Cheesy Chicken and Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Bake
A cheesy pasta dish full of fragrant herbs; juicy roasted cherry tomatoes; and seared, tender chicken pieces for the ultimate comfort food.
Cherry tomatoes are the bomb.com…and roasting them and mixing them through the sauce lifts the flavour to a unique sweetness and incredible level. Especially vine-ripened tomatoes. If you can get a hold of them, the juicy flavour they hold is so unique. You can thank me later.
This is my ultimate, carb loving indulgence that I enjoy at least once a week, in the midst of salads and grilled chicken. And the best part? There’s no cream at all in this. And it’s point and calorie friendly.
So of course it had to be shared.
So much cheese….I love cheese. If it’s not already obvious. And I love pasta. It’s the Italian part in my Latin American bloodline, I think. And the two just go together like — well, like Cheese and Pasta.
And with so much cheese happening in and on top of this pasta…your family will be loving you in copious amounts.
Especially with those seared and tender, super-saucy-tomato-infused chicken pieces.
- 2 cups washed and hulled cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1x 500g | 1lb pack of pasta (Ziti, Rigatoni or Penne)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 500g | 1lb skinless and boneless chicken thighs or breast, diced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder (Vegeta)
- Salt to season
- 1x 700 g | 24oz bottle of Passata (or Tomato Sauce for U.S Readers)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup skim/low fat milk (or almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch + ¼ cup water, mixed
- 1 cup light mozzarella cheese, grated
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to grill/broil settings on medium heat. Place the cherry tomatoes in a single layer on an oven tray lined with foil; spray with olive oil spray (or drizzle with a small amount of olive oil), and bake until soft and cooked through (about 10 minutes).
- Boil the pasta following packet instructions in salted water.
- While the pasta is boiling, in a separate large oven-proof pan, fry the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the chicken pieces and sear until golden. Add the herbs, stock powder and salt to your tastes. Stir the Passata (or tomato sauce) and the tomato paste through the chicken; bring to a gentle simmer while stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Add in the roasted cherry tomatoes and stir through.
- Pour in the milk and the cornflour mixture, and stir again until sauce is creamy and thick..
- When the pasta is al dente, drain and stir the pasta through the chicken. Mix half of the mozzarella cheese through the pasta; sprinkle the top with remaining cheeses. Add any extra cherry tomatoes over the top to garnish (optional).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the top is golden and the cheese has melted through.
- Sprinkle with extra dried oregano and basil for extra flavour!
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