nutrition info is on https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-convenient-chicken-casseroles-under-500-calories/
For 8 servings:
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 341; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 48mg; Sodium: 574mg; Carbohydrate: 37g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 27g
This was delicious! Even my husband, who is not a pasta lover, had seconds. I made it exactly as you wrote it and will keep it in my recipe collection.
Thanks Nanette, we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed this!
Easy and delicious!!
Thanks Michelle, we’re glad you enjoyed it!
Hello I track macros and would love to make this. I was wondering how big each serving size is?
Hi Crystal! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
I made this tonight and added some steamed broccoli to the sauce – it was seriously yum! Will definitely be making it again.
Awesome Laurel, we’re happy to hear you liked it! And steamed broccoli would be a yummy addition!
Love this! Going to try next week with my cauliflower Alfredo sauce. :)
Thanks Amanda, and we think that cauliflower alfredo sauce sounds yummy!
Any idea how many calories?
Hi Sue! Unfortunately we’re unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Could give me an estimate on how many calories are in here? If you coild, thanks!
Hi Jane! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Can it be adapted to be vegan by using soy or coconut milk, vegetable broth and vegan cheese?
We haven’t tried that Marcia, but we think it might work. If you try it, definitely let us know how it turns out!
This was awesome!!! My whole family loved it! You have no idea how great it was to sit down to a delicious meal that everyone could enjoy / tolerate (my son is autistic). The textures & flavors are spot on! Thank you so much!
Kathy, we’re so happy to hear that — thank you for sharing with us, it made our day! :)
Made this last night for dinner for my son & I and we loved it!!! Simple and easy to make and lots of extras for next day lunch packing! Will be making this again!!!
Thanks Becky, we’re so glad you and your son enjoyed it! :)
First off….. I’ve never written a recipe review before but this was AMAZING! I’ve tried hundreds of ” light” Alfredo sauces with no success. This sauce is the keeper. My ” anything light” hating husband had no idea. I used about 2/3 ‘s the pasta and added fresh broccoli instead. I’ve already forwarded the recipe to a few friends. Thank you!!!
You’re welcome Deb, we’re thrilled that you loved this! Thank you for sharing! :)
Was pretty good. The sauce was ok, I’m used to my homemade version, but I added some cream cheese and it helped it taste closer to mine, I think it was the chicken broth that threw me off. Other than that, I liked it and my kids and husband liked it as well!! Oh I also added fresh spinach to it for a little something extra! Will definitely make again, just using my normal alfredo sauce lol!
After making this, I would suggest doubling the Alfredo sauce and adding more chicken. I love the flavors, just found it too dry.
We’re sorry to hear you found it to be dry Nancy, we appreciate your recommendation!
I’d love to include your chicken casserole in a casserole round up I’m doing for Parade Magazine.
If you’re fine with that, could I use one of your gorgeous photos with a link back to your original post (https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chicken-alfredo-baked-ziti-recipe/)?
Thanks so much!
Of course Felicia! We appreciate you asking our permission, and thanks so much for thinking of us and this recipe! :)
This is so good! Today I cooked it for dinner. My husband loved! Thank you for this great recipe!
Thanks Laura, we’re so happy you and your husband loved this!
Made this tonight- yum! I was looking for the calories and other nutritional information. Where can I find this? Thanks !
Hi Angela! We’re happy you liked this! Unfortunately though, we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Made according to directions and was dry after I took it out of the oven. Next I will double the ingredients. Overall it was a hit.
Hi Jennifer, we’re sorry to hear it was on the dry side. All ovens are different, so we might suggest you set the timer for 15-20 minutes to start, and check on it, since you can always bake longer if necessary. We’re glad you still enjoyed the taste — thanks for giving it a try! :)
A big hit! I just made this tonight My two daughters really LOVED it! I chose not to add the mozzarella cheese, mainly because I did not have any, and I am also not a huge cheese-y fan. I also added sauteed mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. It was so delicious! My girls always order pasta alfredo when we go out to eat, but I have never tried making it at home. This will definitely make it into the rotation on a regular basis at our house. THANKS!
Awesome Julie, we’re so happy it was a hit, especially with your daughters! :)
Made this for dinner for my boyfriend and me. Changed it up a bit with just all parmesan cheese, sundried tomatos, & red crushed chili peppers. Too good! For just us two we had half the dish! They were big servings too. Definitely keeping this simple and delicious recipe for the book! Thank you!
Awesome Elena, we’re happy to hear that! :)
Can you use canned parm?
We’re not sure what you mean by canned parm. Do you mean the green Kraft grated parm you can buy? We think that should work fine, but a higher quality parmesan (even just your grocery store’s brand) will make it tastier! :)
Hayley, I’m so glad I found this dish + recipe. I’m hosting a “Friendsgiving” next month and this is MOST DEFINITELY on the menu. This will be a hit with the adults and toddlers – homerun for me!
That’s awesome Nicole! It’s actually Ali’s recipe (as are all of the other recipes on the blog.) I write the roundups, and help out with other bits and bobs. :) Anyway, we hope it’s a hit at your Friendsgiving (we LOVE Friendsgiving)! :D
My first recipe I’ve ever followed. Came out great!! Thank you
That’s awesome Toya, we’re so happy to hear that! :) Thanks for giving the recipe a try!
Mmmmm! Add bacon and mushrooms. Yum!
If I wanted to use store-bought alfredo sauce, how much should i put in??
I would use about 2 cups. Enjoy!
This was a huge hit with my 13 year old son! I tried the recipe last month and he’s now asked for it 2 additional times! It makes a lot for the two of us, so it makes enough for 2 dinners and a lunch for me to take to work. I added broccoli to mine and it was fantastic!
plan to make this tomorrow evening! Looks so tasty! Probably not preferred but would jarred Alfredo work for this too?
Awesome Sarah! And no worries, jarred alfredo will definitely work just fine – we hope you enjoy! :)
This was delicious, but a little dry for my taste. I’m going to double the alfredo sauce next time. Great recipe and the sauce was easy and not as fatty as other alfredo sauces.
Thanks Jessica, we’re sorry you found it on the dry side though. Perhaps the sauce cooked a little too long? If you’d like more sauce, you might try doing 1 1/2 the sauce recipe next time. We hope this helps!
I’ve made this twice and it’s delicious! The only thing I don’t like, however, is that the chicken and noodles seem to absorb the sauce. Do you have any ideas on how to prevent that? Should I just double the sauce recipe?
Hi Brittany! We’re sorry it’s coming up kind of dry. You could definitely try doing 1 1/2 the recipe, or even doubling it. We hope that helps!
Omg!! This dish was AMAZING!!! I love how the Alfredo sauce was not too over powering. Thank you for this recipe I will continue to make this in the future.
Thanks Christina, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! :)
Amazing! !! Leftovers for kid’s lunch. Was a hit for dinner. Added broccoli last 2 mins of cooking pasta for added nutrition ?
We’re so glad you liked this Gina, thanks for sharing! :)
I made this and it was delicious! I’m making again for a dinner this weekend. If I prepare it the night before, how long should I cook it in the oven the next day? Thank you! :)
We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed this Katie! If you prepare it the night before and refrigerate it, it shouldn’t need much more time to bake than what’s already listed.