What I don’t love, though, is the whole egg dip and breading process. It takes me a long time to get through all my chicken, and I end up with half of the breadcrumb mixture on the counter, floor, and everywhere but on the chicken. So, I decided to throw the chicken in with my pasta and make a pasta bake. I didn’t want to miss out on the crunch, though, so I just put the bread crumbs on top, which worked out really well, and most of the breadcrumbs actually made it to where they belonged.
Best of all – the pasta bake was a big hit. My three year-old had seconds and even asked for it for lunch the next day, which is practically a miracle. And if you’re looking for a homemade garlic bread recipe to go alongside the pasta, my garlic cheese bread is quick, easy, and delicious.
If you like easy pasta bakes and skillets, check out my other recipes below!
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 lbs. chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 T. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (16 oz.) box rigatoni pasta
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. Italian panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a casserole dish (I used a 2.25-qt., and it was full).
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add chicken to skillet, and cook until chicken is browned.
- Add garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute
- Stir in tomatoes with juice, Italian seasoning, dried basil, salt, and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to al dente directions.
- Drain pasta, and pour half of drained pasta into casserole dish.
- Pour about1/3 of the tomato sauce over pasta.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over sauce.
- Repeat layers (using remaining sauce).
- Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over cheese.
- Top bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until hot, bubbly, and heated through.