Australian/ Baking/ Chicken Recipes/ Dinner/ Pasta & Noodles/ Recipes

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

17/10/2023

This creamy chicken pasta bake is the perfect weeknight meal – super easy to make and the serving size is huge! You’ll have more than enough to feed a crowd or have leftovers the next day.

A clear glass baking dish filled with freshly cooked chicken and pasta, with a golden cheesy breadcrumb topping.

Why We Love This

Our families LOVE this amazingly creamy chicken pasta bake! It’s quick and easy to prep, then relax while the oven takes care of the rest. Perfect for stress free easy weeknight cooking.

This pure Aussie comfort food is super satisfying and packed to the brim with juicy chicken and pasta, crispy bacon, broccoli or asparagus, and our quick and creamy pasta sauce.

But the best bit? That incredible golden cheesy topping!

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Feel free to adapt to suit your tastes or whatever veggies you have in the fridge. You can also make it in advance (ie the day before or in the morning) then finish it in the oven when you’re ready to serve.

Related: Pasta al Forno / Tuna Mornay / Cauliflower Cheese

One serve of creamy chicken pasta bake on a grey plate.

What is Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake?

This is the ultimate creamy chicken pasta bake recipe, handed down to us from Sarah’s mum! These days both our families enjoy this meal on regular rotation. (But they love it even more when we cook it for them!)

It’s similar to chicken tetrazzini, another popular baked chicken casserole, but even easier.

What makes this creamy pasta bake recipe stand out from the rest is a humble tin of condensed soup for extra flavour. No need to whip up a bechamel or white sauce for this one (though you could if you wanted to). Just stir in the soup and a splash of cream and you’re done.

What You’ll Need

  • Chicken & Bacon – You can use your preference of diced chicken breast or chicken thighs for this one. Sub with rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken (no need to cook before using in this recipe if you do). Regular bacon is fine, but if you can afford wood-smoked bacon it’ll really kick it up a notch. 
  • Pasta – Our favourites are spirali or penne pasta – the smaller pieces make it easy to portion out the pasta bake once cooked. Sub with any style of pasta you like and cook according to packet directions until al dente. 
  • Veggies – We use onion, broccoli or broccolini and/or asparagus depending on what’s in season or on special at the supermarket.
  • Cream of Celery Soup – The secret ingredient in our chicken pasta bake recipe! This canned condensed soup not only adds flavour but makes the sauce lusciously thick and creamy. Sub with any other ‘cream of’ condensed soup flavour, such as mushroom, asparagus or cream of chicken soup. Or use white sauce, alfredo sauce or homemade cream of celery as the base instead.
  • Cream – Use thickened cream / heavy cream rather than pouring cream to keep the sauce nice and thick. 
  • Cheese – Your choice of grated cheddar cheese (aka tasty cheese in Australia), mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese or pizza cheese mixes. Sub with an extra sharp cheese like gruyere for even more flavour. All work great for this recipe.
  • Breadcrumbs – For an extra crunchy golden crust! Sub with seasoned stuffing mix for even more flavour, or just leave it out.
Ingredients laid out ready to make creamy chicken pasta bake.

How to Make Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Boil water and cook pasta as per packet directions, then drain. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or large skillet over a medium high heat. Brown the chicken, bacon and onion for around five minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked. Add the broccolini and/or asparagus and cook for a further minute.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in the cream of celery soup, water and thickened cream / heavy cream. Stir until evenly mixed, allowing the sauce to warm through and thicken (about 5-10 minutes). 
  1. Transfer cooked ingredients into a large casserole dish along with the cooked pasta and mix well.
  2. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese to melt on top. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Chicken – Frying the chicken first ensures it will be fully cooked through while keeping it juicy and tender.
  • Top Browning Too Quickly? – Cover the top with a sheet of aluminium foil to stop it browning too much on top. Take it off for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time to get it nice and crispy. 
  • Baking Dish – You’ll need one large baking dish or two smaller dishes for this recipe. If you don’t need to cook this much, consider halving the recipe. 
  • Storage – Leftovers will last around 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container, or up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Portion out to make it easier to reheat just what you need later.

FAQs

Can I make this in advance?

Yep, you can make it the night before or in the morning. Just follow the recipe until you’ve assembled the bake and put the cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Then instead of baking straight away, just cover and store in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, you can bake it straight away in a preheated oven without waiting it to come up to room temperature first. Allow an extra 10-15 minutes cooking time to ensure it heats through fully in the middle.

Variations

  • White Sauce Base – Make your own from a mix of flour, butter, milk and cheese. See our white sauce recipe for the full method.
  • Optional Garnish – Top the finished pasta bake with fresh parsley, chives or spring onion.
  • More Veggies – Use half the amount of pasta and top it up with baby spinach leaves, grated zucchini (liquid squeezed out first), cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, diced pumpkin, sweet potato or mushrooms. For an even easier option, just stir in a mix of frozen peas, corn and carrots.
  • Add Herbs – Add your favourite fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme or oregano.
  • Add Flavour – Season the sauce with salt and ground black pepper to taste, or stir in a splash of chicken stock or 1-2 tsp of chicken stock powder into the sauce before baking.
  • Add Heat – Add a sprinkling of chilli powder, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to taste.
Close up of creamy chicken pasta bake with serving spoons.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Close up shot of chicken pasta bake showing the colourful ingredients.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

This creamy chicken pasta bake is the perfect weeknight meal – super easy to make and the serving size is huge! You’ll have more than enough to feed a crowd or have leftovers the next day.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 1064kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 750 g chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 150 g bacon chopped into pieces
  • 250 g pasta cook according to packet directions
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch broccolini or asparagus, chopped into 3 cm / 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can cream of celery soup or mushroom, asparagus or chicken
  • 200 ml thickened cream / heavy cream
  • 100 g cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F.
  • Cook pasta as per packet directions, then drain.
    250 g pasta
  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Brown the chicken, bacon and onion for around five minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked. Add the broccolini and/or asparagus and cook for a further minute.
    750 g chicken, 150 g bacon, 1 onion, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 bunch broccolini
  • Reduce heat to low-medium and pour in the cream of celery soup, water and thickened cream / heavy cream. Stir until evenly mixed, allowing the sauce to warm through and thicken (about 5-10 minutes). 
    1 cup water, 1 can cream of celery soup, 200 ml thickened cream / heavy cream
  • Transfer cooked ingredients into a large casserole dish along with the pasta and mix well.Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs.
    100 g cheese, 3 tbsp bread crumbs
  • Bake for around 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Chicken & Bacon – We use diced chicken breast or thighs along with diced bacon. Frying the chicken first ensures it will be fully cooked through while helping to keep it juicy and tender. It’s also a great way to repurpose leftover roast chicken (but no need to recook before using in this recipe). 
  • Pasta – Spirali or penne pasta are great options and make it easy to portion out the pasta bake once cooked. Sub with any pasta you like and cook according to packet directions until al dente. 
  • Veggies – We usually use onion, broccoli/broccolini and/or asparagus depending on what’s in season or on special at the supermarket.
  • Cream of Celery Soup – This canned condensed soup is the secret ingredient to the lusciously thick and creamy sauce in our chicken pasta bake. Sub with any other ‘cream of’ condensed soup flavour, such as mushroom, asparagus or chicken. You can also make your own easy white sauce, or homemade cream of celery to use as the base instead.
  • Cream – Use thickened cream / heavy cream rather than pouring cream. 
  • Cheese – Grated tasty cheese / cheddar cheese, mozzarella, parmesan or pizza cheese mixes all work great for this recipe.
  • Breadcrumbs – For an extra crunchy golden crust! Sub with seasoned stuffing mix for even more flavour, or leave them out if you prefer.
  • Top Browning Too Quickly? – Cover the top with a sheet of aluminium foil to stop it browning too much on top. Take it off for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time to let it crispen up nicely. 
  • Baking Dish – You’ll need one large baking dish or two smaller dishes for this recipe. If you don’t need to cook this much, consider halving the recipe. 
  • Storage – Cooked pasta bake will last around 2-3 days in the fridge, or up to 2-3 months in the freezer if properly stored in airtight containers.
  • Optional Garnish – Top the finished pasta bake with fresh parsley, chives or spring onion.
  • More Veggies – Try using half the amount of pasta and adding spinach, zucchini, garlic, finely diced pumpkin, sweet potato or even mushrooms. Or stir in some frozen peas, corn and carrots.
  • Add Herbs – Add your favourite fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or oregano.
  • Add Flavour – Season the sauce with salt and ground black pepper to taste, or stir in 1-2 tsp of chicken stock powder into the sauce before baking.
  • Add Heat – Add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to taste.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake
Serving Size
 
4 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
1064
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
54
g
83
%
Saturated Fat
 
23
g
144
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
27
g
Cholesterol
 
271
mg
90
%
Sodium
 
1057
mg
46
%
Carbohydrates
 
64
g
21
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
79
g
158
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake
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