During baseball season I needed to make meals in advance that could be quickly put together or prepped ahead of time and tossed into the oven or crockpot. This was one of those meals I made and honestly it can be made anytime! To prep in advance, you can either marinate your chicken in a bag or bowl before the day of and then put it all together before baking.
Or you could go ahead and season your chicken then layer all the ingredients except the cooked pasta on top.
Cover and save in the fridge until cooking the next day. You could also cook your pasta ahead and keep it in an airtight container separate from the chicken. Then follow the cooking directions adding the cooked pasta after the chicken is cooked.
It has this mixture of a delicious macaroni and cheese with and upgrade of the added chicken and tomatoes. Try it out next time you need a quick make ahead meal for those busy weeknights. Enjoy!
Creamy Chicken Cellentani Pasta
- 1 pound chicken tenders cut into cubed pieces
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 4 oz cream cheese
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan
- 1 oz fresh mozzarella cubed
- 1 oz smoked gouda cheese
- 1 lg pint grape tomatoes
- 2 cups cellentani pasta cooked
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan and ¼ cup grated parmesan for topping
- Prepare chicken tenders by cutting into bite sized pieces. Place them in a container with lid or air tight bag. Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix thoroughly allowing the chicken to be fully coated by the seasonings. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. (This can be done the day before and stored in the fridge.) Place marinated chicken into the bottom of a deep sided casserole dish or oven safe cooking dish. Layer the cream cheese, shaved parmesan, cubed mozzarella, and smoked gouda over the chicken. Wash the tomatoes and place over the cheese layer. Bake at 375’F for 25-30 minutes. Chicken should reach 165’F internally.
- While the chicken and cheese mixture are baking boil your cellentani pasta. You need roughly 2 cups of cooked pasta. When the chicken is done, add your pasta and mix it all together. Top with ¼ cup of the shredded parmesan and a little grated parmesan. Place back into the oven to brown the top. Serve with your favorite garlic bread and salad.