This Chicken Alfredo Bake is a cozy baked pasta casserole that combines three of the most universally beloved foods—chicken, Alfredo sauce, and cheese. Get ready for a standing ovation from the whole table!
When’s the last time you ate chicken Alfredo?
If you’ve been avoiding this indulgent dish, it’s time to bust out your pasta pot, grab your cheese grater, and roll up your sleeves because this is a healthy chicken Alfredo bake you can eat without guilt.
Made without heavy cream, this baked Alfredo recipe is a lightened-up casserole version of the decadent, universally adored Italian classic.
5 Star Review
“My first time trying it and it was so good! Definitely a meal I will be making again!”— Nicole —
Here’s what I love about this healthy chicken Alfredo bake:
- It’s easy to make—requiring only 15 minutes of active prep.
- Great leftover, and freezer-friendly too!
- Makes 10 delicious servings—making it the perfect chicken Alfredo bake for a crowd.
- Endlessly versatile. Go ahead and toss in your favorite sautéed or roasted veggies (or grilled veggies Grilled Asparagus).
- Plus, I can offer personal testimony that, if ever a recipe were to be kid-approved, it is chicken Alfredo. (Growing up, my dad’s chicken Alfredo was a personal favorite and frequent dinner request.)
Ultimately, this chicken Alfredo bake is better for you (and better-tasting) than anything you’ll find in a restaurant or prepackaged in a jar.
How to Make Chicken Alfredo Bake
Ready the forks! Creamy, cheesy, and rich, this baked Alfredo is loaded with tender cooked chicken and al dente pasta coated in an easy homemade healthy Alfredo sauce.
Ditch the Alfredo Sauce Jar
I know the jar is tempting but Alfredo sauce is SO EASY to make from scratch and so much better for you.
- The only ingredients you need for homemade Alfredo are milk, a touch of butter, flour, chicken broth, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, plus any other spices you care to toss in.
- The spices I like best in Alfredo are onion powder, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat.
- Whole Wheat Pasta. A simple, healthy swap, whole wheat pasta packs extra fiber into this dish. I recommend using a short “tube” variety such as cavatappi, ziti, penne, or fusilli (unlike longer noodles, which I prefer for pan-style Garlic Shrimp Pasta).
- Butter + Flour + Garlic. Butter, flour, and garlic create the base for our decadent-tasting homemade Alfredo sauce. The butter and garlic give it that beloved flavor, and the flour helps thicken everything up.
- Milk + Chicken Broth. The liquid components of the sauce. I recommend using 1%, 2%, or whole milk to make sure the sauce isn’t too thin.
- Spices. Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes make the sauce memorable.
- Parmesan. The Alfredo sauce MVP!
Freshly grated Parmesan (not the kind in the green can) is a MUST HAVE for this chicken Alfredo bake. It’s the most critical ingredient, so don’t skip it. The good stuff is worth it here!
- Provolone. For that exquisite ooey-gooey, melty, cheesy baked Alfredo, we turn to shredded provolone cheese (mozzarella would also work well here).
- Shredded Chicken. Using cooked, shredded chicken is an easy way to shave time off of this recipe.
- Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt gives the sauce a creamy texture. It works in harmony with the cheeses to help thicken the sauce without the need for heavy cream. (It’s also my secret to this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.)
What About Heavy Cream?
While heavy cream is traditional in many Alfredo sauce recipes, I found that I was easily able to skip it and still have fantastically creamy results.
Letting the Alfredo sauce simmer works wonders to thicken it, and the Greek yogurt and fresh Parmesan provide plenty of richness.
- Cook and drain the pasta.
- Melt the butter, stir in the flour, then add the garlic.
If you’re new to preparing sauces, this base is called a roux. Take care to let the roux cook for at least a full minute before adding any liquid. This ensures your sauce turns out silky smooth (as opposed to gritty) and does not have a raw flour taste.
- Whisk in the milk and broth. Stir in the spices. Reduce the sauce, then remove from the heat.
- Add part of the Parmesan, then stir in the yogurt.
- Stir the chicken and sauce into the pasta.
- Layer the mixture in a baking dish with provolone cheese on top. Bake until bubbly and the cheese is melted. ENJOY!
Serve this recipe with a crisp, Burgundy-style Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Noir.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken Alfredo in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
If freezing, to help with the texture after thawing, refrigerate the pasta bake first or let it cool completely before placing it in the freezer.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Sauté Pan. The ideal tool for this recipe.
- Cheese Grater. You. can use either a box grater or a microplane grater here.
- Baking Dish. A beautiful and long-lasting baking dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. However, keep in mind that canned chicken is often packed with sodium and other preservatives so it may impact the saltiness of the dish. If you’re looking for a shortcut, try a rotisserie chicken from the store instead.
Traditional chicken Alfredo is typically made with heavy cream and lots of Parmesan cheese. Both ingredients are loaded with fat and cholesterol which are leading contributors to heart disease. If you’re craving Alfredo, look for a lightened-up version like this recipe that swaps these fatty ingredients with low-fat milk and Greek yogurt as healthy alternatives.
Chicken Alfredo Bake
- 1 pound whole wheat pasta such as cavatappi, ziti, penne, or fusilli
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 cloves garlic minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ¾ cup milk recommended: 1%, 2%, or whole
- 1 (14-ounce) can low sodium chicken broth or 1 ¾ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese divided (MUST be freshly grated; no can!)
- 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt* (I used 2%)
- 3 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken** (about 3 medium breasts)
- 1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese about 4 ounces—I recommend shredding yourself for the best melty sauce, divided
- Chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large, 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Be careful not to overcook so the pasta bake doesn’t become mushy. Drain into a colander, shaking off any excess water, and return the pasta to the same, now empty pot.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, wide sauté pan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Stir in the Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and reduces by a little more than a third, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Stir 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Let cool 1 minute. Stir in the Greek yogurt.
- Add the chicken and sauce to the pot with the pasta and stir to evenly combine.
- Spread half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of provolone cheese. Add the remaining pasta, spreading it evenly on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and ½ cup provolone.
- Bake the chicken Alfredo for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is hot and bubbly, and the cheese on top is melted and beginning to turn golden. Let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!
*If you don’t need a whole tub of Greek yogurt, look for the individual sizes (this is what I use!). You also can use non-fat yogurt, but be sure to let the sauce cool a few extra minutes, as non-fat dairy products have a tendency to curdle. Low fat is my top choice for the best creamy sauce! You also can swap for light sour cream.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken Alfredo in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or gently in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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