This recipe is quick and easy and any novice cook can do it. It was made for the little ones who always wanted to order out at Pizza Hut® or Olive Garden®. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. This recipe can also be eaten without being baked but the kids love that it resembles baked casseroles found in restaurants.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
58 mins
total:
1 hr 8 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain.

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  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic; saute until golden, about 30 seconds. Stir in cream cheese until smooth. Add milk; stir until there are no lumps. Lower heat to medium. Add 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic powder on both sides. Cook chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 6 minutes per side. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Butter bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Cover bottom with a layer of pasta. Place half of the chicken cubes on top. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the chicken. Repeat layering pasta, chicken, and sauce. Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake until cheese is golden, about 5 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts

449 calories; protein 20.7g 41% DV; carbohydrates 36.7g 12% DV; fat 24.9g 38% DV; cholesterol 80.8mg 27% DV; sodium 658.5mg 26% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (94)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2016
Very simple and good. I tripled the batch for a church event. Because I prepared the 3 pans the night before, I did add about 2 cups extra milk to the tripled sauce recipe before assembling, to help it not dry out. Here are my make-ahead instructions: Make chicken and cut up (can be done several days prior ). The day before: cook the noodles for 7-8 minutes (you want them still firm but not hard), rinse under cool water and cool completely. Prepare sauce, thinning as noted above. Assemble the dish per the recipe instructions. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place dish into a 350 degree oven for an hour. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes. Read More
(38)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/24/2018
Good flavor but way too much butter!! When I make again I will half the amount. Overall very tasty. Read More
(2)
129 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 95
  • 4 star values: 27
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2016
Very simple and good. I tripled the batch for a church event. Because I prepared the 3 pans the night before, I did add about 2 cups extra milk to the tripled sauce recipe before assembling, to help it not dry out. Here are my make-ahead instructions: Make chicken and cut up (can be done several days prior ). The day before: cook the noodles for 7-8 minutes (you want them still firm but not hard), rinse under cool water and cool completely. Prepare sauce, thinning as noted above. Assemble the dish per the recipe instructions. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place dish into a 350 degree oven for an hour. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes. Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2016
Everyone loved it! A keeper for sure. BTW, instead of cooking my own chicken breast, to make things faster, I used the precooked grilled chicken breast strips in the freezer section (thawed first in the microwave). Awesome! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2016
Absolutely delicious! added cooked cauliflower, broccoli and peas to it. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2016
This is now my "go to" dish for sports team dinners pot lucks teacher appreciation lunches and for a quick comfort food dinner. Definitely NOT on the super food healthy list but it is a crowd pleaser and delicious! Only changes that I make are: sprinkling granulated garlic on the top before baking and making 1.5 of the sauce to be sure its nice not dry. I also use a combo of chicken breast and thigh pieces so the protein is never dry and adds a little flavor. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
04/10/2017
Much better than I expected, although definitely aimed at children since very little seasoning. To make a bit more adult, suggest adding some red pepper flake and mixing the parmesan with asiago cheeses. You do need to bake as this sets the sauce. The sauce will all sink while baking, but just give it a quick stir immediately after removing from the oven to even the sauce out. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2017
The recipe was very easy to follow and it turned out perfectly! I added cracked black pepper and I’m thinking of adding bacon next time, but I will definitely follow this recipe again! My only suggestion would be cooking the chicken first so that it can cool down while making the sauce. By the time the sauce is finished the chicken will be ready to cut so you don’t have any wasted time. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 4 stars
05/12/2016
My recipe turned out a bit on the dry side. Next time I would use 12 - 14 oz pasta and 3-4 large chicken breasts and make the same amount of sauce. This recipe had nice flavor and made a large pan to feed our family of 5. With these changes I would make it again. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
08/24/2018
Good flavor but way too much butter!! When I make again I will half the amount. Overall very tasty. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/01/2016
Absolutely delicious! We used just over half the amount of noodles since we like our pasta saucy. Read More
(2)
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