Creamy Baked Penne Alfredo
An easy, creamy baked pasta dish that you can make a hundred different ways! Use your imagination and whatever add-ins you have on hand to create a myriad of delicious options.
Servings Prep Time
6 – 8people 20min
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6 – 8people 20min
Cook Time
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Do not overcook the pasta as it will cook a little more in the sauce. Drain immediately and set aside. NOTE: Have the pasta ready before you make the sauce as the sauce will separate if it sits for too long. Should that happen whisk the sauce vigorously until reincorporated.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a large 9″-x-13″ baking dish with butter or cooking spray. NOTE: if halving use an 8″ x 8″ pan or casserole dish.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add to skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through, 8 minutes per side. If using a different raw protein (or sauteing veggies) season with the Italian seasoning, s&p and cook accordingly. If using a cooked protein warm it up in the pan with the oil but check for seasoning and s&p as it may already be seasoned enough. (See notes for roasting veggies.) Remove chicken/protein and wipe the skillet clean. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing crosswise.
  4. Return skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in flour and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more. Don’t take your eyes off it, it burns in a flash!
  6. Gradually pour in half-and-half, whisking constantly, and I do mean constantly.
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir in Parmesan. Let simmer until sauce thickens, 1 minute, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, and alfredo sauce. If making half the recipe everything should all fit back in the skillet.
  9. Spread about half of the pasta mixture on the bottom of the baking dish, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Add the remaining pasta mixture and top with more mozzarella.
  10. Bake until cheese is melted and browned to your preference about 15 minutes.
  11. Garnish with parsley or basil before serving (if using).
Recipe Notes

Have the pasta ready as the sauce will separate if it sits too long. This happened to me and I just had to really give it a heck of a stir to reincorporate the butter.  Save yourself the headache.

To use potatoes instead of pasta, dice them bite size and place on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, s&p and toss to coat then roast at 350* for about 15-20 min until almost done. Not too soft as they will continue cooking for another 15 minutes. I don’t recommend boiling the potatoes as the it changes the structure and they will be too soft and wet for this dish.

Using Roasted Veggies: Cut up veggies like butternut squash, eggplant, Brussels sprouts (halve or quarter),   into bite size pieces and toss with olive oil S&P on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 375* for 15 – 20 min. Roast whole cherry tomatoes or sliced mushrooms treated the same way.

Add some slivers of sun-dried tomatoes and green olives.

Spinach or kale that has been blanched (or sauteed with some garlic – yum) and WELL drained. I’d chop it up too.

Canned tuna and fresh peas would make this a whole new tuna casserole (Yes fish and cheese!) Make the sauce then add canned tuna and blanched peas with the pasta. Layer in the baking dish and bake per instructions. 

Canned or leftover salmon, lemon zest, roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh dill oh my! Make the sauce and add lemon zest with the Parmesan cheese. Add canned salmon and tomatoes with the pasta. I would also use the Fontina on this one vs. the mozzarella. 

Mix up the cheeses. I am thinking next time of trying some goat cheese. Not 100% as that would be too strong but about 1/3 with some sundried tomatoes, olives, fresh oregano maybe ground lamb if I find it on sale again.  I can just keep dreaming of ideas for this recipe! 🙂