I’ve been watching Bob Ross on Hulu each night before bed. There’s something about him that is captivating in the way such small movements create such masterpiece, but I also love his little tidbits of encouragement. Bob often talks about “Happy Accidents.” This Chicken Parmesan Rigatoni is exactly that! A happy accident! I laid some ground chicken in the fridge one day hoping to make my Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs. Well unfortunately overnight wasn’t it enough to thaw completely. I decided to turn it into a Chicken Bolognese and then decided to bake it with rigatoni. The result was perfection!
Chicken Parmesan Baked Rigatoni
It’s very important when you are going to bake pasta not to over cook it when boiling it. I cook the rigatoni until it’s just 1 minute shy of the box directions for aldente. Aldente means it has a little bite when you bite into it. I truly can’t stand mushy pasta so I always follow these directions. Since everything is going into the oven hot, there’s no reason to bake it forever. I give this a broil to get that cheesy top and serve it.
I have an 8×11 casserole dish. I like to use that for this kind of recipe. My Le Creuset is one of my most used casserole dishes because you can safely broil in it unlike Pyrex dishes.
Yes they are kinda pricey, but this is so durable you should never have to replace it. It should last decades so long as you don’t drop it and break it 😉I truly think that Chicken Parmesan Baked Rigatoni will hit your weekly meal rotation. So as Bob Ross says, here’s to the “Happy Accidents.”
Pin this one for later! If you make this tag me on Instagram @freshfitkitchen.
Chicken Parmesan Baked Rigatoni
Chicken Parmesan Baked Rigatoni is an easy healthy version of baked rigatoni. A baked pasta recipe your entire family will love. Super easy too!
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- 20 ounces Marinara Sauce 1 regular size jar. These will be 18-20 ounces usually.
- 1/2 cup Carrot Finely Chopped
- 1/2 cup Celery Finely Chopped
- 1/2 cup Onion Finely Chopped
- 2 tbsp. Garlic Minced
- 1 Parmesan Rind This is the rind of a fresh piece of parm. It can be any size. A couple of inches is plenty.
- 1/2 lb. Rigatoni Noodles 1/2 of a 16 ounce box
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1 cup Part Skim Mozzarella Shredded
Chop the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Heat a skillet over medium heat and saute the veggies in a little olive oil (2 tbsp) for about 1 minute. Add in the chicken and chop it up using a spatula. Cook the chicken until no longer pink.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a slow cooker. Pour in the marinara sauce. Sink the parmesan rind down into the sauce and allow it to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Cook the rigatoni 1 minutes shy of aldente. You don't want to cook it completely through because it will finish cooking in the oven.
I used an 8x11 casserole dish for this. An 11x13 would work just fine. Turn your broiler on. Make sure this is a casserole that's broiler safe.
Remove the parmesan rind from the sauce-discard it. Toss the rigatoni with the sauce and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour it into the casserole and top with the parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Broil the top for about 2-3 minutes. Watch it very closely. Broilers vary and you don't want this to burn.
Allow the dish to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra parm and parsley & Enjoy!