Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake takes a classic Italian pasta dish and puts a healthy, veggie-packed twist on it. The veggies are blended and hidden in the sauce, which makes this chicken alfredo casserole simple, delicious, and better for you.
You can feel good about serving your family this easy weeknight meal because it’s packed with cauliflower, broccoli, and veggie pasta. And your kids will be happy to eat it, too, because they will think this is a traditional chicken alfredo! The health benefits can be our little secret.
Follow my tips below to make this healthy twist on a classic recipe.
Chicken Alfredo Casserole Background
Food Network is one of my favorite channels because it reminds me of childhood. One of my favorite memories from being a kid is watching Emeril before bed with my mom. So, imagine my surprise when I learned that my husband loves the Food Network, too! It quickly became our channel for background noise in the evening.
One show I could never get into was 30-Minute Meals. It’s nothing against the show; I just never preferred it over other Food Network shows. One night, I woke up to 30-Minute Meals on TV after staying up late working. Annoyed, I shut off the television and went to bed. My husband laughed at my distaste for the show as we turned in for the night.
Years later, now that I am a work-from-home mom to two kids, 30-minute meals are a lifesaver. I didn’t know the true value of time until I had none left. Plus, how can you beat a meal that takes little to no time to make? Also, quick meals produce fewer dirty dishes in the end. It’s a win/win situation!
With that in mind, I’ve made more of an effort over the past three years or so to streamline our family’s favorite meals a la Rachel Ray and her quick and simple recipes. So when I had leftover sauce from making healthy alfredo sauce, I knew immediately that I wanted to make baked chicken alfredo.
You probably know by now that I adore sneaking veggies into food. Like most kids, my boys aren’t always so excited to eat things like cauliflower or broccoli. I love that this recipe utilizes a cauliflower alfredo sauce that is secretly packed with veggies. I also add some fresh broccoli into the pasta to cut through the carbs. Even my picky husband loved it, so I promise it’s a win!
Ingredients In Chicken Alfredo Bake
This cheesy, filling pasta is made by using just a few simple ingredients such as:
- Healthy Alfredo Sauce
- Dried pasta (I use veggie penne)
- Grilled chicken breast
- Fresh broccoli
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
How To Make Healthy Alfredo Pasta
Begin by preheating your oven to 350F.
In a large pot of salted water, boil your pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. In the last two minutes, add your broccoli. Drain well and rinse under the faucet with cold water.
Combine the pasta and broccoli, diced chicken, sauce, and one cup of shredded cheese in a large bowl.
Spoon into a large, oven-safe baking dish that has been oiled.
Top with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Tips For Making Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Most of this can be made ahead of time. Make the sauce in advance and grill up some chicken (see below for some sauce recipe options). You could even assemble the whole thing ahead of time and just take it from the fridge to the oven. Just make sure you cook your pasta until VERY al dente and that everything is cooled before mixing in the pasta. You might need a few more minutes in the oven, though.
- Any vegetable or protein will work here, but chicken and broccoli are a pretty classic combination.
- Please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, undercook your pasta. It will cook further in the oven, absorbing moisture from the sauce. If you don’t undercook your pasta to at least al dente, you’ll have majorly mushy noodles.
- Blanch your broccoli in the same pot as the pasta the last few minutes of its cooking. That’s one less pot of water to boil and clean.
Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake adds a twist of veggies to a kid classic, but without the hassle of begging them to eat their vegetables. The sauce is secretly packed with cauliflower but also surrounded by cheesy goodness, so no one will be the wiser.
FAQs About Healthy Chicken Alfredo
Is Chicken Alfredo Normally Baked?
Typically, healthy chicken alfredo is not a baked dish. You would normally see a bed of pasta with the sauce, broccoli, and chicken spooned over the top. But I like to bake healthy chicken Alfredo because it gives a better opportunity for melty, delicious cheeses to add flavor. Topping this delicious chicken bake with two kinds of cheese makes it super appealing to kids, who have no idea how healthy the dish is!
Can I Add More Veggies To Healthy Alfredo Pasta?
You can add any veggies that you like to this chicken Alfredo bake. I went with broccoli, but you can also add onion, zucchini, red bell peppers, whole cauliflower, green beans, peas, or carrots. The more veggies, the better.
What Pasta Shapes Are Good In Baked Chicken Alfredo?
Short-cut pasta is best for baking because it will be easier for you to spoon and serve when it’s all done. I use veggie pasta to add even more vegetable goodness into this dish. Veggie pasta uses spinach, tomato, and other vegetables in the dough, and it adds great color to the recipe, too.
What Healthy Alfredo Sauce Should I Use?
You can make a homemade healthy Alfredo sauce using cauliflower. However, if you would like to save time and energy, health food markets are now selling cauliflower Alfredo in a jar, and it would be delicious in this dish!
Can I Use Regular Alfredo Sauce In Healthy Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Bake?
You can, but the recipe will not be nearly as nutritious. Adding the cauliflower Alfredo is the perfect thing to get your kids to eat more veggies, even if they are unaware that the veggies are in there.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken In Baked Chicken Alfredo?
Using a rotisserie chicken is a great way to save some time when making a healthy Alfredo bake. Simply remove all the meat from the bones and use about two cups of cooked chicken. Save the rest for an amazing chicken salad the next day.
Healthy Chicken Alfredo Recipe
- 1.5 - 2 cups healthy Alfredo sauce
- 1 pound pasta*
- 1 large chicken breast grilled and diced.
- 2 cups fresh broccoli chopped
- 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Boil your pasta to al dente, according to the package. In the last 2 minutes, add your broccoli. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
- Combine the pasta and broccoli, diced chicken, sauce, and 1 cup of cheese shredded.
- Spoon into a large, oven safe pan that has been coated with olive oil.
- Top with the rest of the mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Recipes Similar To Healthy Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Italian Chicken and Vegetable Bake - This flavorful, quick meal has juicy chicken and tender vegetables, which are all baked together with a classic Italian flare.
- Classic Italian Meatballs - We all know the classic meatball, but these Italian-style meatballs are perfectly seasoned and incredibly moist, perfect for a low-key dinner with the family.
- Italian Wedding Soup - A healthy and traditional soup, Italian Wedding Soup features egg noodles, tiny meatballs, spinach, and chicken broth.