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.

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
4.9 from 68 reviews

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.


Scale

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

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 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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828 comments on “Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti”

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  3. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti. A velvety, rich alfredo… | bingoa

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

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

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

  10. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti. A velvety, rich alfredo sauce that will send your senses into orbit:) - My Pinterest Cookbook

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  12. 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! 

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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!

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

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  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! 

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

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  23. 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! http://healthykitchenhealthybudget.com/2015/03/16/chicken-alfredo-and-cauliflower/

  24. 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.

  25. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti! Quick and Easy Dinner Recipe for Winter! - Also Kitchen

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  27. 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!

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

  29. 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!

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

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  32. 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

  33. 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. : )

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

  35. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti | Cooking Recipes & Ideas

  36. 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. 

  37. Mmmmm, looks delicious!!

  38. 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!

  39. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti « I Picked It

  40. 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!

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

  47. 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! : )

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

  49. 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. 

  50. 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 ;)