How to Bake Chicken & Rigatoni

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Rigatoni baked with chicken makes for a hearty and flavorful one-dish meal that's easy to put together and cooks within 30 minutes. Rigatoni pasta noodles are wide, ridged and tubular in shape. When serving them as a pasta bake, it's often with tomato sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. To add chicken, cook chicken breasts ahead of time to make the pasta bake easier to put together when you're ready. Once the rigatoni noodles are cooked, you only need to toss it with the chicken, pasta sauce and cheeses before finishing it in the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking dish
  • Cooking spray
  • Large pot
  • Salt
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Pepper
  • Pasta sauce
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat the oven to between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish, about 9-by-13 inches in size, with cooking spray.

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Use about 4 to 6 quarts of water for 16 ounces of pasta. Add a few dashes of salt to the boiling water.

  • Add the rigatoni pasta to the boiling water and let the water return to a boil. Cook the rigatoni for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches al dente, meaning it's fork tender but still slightly firm.

  • Drain the rigatoni in a colander, then transfer to a large bowl. Gently mix in cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks, pasta sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella. For every 16 ounces of cooked pasta, you'll need about 3 or 4 chicken breasts, 3 cups of pasta sauce, 15 ounces of ricotta cheese and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with more mozzarella cheese, enough to fully cover the entire dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven.

  • Bake the chicken rigatoni for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese and sauce are bubbling. Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes if you want to slightly brown the top. Serve hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a creamy, cheesier rigatoni bake, you can substitute tomato sauce with Alfredo sauce.
  • Add in vegetables if you prefer, such as spinach, chopped broccoli and bell peppers.

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References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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