Baked Chicken & Penne Casserole

Once in a while, you want to make a delicious scoop-and-serve entrée that will satisfy a large group.  This Baked Chicken & Penne Casserole is perfect for one of those days.  

When paired with a simply-dressed green salad, you have yourself an entire meal for 8 people.

Baked Chicken & Penne Casserole

Once in a while, you want to make a delicious scoop-and-serve entrée that will satisfy a large group. This Baked Chicken & Penne Casserole is perfect for one of those days.
When paired with a simply-dressed green salad, you have yourself an entire meal for 8 people.


  • 6-8 boneless, (skinless chicken thighs)
  • 3 tsp Kosher salt, (to season the chicken thighs)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 large white onion, (medium dice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, (finely minced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 20 oz tomato puree
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 4-5 cups of cooked Penne pasta
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, (finely sliced)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, (finely sliced)
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chives, (finely sliced, as garnish)


  • Season the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with Kosher salt.
  • Add 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil to a large saute pan.
  • Heat the oil until it is very hot, but before it is smoking.
  • When the oil is very hot, quickly sear the chicken thighs on both sides until the exterior is lightly golden-brown.
  • Turn off the heat, and remove the chicken from the saute pan.
  • Allow the partially-cooked chicken to rest at room temperature until you are ready to bake your casserole later.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Deglaze your saute pan that you used to cook the chicken with 2 Tbsp of white wine.
  • Add the 3 Tbsp salted butter and the diced white onion.
  • Cook on medium heat for roughly ten minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic, olive oil, and tomato puree, and bring the contents to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cook the sauce and vegetable mixture for roughly 20 minutes while you cook the Penne pasta.
  • Cut the chicken thighs from earlier into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook roughly 24oz of Penne pasta in boiling salted water, until the pasta is cooked to al-dente, or slightly before it is completely tender and soft all of the way through.
  • Drain the pasta, and add the cooked Penne pasta to the tomato sauce and vegetables.
  • Stir the chicken into the Penne and sauce and vegetables.
  • Stir in the fresh parsley and fresh basil.
  • Grease a large casserole dish on the inside with butter.
  • In the bottom of the casserole dish, add a thin layer of the Penne, chicken, sauce, and vegetable mixture.
  • Top with a thin layer of some shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese.
  • Add another layer of the Penne, chicken, sauce, and vegetable mixture on top of the cheese.
  • Top with more shredded cheese.
  • Repeat this process until you have run out of the pasta mixture and the cheeses.
  • Bake in the oven at 375F for roughly 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly on top and the casserole is very hot in the center.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven, and allow to rest for roughly 10 minutes before serving, as it will be incredibly hot.
  • Serve the casserole on plates or in bowls, and garnish each serving with some finely sliced fresh chives.


This dish tastes wonderful when reheated in the oven or microwave.
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