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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti

This easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti is a creamy, cheesy, and comforting all-in-one-dish dinner that the whole family will love!

Tender bite-sized pieces of garlic-flavored chicken, broccoli florets and ziti pasta are tossed with creamy alfredo sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese and baked to bubbly, melty perfection. It’s irresistibly delicious!

I just love this time of the year, because that means it’s time for all the cozy comfort foods…soups, stews, and casseroles. And this casserole is one of my all-time favorites.

Chicken is always a winner for dinner, and many of us turn to it at least a few times a week. The same goes for pasta. And who doesn’t love the convenience of a one-dish meal?

If you’re tired of the same old chicken and pasta, then you’ll definitely want to give this recipe a try. It’s packed with such great flavor, and it’s very easy to make!

Serve it for supper on any night of the week, or even when you have guests (yes, it’s that good!). The kiddos or picky eaters might even gobble down some broccoli with this one. That creamy, cheesy goodness is pretty hard to beat.

And it’s flexible. You can make this pasta bake with either homemade alfredo sauce (my preference) or a good quality jarred alfredo sauce (also very yummy; I make it this way when I’m in a bit of a hurry).

So I say make a spot for this chicken and broccoli alfredo casserole in your recipe box, because you’re definitely going to want to add it to your dinner rotation!

close up of a spoonful of chicken and broccoli alfredo baked ziti being lifted out of the baking dish

Ingredients You Need

  • Cooking spray
  • Ziti (I use ziti rigati; smooth ziti works just as well)
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken tenderloins (cut into bite-sized pieces; or use boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • Garlic powder
  • Frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
  • Alfredo sauce (homemade or jarred; I use my Homemade Garlic Alfredo Sauce)
  • Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

How to Make Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta Bake

*If you’ll be using homemade alfredo sauce, make that first and set it aside while you move on with the rest of the steps.

1: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package directions for one minute less than al dente; drain.

2: Cook the chicken (season with garlic powder, salt and pepper) in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat just until cooked through.

2 numbered images, number 1 is of cooked ziti pasta in a colander, and number 2 is of bite-sized chicken pieces being cooked in a skillet

3: Combine the cooked ziti, cooked chicken, thawed broccoli florets, and alfredo sauce in a large bowl until everything is evenly coated with the sauce.

4: Transfer the ziti mixture to a sprayed 11x7x2-inch (2-quart) casserole dish.

2 numbered images, number 3 is of ziti, chicken, broccoli florets, and alfredo sauce being stirred together in a bowl, and number 4 is of the ziti mixture in a white baking dish

5: Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the ziti mixture.

6: Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and starting to turn lightly golden.

2 numbered images, number 5 is of the ziti mixture in the baking dish topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, and number is a graphic of an oven with text that says 375 degrees Fahrenheit

7: Let the casserole rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

8: Enjoy!

2 numbered images, number 7 is of the finished baked casserole, and number 8 is a serving of chicken and broccoli alfredo baked ziti on a white plate with a fork and text overlay that says enjoy

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • If using jarred alfredo sauce, 15-ounce jars are the size I see most often in the grocery store. That will give you about 1¾ cups of sauce, which is fine to use for this recipe. If you can find a slightly larger jar, that would be even better.
  • Cooking the pasta to one minute short of al dente will help keep it from overcooking and becoming mushy while baking in the oven.
  • Be sure to generously salt the pasta cooking water so the pasta isn’t bland.
  • Don’t cook the frozen broccoli, just thaw it before using. Because frozen broccoli is already partially cooked and it will cook more in the oven, you don’t want it to end up mushy.
  • I like bigger pieces of broccoli in my casserole, but you can chop them smaller if you’d like.
  • To keep the calories somewhat in check, this isn’t swimming in alfredo sauce. There’s just enough to add lots of great flavor and make it creamy. If you’d like extra sauce, go ahead and use more.
  • You can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top along with the mozzarella if you’d like.
  • Let the casserole rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This will help the sauce thicken up a bit (it can be a little loose when super hot straight out of the oven).
  • Because of the richness of this dish, I like to do 6 smaller servings. If you don’t mind the extra calories, you could always divide it into 4 very generous servings.
a serving of chicken and broccoli baked ziti on a white plate with a fork with the baking dish in the background

Substitutions & Variations

  • Other types of short-cut pasta would work in this casserole besides ziti, such as rigatoni, penne, cellentani, farfalle, fusilli, gemelli, or rotini.
  • If you have leftover cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken, you could dice it or shred it and use that instead of having to cook up some chicken.
  • I use thawed frozen broccoli florets because they’re easy, delicious, and I always have them in my freezer. But cooked fresh broccoli florets would be excellent in this casserole as well. Tip: add the raw florets to the pot with the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking so you don’t have to dirty another pot.
  • If you’re not a fan of broccoli or would rather serve a veggie on the side, just omit the broccoli from the recipe, and you’ll have a delicious chicken alfredo baked ziti!
  • Or try other veggies, such as spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, peas or green beans (cook them first, leaving them a little underdone so they can finish cooking in the oven).
a baking dish filled with chicken and broccoli alfredo baked ziti with a serving spoon and a serving on a plate in the background

Make Ahead, Storage & Reheating

Make Ahead

I think this casserole is best when made fresh. But you can assemble it a few hours or up to a day ahead of time, let it cool, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Note that the pasta will likely soak up some of the sauce as it sits.

Before baking, remove the casserole from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes to take the chill off (some baking dishes can crack or shatter when exposed to extreme temperature changes).

Because the baking time will be longer because the casserole is colder, bake with the dish covered with aluminum foil at first until it is getting hot (this will help keep it from drying out too much). Then remove the foil and finish baking uncovered.

Storage

Store any leftovers covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. If you made it ahead, remember to start counting from the day you assembled it and not the day you first served it.

I don’t recommend freezing leftovers if you used homemade alfredo sauce because dairy can sometimes separate and become grainy after being frozen. Store-bought alfredo tends to work a little better when freezing.

Reheating

Reheat leftovers in a covered baking dish in a 325°F oven until heated through. To keep it from drying out, you can add a few tablespoons of water to the baking dish before you put it in the oven (optional).

You could also reheat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish (I set the power level to 50%; it may take a little longer, but it helps things reheat more evenly and you shouldn’t get as many hot spots that could cause the alfredo sauce to separate).

2 plates of chicken alfredo baked ziti with broccoli and 2 forks on the side

What to Serve With Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti

Since this baked ziti has everything in one dish – protein, pasta and vegetable – and it’s filling, you really don’t need to serve it with any sides.

But since it’s so rich, the serving size isn’t super big, so I love pairing it with a simple salad for freshness tossed with a vinegary dressing to cut through all that richness, such as my maple balsamic vinaigrette or homemade Italian dressing.

And, if you don’t mind even more carbs and calories, you could also serve it with some bread, garlic bread or dinner rolls.

I hope you try this Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Easy Baked Pasta Recipes to Try

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

chicken and broccoli alfredo baked ziti in a white baking dish with a serving spoon on the side

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti

This easy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Baked Ziti is a creamy, cheesy, and comforting all-in-one-dish dinner that the whole family will love!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Estimated Calories: 688

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 8 ounces ziti, I use ziti rigati, but the smooth ziti works just as well
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces (or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 2 cups alfredo sauce, homemade or jarred (I use my Homemade Garlic Alfredo Sauce)
  • cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Spray an 11x7x2-inch (2½-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  • If you are going to make the homemade alfredo sauce, do that now and set it aside (my alfredo sauce recipe, as written, will make the 2 cups you need for this recipe).
    If you will be using jarred sauce, move on to the next step.
  • Cook the ziti in boiling salted water according to the package directions for one minute less than al dente (this will help ensure that the pasta doesn't overcook and become mushy while in the oven); drain.
    While the ziti is boiling, move on to cooking the chicken.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper (I use ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper); sauté, stirring frequently, just until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked ziti, cooked chicken, thawed broccoli florets, and alfredo sauce; stir until everything is evenly coated with sauce.
  • Transfer the ziti mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the ziti mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and starting to get lightly golden.
  • Let the casserole rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving (this will give the sauce a chance to thicken up a bit; it will be a little loose right out of the oven). Enjoy!

Notes

  • If making homemade alfredo sauce, you will need to add about 15 minutes to the total time.
  • If using jarred alfredo sauce, one 15-ounce jar will give you about 1¾ cups, which is fine to use for this dish (this is the size jar I see the most in the grocery store). If you can find a slightly larger jar, that would be even better.
  • Don’t cook the frozen broccoli, just thaw it before using. Because frozen broccoli is already partially cooked and it will cook more in the oven, you don’t want it to end up mushy.
  • To keep the calories somewhat in check, this isn’t swimming in alfredo sauce. There’s just enough to add lots of great flavor and make it creamy. If you’d like extra sauce, go ahead and use more.
  • Because of the richness of this dish, I like to do 6 smaller servings. If you don’t mind the extra calories, you could always divide it into 4 very generous servings.
  • Please refer to the post for additional recipe tips, substitutions and variations, serving suggestions, and information on making ahead, storing, freezing, and reheating.
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