So easy and so satisfying, chicken and leek pasta bake is one of those classic comfort foods that’ll please all the family. This one never goes out of fashion.
Perfect to warm your soul in the colder months, this recipe is not your average pasta bake. It’s packed full of flavour, with a few cooking tricks to make your taste buds tingle.
So, you want to know how to make this quick and easy pasta recipe? Read on!
Products you need for this recipe
- Saucepan – the first thing you’ll do is make your sauces
- Frying pan – a quality non-stick frying pan is a must for this recipe
- Baking dish – a decent sized baking dish is essential for the last part of this chicken and leek pasta bake recipe
- Large mixing bowl – you’ll need a large bowl to mix together the chicken, pasta, leeks and sauce, before placing in your baking dish
- Mixing spoon – a quality mixing spoon is an essential kitchen item for any cook
- Whisk – you’ll need to whisk together the milk, flour and butter to cook the bechamel sauce
- Plain flour – get some good quality plain flour. It’s the base for your pasta bake sauce, so go for the best you can find
- Macaroni – for me, macaroni is the best kind of pasta for a chicken and leek pasta bake
- White wine - the wine adds a nice touch to the pasta casserole, lightening it up a bit in a good way
- Panko bread crumbs – breadcrumbs are the perfect way to add a little bit of crunch to the top of your chicken and leek pasta bake. Go for panko crumbs, for that extra special taste and texture
- Parmesan – if you can’t get grated, get yourself a parmesan grater. When topped with a sprinkle of parmesan, this dish will be extra delicious
Chicken and leek pasta bake recipe
If you’re looking for a simple, sumptuous supper with hardly any prep time, this is the one for you.
The total cook time is 1 hour and it’s so easy! First you make your sauce by softening the leeks in butter then simmering it with wine, stock and cream.
While you're cooking the leeks, you need to cook the pasta in boiling salted water. When the pasta is cooked and the sauce ready, tip in the pasta and chicken, give it all a good mix, then spoon into a baking dish.
The final flourish is a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and cheese, for a golden brown crunch. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6. Cooking doesn’t get much simpler!
What’s the best cheese to use in a pasta bake?
To bring an extra richness to this dish, you’ll need a cheese that’s full of flavour. It’s also very important that you use a cheese that melts well.
For me though, it’s parmesan all the way. The deep, fruitlike, nutty flavour is tailor-made for this dish, as the flavours sit in harmony with the chicken, leek and pasta. Get authentic Parmigiano Reggiano – you won’t be disappointed.
Do you add cooked chicken to a pasta bake?
Yes, this recipe calls for the chicken to be cooked beforehand. To cook, dice 500g of skinless chicken breasts into bitesize pieces. Then, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and fry the diced chicken breasts on a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown on the outside.
When it’s cooked, add the chicken to a mixing bowl with the sauce, as well as the cooked leeks and cooked pasta.
What other ingredients can I use in this recipe?
This recipe already tastes absolutely fantastic. Still, it’s very flexible and there’s a lot you can add that can elevate the taste even further.
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce is one way to get a whole lot more flavour. If you haven’t got any of this magical ingredient, there are plenty of alternatives to Worcestershire sauce.
You could also add a teaspoon or two of mustard, which really works well with the flavours in this recipe – especially the chicken, the leek and the cheese.
The addition of ham or bacon also works beautifully.
What do you serve with chicken and leek pasta?
The best thing to serve with this dish is a healthy, crisp green salad. The crisp freshness makes for a good balance for the big, hearty creaminess of the chicken and leek pasta.
Here are a few greedy gourmet favourites, to give you a little inspiration:
Rocket salad with avocado, blue cheese and pecans – this peppery, nutty salad has a whole load of flavour and would be the perfect complement to this chicken and leek pasta bake
Pear and rocket salad – the pear brings a little fruity element, working perfectly with the leek, and the rocket adds a peppery freshness
Pumpkin and beetroot salad – they don’t come much fresher, healthier or downright tastier than this easy, wonderful salad
Competition Question: What is your favourite pasta bake?Print