Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake Recipe

Introduction to Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake

The Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake is a dish that epitomizes comfort food, combining tender chicken, creamy Alfredo sauce, and a trio of melted cheeses, all baked to perfection. The origins of Alfredo sauce trace back to Rome in the early 20th century, created by Alfredo di Lelio who aimed to please his pregnant wife with a dish that was both rich in flavor and easy on the stomach. His simple concoction of butter and Parmesan cheese over pasta became an instant hit, later evolving into the creamier version popular in the United States today.

The popularity of the Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake has soared, thanks to its comforting nature and versatility. It’s a dish that appeals to all ages, perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and special occasions alike. The combination of creamy sauce, juicy chicken, and gooey cheese, all layered with pasta, creates a symphony of flavors and textures that is hard to resist.

The Perfect Ingredients

Creating the ultimate Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake starts with selecting the perfect ingredients. The cheeses—mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta—each play a crucial role. Mozzarella is beloved for its meltability and mild flavor, making it perfect for achieving that desirable cheesy pull. Parmesan adds a nutty, salty depth that enhances the overall flavor profile, while ricotta introduces a creamy texture and richness that balances the dish.

Choosing the right chicken is essential for ensuring the bake is hearty and satisfying. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are the most popular choices, with thighs offering a juicier and more flavorful option due to their higher fat content.

When it comes to Alfredo sauce, the debate between homemade vs. store-bought is ongoing. Homemade sauce, with its fresh cream, butter, and Parmesan, offers a depth of flavor and richness that canned versions struggle to match. However, quality store-bought Alfredo sauce can serve as a convenient and tasty alternative for those pressed for time.

Finally, the pasta selection—whether penne or elbow macaroni—is more than just a matter of preference. These shapes are ideal for holding onto the creamy sauce, ensuring every bite is as flavorful as the last. Penne offers a traditional feel, while elbow macaroni nods to the comfort of home-cooked meals, making either a great choice for this beloved bake.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Creating a Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake that’s both delicious and visually appealing requires following a few key steps. Here’s how to ensure your dish turns out perfectly every time.

Preparing the Pasta

Begin by cooking your pasta of choice—penne or elbow macaroni—according to the package instructions, but aim for al dente. This means the pasta should be cooked through but still firm to the bite. Remember, the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so avoiding over-boiling at this stage is crucial to prevent a mushy texture in the final dish.

Mixing the Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and drained pasta with the Alfredo sauce, ensuring each piece is well-coated. To this, add cooked, shredded chicken, a generous amount of shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and spoonfuls of ricotta cheese. If you’re making your Alfredo sauce from scratch, now is the time to gently fold it into the mix to avoid breaking down the ricotta too much.

Layering the Bake

Transfer half of the pasta mixture into a greased baking dish, creating an even layer. Sprinkle additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over this layer before adding the remaining pasta mixture on top. Finish with a final layer of both cheeses to ensure a gooey, golden crust forms while baking.

Baking Tips for the Perfect Crust

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the dish uncovered for about 25-30 minutes. The key to a perfect crust is to bake until the cheese is bubbly and begins to brown. For an extra golden top, broil the bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.

Customizations and Variations

The Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake is wonderfully versatile, allowing for numerous customizations and variations to suit different dietary needs and flavor preferences.


Vegetarian Options

Easily adapt this dish for vegetarians by substituting the chicken with a mix of sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and artichokes. These vegetables not only add a variety of textures but also enrich the dish with their distinct flavors.

Gluten-Free Adaptations

Opt for gluten-free pasta to make this dish celiac-friendly. Many brands offer gluten-free versions of penne and elbow macaroni that work well in bakes.

Adding Vegetables for a Nutritional Boost

Incorporate vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes to add color, nutrition, and extra flavor. Blanching broccoli or roasting bell peppers before adding them to the bake can enhance their taste and texture.

Spicing up with Additional Seasonings

Don’t hesitate to experiment with seasonings to tailor the bake to your taste. Crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, or a dash of nutmeg can elevate the flavors. Fresh herbs like basil or parsley sprinkled on top before serving add a burst of freshness and color.


  • Can I make Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the bake up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it goes straight from fridge to oven.
  • Freezing and reheating tips To freeze, prepare the bake without cooking, wrap tightly, and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as directed. For reheating leftovers, cover with foil and warm in a 350°F oven until heated through.
  • Substitutes for ricotta cheese Cottage cheese or mascarpone can be used as substitutes for ricotta. Cottage cheese will give a similar texture, while mascarpone will add a creamier, richer flavor.
  • Best side dishes to serve Light side dishes complement this hearty bake well. Consider a crisp green salad, steamed green beans, or garlic bread.

Advanced Cooking Tips

Achieving the perfect creamy texture For a creamy texture, ensure your Alfredo sauce is rich and not too thick. Adding a bit of pasta water can help adjust the consistency.

Secrets to a flavorful Alfredo sauce Use fresh garlic, high-quality Parmesan cheese, and real butter. Simmering these ingredients slowly will develop a deeper flavor.

Tips for cooking chicken to perfection Season the chicken well and cook until just done to avoid dryness. Slightly undercooking the chicken before adding it to the bake allows it to finish cooking in the oven, keeping it moist.

Pairing with Wines and Sides

Best wines to complement Alfredo dishes A crisp, acidic white wine like Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay balances the richness of Alfredo sauce. For red wine lovers, a light Pinot Noir can complement the dish without overwhelming it.

Side dishes that elevate the meal

  • Roasted vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts roasted with olive oil and garlic pair beautifully with the creamy pasta.
  • Salad: A simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette adds a refreshing contrast to the rich bake.
  • Bread: Garlic bread or a crusty baguette serves as the perfect vehicle for mopping up any remaining sauce.

These pairings and side dishes not only complement the flavors of the Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake but also turn a simple pasta dish into a well-rounded meal.

Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake Recipe

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake. A creamy, cheesy, and hearty dish that combines tender chicken, rich Alfredo sauce, and a blend of mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta cheeses, all baked to golden perfection. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or impressing guests at your next gathering.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian-American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 650 kcal


  • 9x13 inch baking dish
  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Mixing bowl
  • Aluminum foil (for storage/freezing)


  • 1 16-oz package penne or elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 1 22-oz jar Alfredo sauce (or homemade equivalent)
  • 1 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  • Mix ingredients: In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce, sour cream, ricotta cheese, minced garlic, cooked chicken, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Fold in the cooked pasta until evenly coated.
  • Assemble the bake: Transfer half of the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with one cup of mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining pasta mixture and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. For a crispier top, broil for an additional 2-3 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.
  • Serve warm, garnished with extra parsley if desired.


  • Make Ahead: Assemble the bake up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.
  • Freezing: Prepare the bake without baking, cover tightly with foil, and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
  • Substitutions: For a vegetarian version, replace chicken with roasted vegetables. Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free dish.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Keyword Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake, Cheesy Pasta Dish, Chicken Pasta Bake, Creamy Alfredo Casserole