Thursday 7 May 2020

Creamy White Sauce Pasta Bake

This chicken pasta bake recipe is my absolute favourite. An added bonus is that everybody in our family enjoys it and it is loaded with chicken and cheese!

This is a recipe for a creamy white sauce to make a big pasta bake using anything you’ve got. Just look in your fridge. Cans of corn? Frozen veg? Some cooked and raw meats, cans of tuna, salmon or other fish?

Can I freeze this chicken and pasta bake?
Absolutely I find this pasta bake recipe freezes and reheats really well. I find meals I can pop in the freezer so handy for iftar.

Check the video recipe below for more details

White Sauce Pasta Bake Recipe

Bechamel / White Sauce:
  • 70g butter (1/3 cup or 80 ml melted butter)
  • 70g all purpose flour (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 litre milk (4 cups)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • half a maggi cube
Other ingredients:
  • water for boiling pasta
  • 1 tsp salt to season the pasta
  • 300g penne pasta
  • 4 small size onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200g chestnuts mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large chicken breast cut into cubes (use 2 small chicken breast if you prefer it very meaty)
  • 2 tbsp ready-made chicken tikka masala powder (or any other seasoning you prefer)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 400g of cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of Emmental cheese
Prepare the Bechamel:
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. 
  2. Gradually add milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. 
  3. Bring it to a boil. Add salt, pepper to taste, dried oregano, nutmeg and maggi cube lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. 
  4. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.
Prepare the chicken:
  1. In a large frying pan heat some oil. Once hot add in chicken cubes, crushed garlic and chopped onion.
  2. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes then add in the seasonings (tikka masala powder and salt to taste). Mix well, add in sliced mushrooms. 
  3. Once all mixed cover with a lead and let simmer on low flame for 5 minutes or until the chicken is tender. 
  4. Once done turn off heat and set aside.
Prepare pasta:
  1. In a large pot filled with water add a tsp of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Then add in 300g of pasta. Let boil until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Once ready drain water from the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Assemble White Sauce Pasta Bake:
  1. Combine together prepared chicken and boiled pasta. Mix well.
  2. In a large casserole dish place half of the chicken and pasta. Top with loads of grated cheddar cheese and 2 slices of Emmental cheese. Next layer with half of the bechamel sauce and spread evenly.
  3. Repeat. Add the rest of the pasta and chicken mixture. Layer with the remaining grated cheddar cheese and emmental slices. Make sure the top is full covered with cheese. Sprinkle some dried oregano leaves. 
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven over 200 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until the top is bubbly.
  5. Serve warm with garlic bread.


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