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Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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A family favorite, this recipe makes one baking dish for now and one to freeze for a ready-made dinner when you're pressed for time.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, March 2009

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.

  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

To Freeze: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months. To Bake From Frozen: Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kchassier
    1 SEP, 2016
    I read the reviews, and was careful to taste test between each step. I followed the recipe EXACTLY, and noticed that the sauce was a bit bland as previous reviews stated. To counteract, I added about a tablespoon or so of dried basil and half a can of tomato paste---it made a world of difference! The basil added a complementary herbal note that I was looking for, and the paste added the acidity that this dish desperately needed. It made a 2 and 4 qt container full. Very good dish!
    Reply
  • YYZ_74
    5 JUL, 2015
    I found this recipe to be quite bland. I feel like something was missing, and I could hardly taste the sundried tomato. I followed the recipe exactly, no substitutions. I don't think I would make it again. My 13 month old loved it, so I'm glad that instead of freezing one large casserole, I froze in small foil containers (enough for 1 adult and 1 toddler in each).
    Reply
  • jdandkd1
    2 FEB, 2015
    This was a tasty recipe. It took a lot longer to throw it together than I expected after reading the recipe. I added about a teaspoon of red pepper flake, and it could have taken a little more to intensify the flavors. When I reheated some for lunch the next day, I decided that some coarsely chopped kalamata olives would brighten it up. And, I would cut back on the amount of flour to 1/3 cup or less, it became very thick and gummy with all the cheeses. With a few tweaks, it could be great.
    Reply
  • Scottmadison
    29 DEC, 2014
    I made this as the recipe stated, and thought it was great. Maybe if all you people who thought it bland would have followed the recipe, instead of substituting half the ingredients, it would have been a bit tastier!
    Reply
  • mattafer
    20 NOV, 2013
    This is a family favorite- however we don't like mushrooms, so omit them. I love sundried tomatoes, but the kids don't love hunks of them- so I used to chop them up- BUT I have a new method- sun dried tomato paste- add it in without chunks but still adds the flavor. Of course not the same as actual ones- but more kid friendly. A friend said to me- this tastes like something you'd get at Olive Garden! I am not a fan of that place, but I took it as a complement- :)
    Reply
  • jSINay
    20 NOV, 2013
    Great recipe! It reminded me of Fetucinni Alfredo however so much lighter and less rich. It was delicious. I doubled the tomatoes and added Rosemary, Thyme, Basil & Oregano.
    Reply
  • thethons
    19 NOV, 2013
    I made this after reading reviews...mostly stating it was bland. I decided to add fresh chopped basil and use smoked chicken that we smoked ourselves (if you can't smoke one, Whole Foods has a smoked whole chicken you could purchase and debone) to amp up the flavor. The only other things I would change after making this.....1st, the sauce as WAY too tight ( I like saucy) ....I would use much less flour...2nd, use more salt...3rd, add toasted pine nuts. Tweak and it should be a winner!!
    Reply
  • Bean
    9 NOV, 2013
    I tried this. My husband thought it was really tasty. I thought it was bland. I do not like and did not use the tomatoes. I added bacon, 2% milk with 1/2 cup half and half (what I had on hand), and added a little mozzerella, a pinch of nutmeg, pinch of cracked red pepper, half a package of tiny shrimp usually for salad. We thought it could use more chicken next time. I would also add more mushrooms and some spinach. Even with the extra additions, still bland. Love that it makes 2.
    Reply
  • dmomma
    6 OCT, 2013
    Made this for a girls' Wine & Dine party, and it was a HUGE hit! Not only with my girls but with my picky family! The provolone was the perfect flavor for this dish! Next time I may add a touch of nutmeg and a little more sundried tomatoes. Will for sure make this again! OH! Apple pie with a nice vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with carmel was a perfect dessert after that tasty dinner :)
    Reply
  • TheBarefootMom
    28 AUG, 2013
    I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now. Because it makes a double batch, I end up freezing half. It has saved me many a school night! I usually have one in the freezer and can take to a sick friend, new mom or for last minute guests. -thebarefootmom.com
    Reply