Is the zucchini bursting out of your garden yet? My naughty chickens have gotten to all of mine, but I was lucky enough to snag some recently and whip up this quick, easy, and delicious Chicken and Zucchini Pasta Bake. The basil cream sauce is made from scratch with ingredients that you probably have on hand right now.
Chicken and Zucchini Pasta Bake
I love recipes like this. Done in under an hour, but nothing out of a box or a bag. It makes me feel good when I can accomplish both of those things, and bonus points for me when my kids will actually eat a vegetable that they otherwise wouldn’t have! This one won all around.
Skillet meals are not only easy but bonus points for making the sauce yourself. I love it when I have stuff hanging around my kitchen to create great meals like this!
Speaking of pans – choose wisely here. You want a non-stick pan, for sure, but you want one that’s maaaayyyybe not brand new. Sometimes its hard to get a good fond going on a brand new non-stick, and fond you REALLY want for this kind of sauce! All that beautiful color in this comes from the cooking process and the pan – so it definitely makes a difference. You want the brown bits at the bottom or you won’t get as much flavor into the sauce.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love these!
- 1 lb rotini pasta, par-boiled
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
- 2 small zucchini, sliced on a bias
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, chardonnay works well in this!
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in your pan, and heat until sizzling. Quickly saute the zucchini slices on one side until they get a bit of color on them, and remove from heat. Melt another tablespoon of oil in the pan and let it heat up over medium to medium high heat. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and place into the hot pan. Don't move the chicken for several minutes. You want the chicken to get brown. Try to resist! The trick is not letting it burn. Use your nose, and smell. You can also check a piece here and there, but for the most part try to leave it alone as much as possible.
- Once the chicken is browned flip it and brown the other sides. Once the chicken has browned, toss in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside with the zucchini. Put the remaining butter into the pan along with the flour. Whisk until lumps are gone, and add the wine and continue whisking until evenly combined. Add in the half and half, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce is thickened. Add back in the chicken, basil, and zucchini and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in with the pasta, place in a baking dish, and stir in a cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.