Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Total Time:
55 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

NUTRITION INFO
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

  • Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.


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Pairs Well With
Sangiovese

Bright, fruity Italian red wine

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4.3 1008
5 Stars! But season the chicken as you're cooking it, or it will be bland. I also used a 9x13 and doubled the recipe. I used mini-penne.<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this several times. I used penne pasta instead and turns out delicious I also double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan.. I wasn't a fan of the topping until I added more butter over the top ...mmmm item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I thought this was very good. Like another reviewer, I used rotini pasta. I made it in a 9 x 13 glass dish, so I doubled the recipe, except for the onion and garlic. I thought I'd have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow,  no such luck.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Okay I agree with some of the reviews. This recipe is delicious with a few tweaks to it. First off I suggest you don't use pastina; I used rotini pasta, and I just used about half a box. Secondly the required amount of diced tomatoes is really not enough, and I had to use two extra tablespoons of tomato puree. Third, I didn't use breadcrumbs in mine I just personally don't like them so I didn't use them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Agree with some of the comments that the pasta is bland &amp; not enough chicken.  I followed the recipe exactly &amp; 1 can of diced tomato isn't sufficient. It's probably better to use tomato paste. Lastly, I don't like sprinkling bread crumbs on top of the dish, you get choked up in those crumbs. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Elbow macaroni is NOT the same as pastina!   I knew better than to try this but I did it anyway. Turned out bland and mushy. THEN I watched the video... Shame on the chef for lumping the 2 pasta types together- they are not even close! I'll stick with recipes from Lidia Bastianich- a TRUE Italian chef item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'd like to prep this in advance and then freeze it. Should I freeze it immediately after prepping, or bake it before I freeze it? Thanks! <br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Incredibly tasty and simple to make.  Instead of using just mozzarella I used a shredded blend of cheeses sold at my market.<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
boring <br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
My kids favorite http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/italian-baked-chicken-and-pastina-recipe.html item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy to make my kids loved it item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this and it came out soooo amazingg! Thank you for the recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
 I agree with the reviews that said it needs more seasoning. Since Giada is frequently saying season each layer, I think she would have done much better to add a good pinch of garlic, basil, and oregano on the chicken and in the diced tomatoes. Those are pizza flavors, so kids would like those additions too. . So the 2nd time I made  this, it was  fall harvest time,  and  it just made sense to add a ton of fresh picked veggies. I added 1 small zucchini,  1 small yellow  squash (zucchini shaped)  1 each  Red &amp;green bell pepper, 1 onion and a  few large handfulls.of baby spinach.I added a heaping T. or so more jar minced garlic to accommodate the additions. To prepare, I seasoned the chicken with a fair amt. of Italian seasonings, and used  a bit more  chicken  than listed.   I browned the seasoned chicken, with a little onion and garlic, then deglazed the pan with a splash of wine.For the diced tomatoes I used 2  to 3 more cans of diced tomatoes that come with basil, oregano, and garlic already in it, which I pulsed very briefly in a processor,leaving them still a  tiny bit chunky.  I needed a quick skillet dish,   and was out of mozzerella, so I just used more parm cheese and  no  topping, except some of the added parm cheese and torn basil as my topping  Even with all the chopped veggies ( which went quickly b/c I just rough chopped them, dinner was on the table in under 45 minutes.and made a nice large pan full.. Next time, I will try sauting a few slices of panchetta first, then saute the  seasoned chicken in the little fat from the panchetta. Like most padta dishes this recipe is so darn tweakable. It can be vegetarian, meat lovets, skillet or casserole. So save as a good badic jumping off point and tweak as need dictates. As written I give it 3 to 4 stars. Tweeked it is 5 stars<div><br /></div> item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this dish tonight and it was delicious.  Because I cooked more elbow pasta, I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes (one was fire roasted).  I used 2 pretty sized boneless, skinless, breast cut in smaller cubes.  I seasoned the meat with salt, season salt, Cajun seasoning, and pepper (really good flavor on the chicken).  I also used 3 garlic cloves and Italian bread crumbs seasoned with grated parmesan cheese.  Amazing and quick dinner.   item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is one of my go to recipes for making myself lunches and having it last a few days for lunch each day. I always end up adding an extra handful of mozzarella and using the pasta noodles that are in the picture ( I can't remember the name of that pasta at all right now). It's better with thicker pasta, not small pastina-type noodles. Use corkscrew pasta or macaroni.   item not reviewed by moderator and published
so good i made it for my family tonight and we all loved it!!!<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
did not have much flavor very bland dry, will not waste my money on this recipe. and I followed the recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has to be one of the best Italian meals I have made. I added about 2 tablespoons of fresh basil that added an exquisite flavor to the meal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super duper good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It had too much tomato and not enough chicken. I was not very pleased with it and will probably not make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this a few weeks ago. It smelled really good but we thought that the size of the pasta just wasn't enough to take on the chicken and the meatiness of the sauce. Otherwise it was good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Family loved it and plenty of leftovers. Didn't think we'd like chicken meatballs but they were flavorful and tender. It did take me a bit longer than the 55 minutes, so one less star, but will make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was a bit disappointed in this dish. It turned out good but lacked some flavor. I could see where it's kids friendly. Probably will not be making this again but glad I tried it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome. I added a 1/2 cup of broccolini to the onion/garlic, and I used farfalle. Simply a winner! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! I used cavatappi noodles and 1/4 cup more parm and mozzarella, could use a little more diced tomato as it wasn't "wet" enough for my liking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have picky toddlers so the first time I made this they weren't thrilled, but that's usual behaviour. Now they are older and more willing to try new things, and although I still have bad food days this time the whole family loved it. I followed the recipe to a T, I think the flavors are simple for children. Mom and Dad enjoyed it as well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I add a bell pepper. Easy and great taste! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this dish few last ago and I am still enjoying the left overs. I made a few changes based on the ingredients I had on hand. I used elbow macaroni and topped it with real bacon pieces. It was delicious....my macaroni fans loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
In Italy Pastina is Pastina not elbows. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe! I modified by adding 3/4 cups of chicken, orzo pasta instead of pastina and increased the garlic to 3 cloves. My family LOVED it - my husband said it tasted like chicken parmesan :) Will make again. Quick, easy and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This meal is a staple in my household and I don't even have kids yet. My husband loves it! I highly recommend adding this to your routine! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ew. So not worth the work. You could sauté the chicken, mix with a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce,blanched pasta and cheese to get the same result. Seriously, ew. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this recipe a couple of times, there's nothing more comforting than a cheesy baked pasta! And Giada definitely doesn't disappoint with the flavor and ease of preparation in this dish. Try substituting chicken breast with Italian chicken sausage-- Isernio's is my favorite! the sausage adds great flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super easy!!! I diced the chicken, browned added more garlic and onions, white wine, fresh basil. and diced browned sweet sausage. So satisfiying!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy and so delicious! My kids loved it and my husband remarked, "This is one of the better things you have made!" item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it! Quick and easy, great weeknight meal. The breadcrumbs on top were and added punch. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it and most of the ingredients are everyday things I would have at home already. I'm not a huge fan of the chunks of tomato so maybe next time I will try something different with the tomato ingredient. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it will make again, easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love It !!!!! I've been making it for years now. Super easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved it and so did my family it was very flavorful need we used fire roasted tomatoes and it was great I also used garlic it was great Thanks so much item not reviewed by moderator and published
Disappointing, I found it bland and boring, especially the chicken. Maybe if the chicken was marinated before hand? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have a young son who loves this so I'm happy that he's getting a lot of good nutrition from this recipe! My husband also loves it so my only recommendation is to double the recipe so you have some leftovers. The recipe "as is" will be gone in one evening! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It looked good, sounded good but it was anything other than good! I try many recipes from Giada and this was a big dissapointment! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has become one of my "go to" recipes. So easy to make and so easy to make variations. Everyone loves it! Make it healthy by using whole wheat or "super" pasta; low sodium tomatoes and low fat cheese. Use mixed italian cheeses instead of just mozzarella. I also add broccoli. Leftovers are wonderful - saves me another night of cooking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish has been on my dinner rotation for years now! It is a complete hit with my 7 year old and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. I've definitely customized it a little by adding more salt, fresh parsley and basil and seasoning my chicken before cooking. It is also a great meal to make a lot of for next-day lunches...it heats up great! I've read other reviewers say theirs is dry; I would recommend adjusting your cook time and making sure your diced tomatoes have enough liquid in the can. If not, add a little tomato sauce! Giada's dishes are always fresh, great tasting and EASY! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night and it was very good. It was quick to put together and doesn't take long took cook. I read several reviews before hand so I tweaked it accordingly. Instead of plain bread crumbs I used Italian, the diced tomatoes were the basil, oregano, and garlic variety you can buy at any grocer,I also added a small can of tomato sauce to make sure that it didn't come out dry. Next time I may use a jarred pasta sauce just to see. Will definitely make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is one of my favorites. Pretty easy to throw together and the leftovers are great for lunch. I use cavatappi for the pasta and usually use chicken tenders for the chicken because they are usually cheaper than chicken breast. I probably use more cheese and chicken than is called for. Very good recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This tasted amazing! Great dish and I will definitely make it again. Everyone loved it and it was finished in just 10 minutes!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful! The only thing I change is add more cheese (total of 2 cups and add some hot sauce (only because I love the kick I am never let down when I make this recipe. It is a comfort food staple. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious and easy to make! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Was not impressed with this recipe. I added more herbs and spices because I knew it would be bland but even then it didn't help. Maybe I will give it another try and make more changes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just ate this dish, Love it. Ok, so what I added to this was another can of tomatoes, 2/3 cup of ricotta cheese for it to come out creamy. I made rosemary olive oil to cook the chicken in which came out excellent, i also added a lot more garlic to the chicken and fresh chopped oregano and basil(i cooked the chicken completely on the skillet before mixing it in with the pasta. I made sure to add a lot more mozzarella cheese and instead of bread crumbs i broke up regular club crackers, then on top of the crackers i put mozzarella cheese then the parmesan cheese and on top of that thin little bits of butter. It was very creamy from the ricotta! crispy on the top...i can’t complain, i have a very happy husband : item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed this recipe exactly and found it to be a little bland. My husband and two children wouldn't eat this, and neither of them are picky eaters. I doubt I will make this again, but if I did I would probably follow the advice of other reviewers and add some heat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband loves roast chicken but there are only two of us at home now so I'm always looking for recipes to use up the left over chicken. Precooked chicken made it even easier to make and added a depth of flavor. I used more seasoning (red pepper flakes, oregano as I tasted at each stage I found it a little bland. Good and easy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Huge hit with the kids! I actually had all 4 of them help me and watch the video so they knew there wasn't anything strange in it. My daughter is a little picky, but after watching the video and helping me make it, even she couldn't resist! Excellent! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was delicious! My husband and I like a little bit of heat, so the only thing I did different from the recipe was I added some red pepper flakes. Perfect touch!! Will definitley be making again and again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it. Everything about it tasted fantastic. Made it twice now and would definitely make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My 9 year old feels very proud of herself when she makes this dish. This recipe is a keeper : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy to make and a big hit for my boyfriend and I. The ingredients are simple and most of them should already be in the pantry, but I think the little bit of baked cheese and bread crumbs really make the difference for this dish. I made the recipe exactly as is, and it will be a regular dish for us now. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First of all, I have to say that this was SO simple to make. I'm pretty new around a kitchen, &amp; for me to able to make this with no complications or frustration is a true feat! My fiance loved it, &amp; so did I! He's not a big pasta lover either, so for him to ask for seconds says a lot! The crust is very good, our favourite part! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We absolutely love this recipe!! Easy and simple to make when you get home from work. However, I used Progresso Italian breadcrumbs, and it was a little too dry, so will cut back on the breadcrumbs and added more parm in the topping. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was very easy to make and the taste was delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
super easy and amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my standby! I make this at least twice per month, leftovers are GREAT! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good recipe !! What I did different was ; I added two cans of the diced tomatoes , since I probably added more pasta that it called for and this way it wouldn't be too dry. Also before I added the bread crumb/ parmesan cheese topping , I added some shredded mozzarella on top first , then added the bread crumbs , parm cheese and butter. Try this recipe , you won't be disappointed . item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was excellent. I followed it exactly except I added 2 cloves of garlic; next time I will try 3. I will make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
easy to make, tasty!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Seeing how this recipe was rated so well by over 940 people, I figured I had to try it! This is such a tasty pasta dish, my husband and I both liked it a lot! Simple ingredients, easy to prepare, what more can you ask for?! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this tonight. My family loved it. Next time I think I will add another can of tomatoes. I used dried basil and thyme, I didn't have fresh parsley. It was great. I will make it again. : item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a quick and easy dinner. For how simple it is, it is remarkably tasty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family just had several helpings of this delicious dish! I doubled everything but used 3 cups of chicken and then put this in a 9x13 buttered dish and baked for 25 minutes. Make sure to put the breadcrumbs on the top and NOT in the dish which is why some people ,I think, say it comes out dry. Ours was moist and delicious! I also caramelized the onions a bit and cooked the chicken with some added salt and pepper. Highly recommended if you have kids! The chicken was moist and tender. (i used cut up chicken tenders cut in cubes item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just took this out of the oven and am eating it right now... and it is so good! I had a package of ground turkey that I needed to use up, so I used it instead of chicken. I really wasn't expecting it to turn out very good but I was pleasantly surprised. One day, I'll try it with the chicken... but I have to say, I love it just the way it is! I didn't have any fresh parsley, so I used canned tomatoes with basil and oregano, and sprinkled in some dried parsley. That was the only change I made. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just took this pastina bake out of the oven. I made it today for my co-workers since we have a long shift tonight at work. I had to taste a bite before I would serve it to anyone since this is my first time making it. It tasted good. However, I will make modifications to my own likeing. Next time I will add italian seasoning when I am mixing all ingredients together, and add a touch more garlic and parsley. I also used ritz crackers crushed up in a bag, and then added melted butter to the crackers, and parmeasan cheese. the top is soo good!! nice and crunchy and buttery. I also added 2 cans of diced tomatoes with oregeno and basil. I also shredded cheddar cheese along w/ the monzerrella cheese to give it a more cheesier texture. over all- a very good dish, and so many ways you can alter it to your desired taste. will def make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
For a healthier version i used olive oil instead of butter and turkey instead of chicken. I also didnt use any bread crumbs after reading some of the reviews. It turned out amazing!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe except I added some fresh basil. It tasted pretty good except it was on the dry side from the breadcrumbs(I think I'll try cutting the amount to maybe half. I don't expect this to be added to the list of regular meals but its a good recipe to have because its easy to put together &amp; I usually keep all the ingredients on hand. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this tonight for my family and everyone loved it. I did modify so it would feed more people and used quite a bit more chicken, not just double (maybe 2 1/2 or so cups cubed, 3 cups of dried small pasta (used 9x13 pan, italian seasoned diced tomatoes. I also used a little cheddar as well as mozzarella because I thought it needed a little more cheese and my kids like a little cheddar. I think you need to add extra italian seasoning to make this great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It came out dry b/c the breadcrumbs soaked up all the juices. I wouldn't make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I want to try this because of all the rave reviews, but I just have one question - Do you think I could subsitute the butter on top with cooking spray? I want to figure out a way to make this "lighter." item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is SOOOOO good!! I made it just as the recipe stated but since we like a little spice I added some red pepper flakes. I will make this again. Wasn't sure I would like the crust on top but it was needed for the texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mmmm, so good. This is super easy to make and very delicious. I double the recipe so we have leftovers for lunch the next day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a hit in my family! Everyone including my 7 year old who is a very picky eater liked it! I will be making this again, so easy to make! I love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was very yummy and easy to make. Great meal when your in a hurry. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is very good...in fact it was delicious!! Great for a quick Friday night supper... Love love it item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is delicious...even tho i forgot to add the diced tomatoes..i will def. make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy and great for weeknights when you are pressed for time! Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used Trade Joe's Harvest Grain Mix which includes orzo, quinoa, couscous and baby garbanzo beans. I also added a little pesto I needed to use up. The textures of the different pastas was interesting and the pesto added a little complexity. This is now one of my favorites. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent, Easy and Yummy!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is simple and satisfying. Can't go wrong! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i LOVEEEEE this recipe!!!!! i got bored of all the recipes we make every week so i tried this and everyone loves it!!!! i add a few more breadcrumbs though, and sometimes use different types of pastas!!! DEFINATELY suggest to try this if you haven't yet!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't know, I thought this was just okay. It didn't have a bad flavor, it just wasn't anything to brag about. Chicken, pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Sort of boring. I thought by all the rave reviews that there must be something special about it once it's baked, but I guess not. Sorry. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is so easy and great for weeknight dinners. My husband's favorite and one he requests often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good and easy to whip up for a weeknight dinner. The chicken was a bit dry, so next time I'll probably cook it a little less. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Family really like this. Used bowtie pasta and added a teeny bit of tomato sauce. They said it was a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it. Doubled the pasta; used ditalini. Doubled the tomatoes; used tomatoes seasoned with chiles. Pasta was a little hard, there was not enough liquid for it to finish cooking. Next time will add some tomato sauce. My teenage boys ate it all up. Even my finicky eater! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome!! I just tweaked it based on the other reviews and it was perfect! I used diced breast from a rotisserie chicken. I added oregano, red hot pepper flakes and some tomato sauce so it wouldn't be dry. Also, I used a box of elbow. It was delicious! Thanks everyone for the tips! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! I make this for my children all the time and they love it! Thanks Giada. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was delicious! I added extra garlic, fresh oregano and chives from my garden. I also throw in some chopped arugula that is abundant in my garden tear round. I think I'll try it with Italian sausage next time....always fun to try something new! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ok, so I'm not sure how this recipe got such high reviews. It doesn't work if you follow as written. The recipe calls for 1c pastina, however in the demo, she uses elbows. BIG DIFFERENCE in size, shape, texture, and amount you net after cooking. I ended up with 4 cups of pasta. Also, the recipe calls for 1/2c chicken - this equals 4oz. Recipe is supposed to serve 4 - so if I follow correctly, they get 1c of pasta and 1oz of chicken each??? I think this is poorly written and the measurements are way off. Also, if you list something like pastina - which is a teeny tiny star shape but use elbows, you need to note that in the recipe and adjust the dry quantity. I had to add more chicken as when I was chopping and measuring, I knew 10 pieces of chicken just for one person, let alone 2-3 or more would not be enough. I used a whole small onion too. Giada - your recipes are usually fantiastic, this one, not so much without alot of revisions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
At first I wasn't crazy about this but I added red pepper flakes and then I thought it was really good and different. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Like someone else noted it is a bit bland and next time I will add a little more salt. Still it is tasty. I decided to try and make it without the chicken and added frozen peas and carrots. Worked very well, I just sauteed the vegi's with the onion and garlic, didn't completely cook them up either and when it came out of the oven the vegi's weren't too soft or mushy. I will be trying this one again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Checked with my Italian Grandmother, she said it mean "small pasta" ANY small pasta and normally means any region in Italy :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
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