Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake puts a healthy,
When I first started dating my husband, we were both pleasantly surprised that our default channel for TV background noise was Food Network.
I grew up watching so much Food Network. One of my favorite memories is soon after my parents divorced. My mom would come over a few nights a week to watch Live with Emeril before putting me to bed.
So imagine Alex’s surprise when half asleep from the couch I mumbled, “Oh, my goodness, please turn this off.”
Here’s my secret – I am not a huge Rachel Ray fan.
I can appreciate her story and her genre, but something about her voice and her quirky way of saying things totally
Alex still laughs at the pure malice and agitation in my voice.
30 minute meals for the win
That being said, now that I’m a work at home mom to 2 boys, I love a good
How can you beat a full meal that takes little to no time? Okay, so you can beat it with
I’ve made more of an effort in the past 3 years or so to streamline our family’s favorite meals a la Rachel Ray and her quick and simple meals. Not even I can hate that concept. So, when I had leftover sauce from making healthy alfredo sauce I knew immediately where I wanted to put it.
This pick eater approved recipe utilizes a cauliflower alfredo sauce that is secretly packed with veggies. Even my picky husband loved it, so I promise it’s a win!
Tips for making Healthy Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti
- Most of this can be made ahead of time during any meal prep time you take. Make the sauce, grill up some chicken. You could even assemble the whole thing ahead of time and take it from fridge to over. Just make sure you make your pasta VERY al dente and that everything is cooled before mixing in the pasta. You might need a few more minutes in the oven though.
- Any vegetable or protein will work here, but chicken and broccoli
- Undercook your pasta. It will cook in the oven, absorb moisture from the sauce. If you don’t undercook your pasta to at least al dente, you’ll have major mushy noodles. I prefer to go a minute or two BEFORE al dente, especially if I’m planning on leftovers.
- Blanch your broccoli in the same pot as the pasta. Just toss it in the last few minutes of the pasta cooking. One less pot of water to boil and clean.
Healthy Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti
How to make Healthy Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti
- Make your sauce
Make your veggie Alfredo sauce ahead of time. If you’re prepping to bake later, cool the sauce completely before adding to pasta.
- Cook the pasta and veggies.
Cook the pasta very al dente. This will ensure you don’t have soggy pasta at the end of this. In the last minute or two of cooking the noodles, add your veggies to blanch them.
Again, if prepping these ahead of time, cool completely. Run cool water over the pasta and veggies to quickly end the cooking process.
- Combine and bake
Combine all of the ingredients except 1/2 a cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Spoon into
a ovensafe baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in a 350 degreeoven for 20 minuteor until brown and bubbly. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
Healthy Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti adds a twist of veggies to a kid classic, but without the hassle of begging them to eat their vegetables. The sauce is secretly packed with cauliflower, but surrounded by cheesy goodness, no one will be the wiser.
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Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake
- 1.5 – 2 cups of healthy alfredo sauce
- 1 pound of pasta*
- 1 large chicken breast grilled and diced.
- 2 cups of chopped fresh broccoli
- 1.5 cups shredded mozarella cheese
- .25 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 350.
Boil your pasta to al dente, according to the package. In the last 2 minutes, add your broccoli. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
Combine the pasta and broccoli, diced chicken, sauce, and 1 cup of cheese shredded.
Spoon into a large, oven safe pan that has been coated with olive oil.
Top with the rest of the mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Any pasta is perfect for this, but I used veggie penne to get an extra punch of veggie. I think Penne, fusilli, or rigatoni would work best.
If you want to make this ahead of time, make sure your pasta is very al dente and cool everything before combining. You will probably need a few extra minutes in the oven as well.
If you’re looking for more easy ways to sneak some veggies into your kids’ diets you need to grab my picky eater cheat sheets which will teach you how to outsmart your picky eaters by sneaking veggies in kid favorites like smoothies, baked goods, and simple dinners.
Got a picky eater?
My kids eat their veggies every day without complaining. Want my secret?
Grab the Outsmart your Picky Eater cheat sheets to get the inside scoop on how to add veggies to food your kids already love.