This time of year, when everyone seems to be craving warm pasta dinners around the table on chilly winter nights, this chicken alfredo baked ziti recipe always goes viral here on the blog. And this time of year, when I make a batch for myself, I’m always reminded how unbeatable this Italian casserole will always be. I mean, creamy alfredo sauce, savory chicken, hearty pasta, two delicious kinds of melty cheese — what’s not to love?! There’s a reason why this one will always be a classic.
That said, while this recipe already features my lightened-up alfredo sauce recipe, there are all sorts of other ways you can make this comfort food a bit healthier if you’d like. From subbing in whole wheat pasta (this one is my go-to), to adding in your choice of veggies (we’re quite partial to broccoli in our house), to making it all gluten-free if you’d like (easy to do with a few simple tweaks), options to customize this casserole abound. And bonus, it can be ready to serve a big crowd in less than 45 minutes.
Pasta: Feel free to use any shape (ziti, penne, fettuccine, etc.) and variety (classic, whole-wheat, gluten-free, etc.) of pasta that you prefer.
Shredded, cooked chicken: I either shred a rotisserie chicken, or use leftovers from this baked chicken breasts recipe.
Shredded mozzarella cheese: Feel free to use part-skim or full-fat.
Alfredo sauce: We will use my lightened-up alfredo sauce recipe, made simply with olive oil (or butter), garlic, flour, chicken stock, low-fat milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Also, this recipe is not naturally very saucy. So if you would like, many of our readers recommend doubling the sauce.
Toppings: Freshly-grated Parmesan is a must, in my book. And feel free to sprinkle on some chopped parsley for extra freshness and flavor.
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