Friday, August 14, 2009

Chicken Pastina Bake

Here it is...Giada's famous chicken pastina bake! You've probably already seen this recipe on a handful of other cooking blogs and for good reason. It's tasty and very family friendly. It has chicken, pasta and cheese...who does not like that, right? Even my daughter ate it and she is definitely our picky eater.

This recipe is relatively easy to make but there is some prep work. It bakes for 30 minutes but to keep the entire cooking time under 40 minutes, I do all the prep work earlier in the day.

While my daughter naps, I dice all the veggies and chicken. I even measure out my pasta, fill a pot with water and butter up the baking dish. Then everything goes in the fridge (minus the pot) till it's cooking time.

Here is the video of Giada making this great family friendly dish.


1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) I used mini penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice I used about 1/2 can b/c my son does not like tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano I added this, not in original recipe
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

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