Friday, January 8, 2016

Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti

We loved Baked Ziti in our house. It is one of those meals that nobody fights over eating and everyone seems happy when I put it on the table. It got me wanting to subtly change the recipe and see what my family thought. I introduce the Chicken Parmesan version of baked ziti. It is full of flavor and best of all has the baked ziti flavor we love with the added flavors of chicken and extra Parmesan cheese.

You will need: 

  • 16 Oz Penne or Ziti Pasta
  • Two chicken breast 
  • 1 jar of Ragu sauce
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon basil

 Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the water and return back to the pot. Cook the chicken through and then shred it fine. I boiled the chicken in my recipe because it is so fast. Add the salt, pepper and basil to the chicken. Stir thoroughly.
 Dump the chicken and the sauce on top of the pasta and stir together until the pasta is coated. I use Ragu Six Cheese sauce because I love that it adds to the cheesiness of the dish.
 Add half of the pasta to the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on top. Add the other half of the pasta and then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top of that layer.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Add the Parmesan cheese and allow to melt before serving. 

This Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti is definitely a easy crowd pleaser. The only thing that makes this dish even better is a load of stuffed garlic cheese bread. Seriously, I could eat the entire loaf. It is so yummy and very easy to make. 
 I cannot rave enough about this bread. Seriously thinking about it makes me want to head to the store for the ingredients. It is delicious and cheesy.

You will need: 

  • 1 loaf Italian Bread (You want a bread with a firmer crust)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (If you love garlic, do both cloves, if you want the taste to be a little lighter use one.)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Melt the butter and then mix in all of the spices. Cut the bread on a diagonal one way and then repeat the other way. Make sure to not cut the bread all the way through.
 Open up each diagonal and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of butter mixture and a little bit of cheese into each crevasse. Wrap the entire loaf of bread in tinfoil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  I dare you to not eat the entire loaf yourself. ;)
One of the reasons I love using Ragu sauce in my recipes is they use farm grown ingredients and no artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup. I can feel good about what I am giving my family. I also love the story of Assunta, the founder, she was a single mom with high standards and a great idea. I love supporting her legacy by making this recipe and others. 

What would you serve with the Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti?

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