My favorite type of comfort food is a casserole dish. There’s nothing better than throwing your ingredients in a dish and popping it in the oven, especially when the end result is this Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake. The best part about this recipe is it can be made easily with things found in your pantry and freezer. This recipe can be made gluten-free, dairy-free and it’s made with all real wholesome ingredients. It’s also great for a quick weeknight dinner or for weekly meal prep!
Pesto Chicken Casserole Ingredients
My favorite part about this recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. You can find most of everything you need in your pantry or freezer. Easy Peasy! You will need
- Canned Chicken (you can substitute for shredded chicken)
- Penne Pasta – (I use Banza Chickpea Pasta)
- Spinach (you can use frozen or fresh)
- Diced Tomatoes
- Some basic spices (dried basil, salt and pepper)
- Canned Olives
- Pesto Mayo (I use Primal Kitchen Foods new Pesto Mayo but if you don’t have that you can use regular mayo mixed with pesto sauce. If you do want to try out the Primal Kitchen pesto mayo, affiliate code “BEAUTY10” gets you a discount on their website!)
I used the pesto mayo in my pesto chicken and rice skillet and it was amazing! But if you don’t happen to have any ready made pesto handy, you can use mayo on it’s own or mixed with Italian seasonings to spice it up a bit!
How to Prepare Your Chicken Pasta Bake
To make this pesto chicken bake you will need to cook your pasta al dente according to package directions. Once your pasta is cooked and drained, you can place it at the bottom of a 9×11 casserole dish prepared with a little avocado oil spray. From there, you will just start adding in the rest of your ingredients to the top. If you are using frozen spinach, make sure to thaw and drain as much water out as necessary. I like using a salad spinner to get excess water out.
Once all your ingredients are in the casserole dish, use tongs or a spatula to mix everything together. Place the dish in your oven and your pesto chicken pasta bake will be ready to go in about 30 minutes. If you aren’t worried about keeping things dairy-free, this pasta bake tastes amazing with a little parmesan or shredded mozzarella on top. If you decide to add it, bake your casserole for 20 minutes and then add the cheese (1/2 cup shredded mozzarella) in for the last 10 minutes.
Other Casseroles and Bakes You Will Love:
- Southwest Breakfast Bake
- Chorizo Cauliflower Bake
- Buffalo Chicken Casserole
- Chorizo Hash Brown Bake
- Chicken Verde Casserole
This pesto chicken pasta bake is the perfect easy weeknight meal. It can be made gluten-free, dairy-free and it’s made with affordable pantry staples.
- 1 12.5 oz cans of chicken
- 1 8 oz pkg Penne Pasta (I use Banza Pasta Chickpea Noodles)
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Foods Pesto Mayo (or regular mayo mixed with 2 tbs pesto sauce)
- 3 cups chopped spinach (or 1 package frozen spinach thawed and drained)
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- optional: 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×11 casserole dish with cooking spray (I like avocado oil spray)
- Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and add to the bottom of the casserole dish
- Drain canned chicken and add to the casserole with the pesto mayo (or mayo mixture)
- Add chopped spinach and diced tomatoes and mix thoroughly
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes *if adding cheese, bake for 20 minutes and then add the cheese to the top for the last 10 minutes)
*nutrition calculations may vary based on type of pasta used. The counts here are specifically for Banza Pasta.
- Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe
- Calories: 430
- Fat: 23
- Carbohydrates: 35
- Protein: 27