Mediterranean Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake

We’ve elevated a simple chicken and tomato pasta bake with seasonal veggies, capers and olives topped with melted cheese and crispy breadcrumbs.

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Prepare the vegetables (store them together in an airtight container in the fridge). 

  • Dice 1 capsicum and 1 zucchini. 
  • Always put the grated cheese under the breadcrumbs when you’re topping a pasta bake so the breadcrumbs get nice and golden and crispy.
  • Reserve your pasta water! Pasta water is filled with starch and salt which creates cloudy, murky water but is the key to a creamy sauce. Together the starch and the salt add flavour and depth to the pasta sauce as well as acting as a thickening agent.

Vegetables

  • Swap out the zucchini for eggplant.
  • Swap out the cos salad for a rocket salad. 

 

Protein

  • For a vegetarian option, simply leave out the chicken. 
Ingredients

Pasta bake

  • 500g chicken thighs (sliced into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 

 

  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 capsicum (diced)
  • 1 zucchini (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 300g pasta (we used penne)
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • 1 cup mozzarella (grated)
  • ½ cup parmesan (grated) 
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

 

Side salad

  • 1 head petite cos (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

 

Method

 

  1. Heat a large pan or sauté dish over medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, then add the chicken and dried oregano; season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked and nicely browned; remove the chicken from the dish and set aside.
  2. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add the onion, capsicum and zucchini. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are starting to turn golden brown and caramelise.
  3. Add the garlic, olives, capers, chilli flakes, coconut sugar and cook for a few minutes before adding the chicken back in with the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.
  4. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, pop the lid on and let the sauce simmer away while you cook the pasta.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and season generously with salt. Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions, once cooked reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  6. Remove the lid from the sauce and add in the pasta, along with the pasta water, tossing well to make sure all of the pasta is well coated in the sauce. 
  7. Top with the grated cheese and then the breadcrumbs. Pop under the grill in the oven for about 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese has melted. 
  8. To make the salad simply add the cos and cucumber to a salad bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss well.

 

Variations

Vegetables

  • Swap out the zucchini for eggplant.
  • Swap out the cos salad for a rocket salad. 

 

Protein

  • For a vegetarian option, simply leave out the chicken. 

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