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This creamy chicken broccoli pasta bake is made all in ONE pan. You don’t even have to boil the pasta! It’s hearty, flavor-packed, and oh so easy to make even on the busiest weeknight.

An overhead shot of pasta bake with bottom left mixed in with cheese.
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The Easiest Chicken Pasta Bake

Dinner time is always so hectic, and after becoming a mom, one pot meals are just about the only type of cooking I do now!

And while I’ve cooked pasta along with the sauce on the stovetop before, I wasn’t sure if it’d work in the oven. I knew the liquid to pasta ratio and the cooking time were important but even still, would the pasta get too mushy?

Well, after much experimentation, I nailed it with this healthy chicken pasta bake with broccoli! The pasta AND the chicken get perfectly cooked and flavorful as they soak up all the sauce.

Plus, pasta releases starch as it cooks, making the sauce thick and creamy. Delish!

So just dump everything into a baking dish, cover, put in the oven, and go on about your day! A delicious, hearty meal awaits you.

Hungry for more? Here are more healthy and delicious kid-friendly dinner recipes!

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Pasta – Be sure to use a short shaped pasta with ridges or grooves as it really soaks up the sauce. My personal favorite is rotini. You can use regular or whole wheat pasta. I don’t recommend legume-based pasta for this recipe. If you need a gluten-free option, rice-based pasta will work best.
  • Chicken – Can use either the chicken breast or thigh meat.
  • Broccoli – Be sure to chop into small florets. You can also use frozen broccoli. There’s no need to thaw.
  • Tomato sauce – feel free to use your favorite canned or jarred sauce. If planning to enjoy with your baby, I recommend grabbing the no-salt-added or low-sodium option. I’ve tried with plain tomato puree and it worked great too! Or want to boost nutrition even more? Use this hidden veggie pasta sauce.
  • Milk – I like using whole milk for extra creaminess and because fat is so important for optimal brain development in the early years.
  • Ricotta – Again, I recommend whole milk ricotta. And in case you’re wondering, here are the best cheeses for babies and toddlers.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing how to make the pasta bake.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
  • Add pasta to the casserole dish along with bite-sized pieces of chicken, broccoli florets, and seasonings. Pour the tomato sauce and milk and stir to combine. Make sure all the pasta is completely submerged.
  • Dollop ricotta cheese evenly over the mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish – I like to use a baking mat but aluminum foil works too.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover. There will be a lot of liquid don’t worry! Place back in the oven and cook, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes. Top with fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Substitutions

  • Vegetarian? add any bean of choice
  • Dairy-free? use your favorite plant-based milk, cheese, and ricotta. Canned coconut milk will add another layer of flavor to this dish!
  • No broccoli? try with cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, or any frozen vegetables. I love the corn, peas, and carrot medley.

Tips for Success

An overhead shot of pasta bake with bottom left mixed in with cheese.
  • Do not use a legume-based pasta. While they’re great when cooked on the stovetop, they will get way too mushy in a no boil pasta bake like this recipe.
  • Be sure to submerge the pasta completely under the sauce so you don’t end up with crunchy pieces.
  • Enjoy with fresh herbs, freshly cracked black pepper, parmesan cheese, or whatever toppings you wish! 

Serving Suggestions

A small portion of pasta with broccoli and cucumber on the side.

A big bowl of this chicken broccoli bake is really all you need for a well-balanced meal. It has it all. Although a delicious side salad wouldn’t hurt.

But if you have a picky eater or toddlers, who are notorious for unpredictable food preferences (and everything else!), be sure to include something that you know they love and will eat most of the time.

That way, even if they reject the main meal, there is something on their plate that they can eat in addition to getting exposure to foods they haven’t quite opened up to, YET.

Along the same lines, what you don’t want to do is offer a different meal, which can quickly spiral into you becoming a short order cook.

Here are some more toddler dinner ideas and serving tips.

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

Storage

Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze, I recommend doing so in individual portions.

To reheat, you can microwave individual portions or cover the pasta and bake at 350°F until warm, about 20 minutes.

More EASY Pasta Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 8 votes

Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake

This creamy chicken broccoli pasta bake is made all in ONE pan. You don't even have to boil the pasta! It's hearty, flavor-packed, and oh so easy to make even on the busiest weeknight.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 12 ounce rotini or other small shaped pasta
  • 1 pound chicken (breast or thigh), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce (or favorite jarred tomato sauce)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 15 ounce whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil or cookig spray.
  • Add pasta to the dish along with chicken, broccoli, and seasonings. Pour the tomato sauce and milk and stir to combine. Make sure all the pasta is completely submerged.
  • Dollop ricotta cheese evenly over the mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish – I like to use a baking mat but aluminum foil works too.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and uncover. There will be a lot of liquid don't worry! Place back in the oven and cook, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Top with fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Notes

  • Do not use a legume-based pasta. While they’re great when cooked on the stovetop, they will get way too mushy in a no boil pasta bake like this recipe.
  • Be sure to submerge the pasta completely under the sauce.
  • Enjoy with fresh herbs, freshly cracked black pepper, parmesan cheese, or whatever toppings you wish! 

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 247mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow this was a huge hit with the whole family! My toddler and husband loved it. Thank you Min for another solid recipe!

    1. I had the same question – can frozen broccoli be used? If so, does it need to be defrosted first? Thanks!

      1. You can! I would thaw slightly so you can break up any large chunks and spread it out