Creamy and Spicy Chicken Pasta Bake with spicy chicken chunks are tossed with veggies and then layered with penne pasta and homemade luscious bechamel sauce, covered in grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese. You will love this creamy and cheesy Pasta Bake, its delicious and ready in 30-minutes.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Author: Hirra Pervaiz
For the Chicken
2large chicken breastscut into bitesize chunks
1tspRed Chili Flakes
1/4tspBlack Pepper crushed
1TbspTandoori Chicken Masalaoptional
1large onion peeled and chopped
1 ½Cupred, yellow and green bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
4TbspSriracha Sauce or Chili Sauce
For the Bechamel Sauce
2 ½TbspPlain Flour
½CupChicken Stock or Pasta Water
1tspRed Chili Flakes
½CupCheddar Cheese grated
For the Pasta
Oil to drizzle
Cheddar Cheese grated
Mozzarella Cheese Grated
Red Chili Fakes
Prepare the Chicken
In a bowl add the chicken chunks, minced garlic, smoked paprika, red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, Tandoori Chicken Masala (optional) and olive oil. Mix well and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsp Olive and chopped onion and fry until it begins to soften and turn translucent. Now add the marinated chicken and cook till changes colour, about 3 minutes.
Now add the chopped bell peppers, tomato puree, Sriracha Sauce, oregano and thyme. Stir and cook until peppers are tender.
Taste Check and adjust seasoning salt and pepper if required. Keep Aside
Prepare the Pasta
Bring a big pan of water with salt to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain and drizzle oil on it. Retain a cup of starchy pasta water.
Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
In a pan melt butter over medium heat and add oil. Add flour, mix and cook for about 2 minutes.
Now gradually add milk while stirring consistently to avoid any lumps. Add seasoning red chilli flakes, black pepper and oregano and mix well.
Now remove the pan away from heat and add cream and cheddar cheese. Mix and put the pan back on the heat
When it starts to bubble add ½ cup chicken stock or pasta water and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste check and add salt if needed.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
In an ovenproof dish spread a layer of bechamel sauce. Next, add a layer of pasta
Then a layer of the Chicken Mix. Cover the layer with more bechamel sauce and top it with grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese
Repeat the process the layering process of adding pasta layer, then chicken layer and cover it with bechamel sauce completely.
Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and chilli flakes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 -20 minutes until golden and bubbly.
I have used cheddar and mozzarella cheese as topping, you can swap it for parmesan cheese
Make this pasta bake vegetarian by swapping chicken out with your favourite vegetables. Or make a seafood version by swapping chicken with prawns
If you don’t want too much heat, skip chili flakes completely
You can add any of your favourite vegetables like carrots, spinach or even mushrooms
You can easily use any leftover shredded chicken in this pasta bake
For the perfect pasta always cook pasta 2 minutes less than usual or as directed on package when making pasta bake, because it will cook in the oven too.
To make the Bechamel sauce less creamy skip cream and cheddar cheese completely
In the Bechamel sauce add salt only if needed. After adding cheddar cheese and chicken stock taste check and then add salt.
This tastes best when served warm
Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake with Bechamel Sauce https://ticklethosetastebuds.com/creamy-chicken-pasta-bake-with-bechamel-sauce/