Sloppy Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), also available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, and The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.

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Sloppy Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 6
Active time:1 hour
Total time:1 hour
Special equipment:9- by 13-inch pan, non-stick skillet with lid
This recipe appears in: Chicken Dinners: Sloppy Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake


  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 4 ounces Gruyère, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 7 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch shards
  • 3/4 cup panko (or plain bread crumbs)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated


  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth and milk, removing all lumps. Bring to simmer, remove from heat, and slowly whisk in cheddar and Gruyère until melted and smooth. Stir in chili flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside and keep warm.

  2. 2

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook briefly, stirring occasionally—cauliflower should remain crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to baking dish.

  3. 3

    Heat remaining tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and ground chipotle and cook until almost cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to baking dish.

  4. 4

    Tuck pieces of lasagna noodles within the chicken and cauliflower. Pour cheese sauce over top, pressing mixture into sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

  5. 5

    Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with panko, grated Parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Remove baking dish from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping and continue to bake until browned and bubbly, about 10 minutes more. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


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