Baked Chicken Penne {Freezer Meal!}

We get a lot of emails requesting ideas for freezer meals.  This is another great one to make for a Valentines Day dinner.  I make a pasta dish quite often that is almost identical to this, only I use my Guiltless Alfredo sauce.  It’s actually become a Valentines Day tradition for my husband and I.  This version is a bit naughtier, and richer and completely delicious.  And the bonus is that it makes enough for 2 pans, one to eat and one to freeze.  It takes more time to make than my quick guiltless version so I like that when I put in the time to make it I get two meals out of it!  It’s a creamy cheesy sauce with penne pasta, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms.  I don’t even like mushrooms and they’re fantastic here.

To begin, boil penne pasta in some salted water.  You’ll want to cook it just a couple minutes short of al dente.  Check the back of the box and it will tell you how long to cook until the al dente stage and just knock a couple of minutes off of that.

While the pasta is boiling heat up a skillet with a little oil in it.  Season your chicken with salt and pepper and then pop it in the skillet to sizzle up.  It will be done in about the same amount of time as the pasta.  After it cools for a minute, slice it up.

Since your skillet is already hot and oiled, toss the mushrooms in there to saute for a few minutes

Now you’ll start making the sauce.  It begins with a roux.  That may sound like a scary word, but it’s not, I promise.  In a large pot you’ll melt some butter and then add some flour (to thicken) and some minced garlic (because everything is better with garlic)

As you whisk that together to cook you’ll add in milk and bring it to a simmer to form the sauce.  Then you’ll throw in the mushrooms as some sundried tomatoes.

I seriously LOVE sundried tomatoes.  Just had to get that out.  Then off the heat you add in a mixture of parmesan and provolone cheeses, some salt and pepper, and  your chicken.    It’s that easy!

Pop it into 2 dishes.  One to eat and one to freeze, or two to freeze, or two to eat.  You’re the boss, you pick.

If your going to eat one now, then sprinkle more cheese on top.  If you’re going to freeze it, then put it in a baggie.

To eat immediately, just bake it for about 25 minutes so all of the flavors melt together and the cheese gets all bubbly



We hope you all have a wonderful Valentine”s day!  Make sure to tell all of your loved ones that you love them! (Oh, and eat lots of chocolate 🙂

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Follow up on the question re substitution for oil-packed tomatoes: I got some dry sun-dried tomatoes, poured boiling water over them, and then tossed them with a little olive oil and let them sit for about an hour. They worked great! I LOVE this recipe, and so do my husband and my 2 year-old son! He always asks for seconds…thirds… :o)

  2. I made this, it was seriously gross. I’ve made alredo pastas before, and making it with flour? It was gross. And now I have some in my freezer that I have no idea what to do with. Would NOT recommend this to anyone!

    1. Brianne, most white sauces are made with flour, it’s a basic (and very common) cooking process known as a roux. The taste of the flour isn’t even noticeable if the roux is cooked properly, so I suspect you perhaps made an error in the recipe. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love this dish, so I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it!

  3. Hi Ladies! Found your blogsite off a sister in the ward’s FB page and have to say I LOVE it. Love that the food is diverse and that the recipes are well written and simple to follow for the average cook (moi!). I’m planning on taking this pasta dish to a ward potluck because can freeze ahead. Wish me luck.
    P.S. I even like your craft ideas. There is hope for me yet. 🙂

  4. I second the question about using sun-dried tomatoes that aren’t packed in oil. The oil-packed ones are pretty expensive, so I’m wondering if there’s a way to make it more economical.

  5. I made this tonight and everyone loved it. I used 1% milk and it was fabulous. Plenty rich and creamy. Nice bonus to have an extra batch in the freezer, too.

  6. I’m re-naming this “If Loving You is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be Right Pasta.” SO good! And, an added bonus, all my kids loved it – even my picky 2 year-old!

  7. This looks absolutely delicious! I bet some wilted baby spinach would be divine in this as well (maybe thrown in after the mushrooms?).

    You have my lifelong adoration for your chicken taquito recipe with creamy lime-cilantro dressing for the dip. To. Die. For.

  8. Just want to confirm that you only need one box of pasta for two dishes (one to eat now and one to freeze later)? Please confirm…thanks!

  9. Another successful meal. My entire family gobbled it up. You ladies are awesome…keep the recipes coming!!!

    1. Natalie, we take citing sources very seriously. We clearly credited Martha in this recipe, so please look a little more carefully before name-calling.

  10. Just made this tonight and everyone loved it! My 2 year old exclaimed “yummy!” “I lub it!” and “more, more” throughout dinner. 🙂

  11. Made it last night and entire fam loved it – including husband who doesn’t like mushrooms. I made 2 healthy changes and it was still fabulous: used whole wheat pasta, and I used skim milk instead of whole. It was great!

  12. I made this today with artichoke hearts instead of sun dried tomatoes, and it was amazing! Thanks!

  13. Tried it and loved it! It made enough for my family, our neighbors family, and I froze an 8×8 pan for later!

  14. A friend of mine recently referred me to your website and I LOVE it. I tried this recipe yesterday and modified it just a bit – I made it with half white sauce and half red sauce (just split your white sauce recipe in half) and it was delicious! thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  15. This dish is so easy and FAST to make. My husband LOVED it. I opted to leave out the mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes (because my family hates these two vegies) and it was still delicious. Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. I was so happy to run across your website a couple days ago! I made this last night and used pimientos del piquillo (roasted red peppers) instead of sun dried tomatoes and the roasted red peppers tasted great too! I am living in Spain and I have two Italian roommates and one Spanish roommate. They are always interested to see what the American is cooking:) Last night I asked if they wanted to eat what I was making and they said sure…they loved it! 🙂 I loved it too…and I have my extra pan in the freezer for when I want to break that out.

  17. That looks fantastic. Super easy. I tried the drop down list for "Freezer Meals" and it says there are no posts with that tag. Just an FYI

  18. Most things work great from frozen, and it's super convenient. Trust us- we wouldn't write it out in the directions if it didn't work well!

  19. Thanks Sara. In general do you find you have better results baking dishes frozen or thawing in the fridge overnight first? As you can tell I'm freezer frightened. I usually do fresh service but some clients request frozen so I'm trying to learn all I can.

  20. DinnerCravings- yup, it's correct as written. When frozen solid it takes quite a while to thaw out! If you're baking it thawed, just use the non-frozen directions. Increase time if the dish is chilled, and decrease if it's in individual servings. Keep in mind you're not cooking anything here, you're just heating it through, so you can eyeball it.

  21. Do you bake this dish frozen? 1 1/2 hours at 400 seems like a long time. what baking time do you suggest for thawed out dish in individual servings?

    Thanks so much

  22. Glenda, I've never tried it with lowfat milk, but I bet it would work just fine. If you try it, let us know!