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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780 comments on “Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti”

  1. what can i substitute for olive oil in the sauce?

  2. I goofed!  Froze it without first baking it.  Is it OK to bake from frozen state?

    • No worries Carolyn, that should be fine! You’ll just need to bake it a little longer. Cover it with foil to start, and bake for about 30 minutes (at 375). Remove the foil, and then bake for 10-20 more minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown). We hope you enjoy!

  3. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti | Gimme Some Oven |

  4. Made this tonight and it was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Pingback: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti | Gimme Some Oven |

  6. Awesome! Easy to make,and delicious!

  7. Just finishing making this for dinner tonight; with some tweaks and improvising. Your recipe was my inspiration and starting point. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. I made this tonight and it turned out so perfectly my boyfriends family enjoyed it and my mom enjoyed the leftovers i have cealiac disease so i have to make everything GF so thanks ali

    • Thanks for sharing Cathy — we’re so glad it was a hit with your family! :)

  10. Loved this one!  The whole family had seconds and I have a very picky 8 y.o.!  I did not make it as a bake – just the alfredo sauce and tossed in the pasta, chicken and I added broccoli florets!  I left out the mozzarella all together and no one missed it!  The request from the table was “make this again!”  So I will, thanks – I never leave comments but this one deserved a thumbs up

    • Thanks Lucy — we’re so glad this was a hit, especially with your picky eater! :)

  11. Could you please provide the nutritional information for this recipe.  Thank you!

    -Amy

    • Hi Amy! Unfortunately 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!

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  14. I have never left a comment in response to anything I’ve ever found on Pinterest, but I make this so often I feel compelled to. This is seriously my family’s favorite meal, ever. I throw a ton of broccoli in there with the chicken and they devour it. Plus, it’s not difficult to make…I can even make this on the busy nights where I’m not home until 6. Great recipe!

    • Thank you for sharing Marissa — we’re so glad you and your family enjoy this! :)

  15. Hi Ali – I made this for dinner yesterday. This recipe is super simple and delicious. A definite hit in my household. Thank you!!

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  17. This looks so good. I want to make it tonight, but all I have is a 15 ounce jar of store bought alfredo sauce. Will this work, or do I need the one made from scratch? Also if it is ok to use, will the one jar be enough or should I cut back on the penne noodles? There’s just two of us. Thanks!

    • Store-bought will work fine! We would do a little less pasta though (maybe do 8 oz)? We hope you guys enjoy! :)

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  19. Made this today. Gotta tell you, the aroma of this amazing meal still lingers. Everyone loved it!. Thank you .Keep it up honey.

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  23. Can I add some sun dried tomatoes? Looks delish!

  24. Twin teen boys LOVE this !
    Thanks SO much X 2 ! !

  25. Can I add zucchini and squash to this? 

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  27. thank you for this wonderful recipe!! I multiplied this by 16 and made it for a funeral luncheon. It was much loved by all and I received many compliments on this dish. I added some diced ham and used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of milk. I really appreciated how accurate all the quantities of the ingredients were. Many thanks! You seem like such a beautiful person and I enjoy your site!

    • You’re so welcome Janice — we’re happy to hear it was such a hit! Thanks also for your sweet words about the blog! :D

  28. I have made this twice now in 2 weeks my family loves it.  The first time I made it just like your original, the second time I added sauted mushrooms and fresh spinach and WOW !!   This recipe is great.  

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  30. This was heavenly!!! The whole family loved this recipe!

  31. I’m thinking about adding a vegetable like asparagus tips or zucchini slices etc. How and when would you incorporate a veggie in this recipe? 
    It looks delicious as is but just thought I’d sneak in vegetable. 

    • We think that’s a great idea Michelle! We think asparagus tips or broccoli would be awesome in this! We’d suggest blanching and shocking them, then adding them to the casserole (that way they won’t get overcooked, but will be tender enough). We hope this helps and that you enjoy the dish!

  32. Excellent. Will make again. Next time I will double the Alfredo sauce though.

  33. Can you use jar Alfredo sauce?  If so, how much?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Michelle! Yes, you could use jarred alfredo sauce and we think 1 jar should be enough. We hope this helps!

  34. ThIs looks so delicious.  I was wondering can I use preggo garlic alfredo sauce. How big of a jar for this recipe would I need? 

    • That’s fine Teresa — we think a large jar should be enough, though it might be good to buy two just in case (if you find you don’t need any extra sauce from the second jar, you’ll at least have it on hand for next time)! :)

  35. I made this and my husband and I loved it! It was so satisfying and we had leftovers for a few days. We always like to do this to take to work for lunches and to make weeknights a bit easier. I through some asparagus on top of all the pasta and yumminess (in about 1.5″ pieces) and it made the dish. It was so satisfying and really yummy.

    My alfredo sauce didn’t really thicken up though. I always have bad luck making a rue (if that’s what this is…) and was wondering if you had any tips for me.

    • Thanks for sharing Sarah — we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed this! As far as the alfredo sauce not thickening, it sounds like you probably just needed to cook it a little longer. We hope that helps!

  36. LOVED THIS RECIPE SO MUCH! I followed it almost exactly but did add a can of stewed tomatoes (italian style) just for fun. It was awesome….I want to make it again tonight! I served it also to two guests who agreed it was the best pasta they have had yet. 

  37. Going to try this tonight! Is it okay to refrigerate leftovers and eat it within 2-3 days?  Thanks :) 

  38. Looks delicious! Can I make it the night before?

    • Hi Sally! Yes, you can definitely make this the night before. We hope you enjoy!

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  40. AWESOME dish, thanks for sharing. Making it for they whole family tonight!

  41. I made this tonight and it was SO! DELICIOUS! I was throughly impressed with how tasty the Alfredo sauce was! Beats canned sauce any day. If I may ask, how would you suggest reheating the leftovers?

    • We’re so happy you liked it, Leigh! As far as reheating, the microwave should be just fine, but you could also heat this in the oven at 200 degrees, with some foil over-top, maybe for 15 minutes or so.

  42. How many people does this serve? I want to make it for a family gathering of 8 adults and 2 children.

    • Hi Terry! This yields 6-8 servings (it says right above the recipe title). You may want to double it so you don’t have to worry about whether you have enough for everyone, and that way some folks can also have leftovers. We hope you enjoy!

  43. What are the freezing instructions in case I want to make one to eat now and one to freeze for later? Can’t wait to make!

    • Hi Alice! You can prepare this (unbaked, and without the cheese on top), and then freeze, if you like. When you’re ready to bake it, add the cheese, cover it with foil to start, and bake for about 30 minutes (at 375). Remove the foil, and then bake for 10-20 more minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown). We hope you enjoy!

  44. I added herbs and bacon lardons to the sauce. Tastes amazzzzzzzing. Will deffo be making this again and so easy 

    • Oooh, we love your style, Chelle — awesome additions! And we’re so glad you enjoyed this!

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  49. Hi there! Love your blog! I actually found this recipe from My Fitness Pal suggesting each serving is about 341 calories. Do you know how much is considered 1 serving? You may not know this answer, but I thought I’d at least ask! Thanks for the awesome blog :)

    • Thank you, Kahli — we’re so glad you love the blog! As for an accurate serving size with the information you calculated, we’re not really sure. This entire recipe should make enough for 6-8 generous servings. Hope this helps!

  50. What is a serving size and calories per serving? If it’s there, I didnt see it . Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

    • Hi Susan! This makes 6-8 pretty generous-sized portions (it’s listed above the recipe title). However, we unfortunately do not know the nutritional info/calories for this. 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!