Welcome to my new favorite summertime weeknight dinner: Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake! I love that it incorporates the beautiful flavors of summer produce, but it’s so incredibly easy to put together. It truly is the ultimate healthy meal, and my entire family and I are obsessed with it!
If you’ve been on the search for an easy recipe that’s wholesome but also full of deliciously unique flavors, then this pasta bake is for you. It’s versatile enough to make it your own, it can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, and it’s wonderful for feeding a crowd of picky eaters. Everyone will love this recipe!
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Here’s what you’ll need for this easy recipe:
Cooked Chicken – Rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, or cooked chicken breast are all great options for this recipe. Simply cut the chicken into cubes or shred it for the casserole!
Penne Pasta – I love using lentil or chickpea pasta for healthy recipes! Whole wheat pasta works great, too.
Spinach Basil Pesto – The star of the show in this recipe is the Spinach Basil Pesto! Make your own (in 5 minutes or less) or you can buy regular basil pesto for this recipe as well.
Summer Squash – Summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, or even butternut squash are all great options.
Tomatoes – There’s nothing like fresh summer tomatoes when they’re ripe and in season! I used grape tomatoes in this recipe, but any type of tomato will work.
Yogurt – Plain yogurt mixed with salt, pepper, and garlic make a creamy sauce that ties this recipe together. Any type of plain yogurt will work (greek, low fat, whole milk), and sour cream is another great substitution.
Mozzarella – Top this pasta bake with just right amount of mozzarella! But can you really ever have too much??
Toppings (optional) – Feel free to add crushed walnuts, basil, parsley, cilantro, or play around with any type of fresh herb for a little extra flavor!
How to Make Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
Making this pasta bake is SO easy. All you need is a casserole dish, a pot for cooking the pasta, and a cutting board. Here’s how to make this Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake:
- Roast the squash in the casserole dish.
- Cook the pasta.
- Mix up the yogurt and seasoning.
- Add the yogurt mixture and pesto to the pasta.
- Combine everything in the casserole dish with the roasted squash.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake until everything is warm and the cheese is melted!
One thing that I love about this recipe is that you can make a big batch and store the rest in the fridge for leftovers all week long. It can also be frozen or made as a freezer meal! Here’s how to store it:
Refrigerator – Store the leftovers in the refrigerator by placing in an airtight container. This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days!
Freezer – To freeze, place the cooked meal in an airtight container without the lid and let cool in the refrigerator for an hour. Then place the airtight lid on the container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months!
Tip: It’s best to reheat the meal in the oven from frozen for about an hour, so a freezer safe container that’s also oven safe is ideal (like these freezer-to-oven airtight containers). However, the meal can also be reheated in the microwave!
RELATED: 6 Healthy Freezer Meals For New Moms (Or Anyone!)
Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake – A Recipe Everyone Will Love!
Even my toddler is as obsessed as I am with this Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake. I think we could literally eat it every single day! With how easy it is to make and how all of the flavors just come together, it feels like a splurge while still being quick and easy. This recipe is truly one of my favorites and I know it’ll be one of your favorites, too!
More Wholesome Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe
- Healthy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Casserole
- Easy Vegetarian Baked Ziti Recipe
- The BEST Easy Healthy Lasagna Recipe
Did you make this Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake recipe? Be sure to give it a rating below and tag your photos @jar.of.lemons!
Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake
- 2 medium summer squash
- 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 8 oz. penne pasta (dry)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Spinach Basil Pesto
- 2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp crushed walnuts (optional, for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the squash into cubes and place in the casserole dish.
- Drizzle with oil and roast for 15-20 minutes (or until it begins to soften).
- While the squash is roasting, cook and drain the pasta according to directions.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, garlic, salt, and pepper together with 1 Tbsp of warm water until smooth.
- Pour the yogurt sauce and pesto into the drained pasta and mix.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, and pasta mixture into the casserole dish and mix.
- Top with shredded mozzarella and crushed walnuts.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until everything is warm and the cheese has melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
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