Baked pasta is the ultimate comfort food, in my opinion. And while I love a good cheesy noodle casserole smothered in red sauce, I find myself craving something a little lighter (but still filling) when spring rolls around. That’s where this Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Bake comes in! This recipe—with plenty of bright lemon zest—strikes the perfect balance of delivering a satisfying meal and still keeping things light.
The ingredients for this dish are pretty basic, but the flavor is anything but. You’ll need: bow-tie pasta, chicken cut into bite-sized pieces, diced onion, green onions, chopped garlic, Progresso chicken stock, milk, grated lemon peel, some flour, olive oil and salt and pepper. If you want to add some heat, add some red pepper flakes! You can find exact measurements in the full recipe at the end of this post.
First step is to heat the oven to 400°F and lightly butter a 13x9-inch baking dish. Next, heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add pasta and cook for half of the time called for on package—pasta should still be undercooked in center. Drain and pour into a bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, you can prep the chicken by simply browning it over high heat in a 10-inch skillet with some olive oil. Once it’s cooked, add it to the pasta.
Finally, make the sauce. Cook onion over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Beat in the flour with a whisk and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly beat in stock and milk and simmer until thickened slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then pour sauce into bowl with pasta and chicken. Add lemon peel and stir to coat the pasta and chicken. Spread mixture evenly in casserole and sprinkle with green onions.
All that’s left is to bake for 20 minutes and then it’s done! If you have any leftovers, I loved eating this pasta cold for lunch the next day, although it reheats like a dream, too.