One Dish Dinners
I am obsessed with one dish dinners. I mean, what mom out there isn’t?! Anytime where I have the ability to make a great meal and have very little clean up, I’ll take it! Especially when that dinner is something everyone in my family will eat and enjoy. And that is just part of what makes this chicken broccoli alfredo lasagna fantastic…
So yes, this recipe is easy to make and easy to clean up afterward but the part that should really catch your eye is that everyone in our family loves it. It has every component that appeals to kids and all of the things that parents strive for. Time to assess this chicken broccoli alfredo lasagna.
There is something about any pasta dish that almost all kids love. I guess the neutral taste and the soft texture makes it appealing. I know that even my little picky eater who turns her nose up at everything will still eat any pasta dish that is placed in front of her.
Another way to make sure kids will eat pasta is to let them pick the shape. While lasagna is typically made with long, wide noodles, that is not the case in this dish. In fact, I chose penne mainly because my kids love it. I have found that the smaller, shorter shaped pastas are easier for kids to stab with a fork and put in their mouths in one bite. A long lasagna noodle requires cutting and, while that may not seem hard to an adult (cutting a noodle is pretty easy….) to a kid, that can be quite the challenge. They may not like lasagna just because of that noodle hurdle.
This recipe has penne (also known as pasta fingers in out house…I’ll let you guess why) but you can really make it with any shape noodle. Rotini, pasta wheels or even pasta shaped tennis racquets (which I saw in the store the other day) would work. Let your kids choose the shape and get them involved in the meal. When kids are part of the cooking, they are more likely to eat the food too!
Cheese is another one of those guaranteed pleasers. I mean, what kid doesn’t love cheese?! And what is alfredo sauce made of? Cheese! So this dish has pasta which your kids can choose and cheese? As you can see, it will already be a total kid win!
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
Of course, getting kids to eat enough protein can be a challenge. I am constantly trying to sneak beans or nuts into my kids food to get them to eat any kind of healthy protein. However, there is my favorite old standby- chicken!
Just like pasta and alfredo sauce, chicken is one of those foods that kids tend to find acceptable. Kids love eating white foods after all! So shredded chicken just makes sense to add to this dish.
The first few times I made this recipe, not only did I shred the chicken but I chopped it up so small that it was practically unrecognizable. I have a super picky eater and sometimes she rejects chicken. Making the chicken so small that is was essentially part of the pasta definitely helped me out. The lengths a mom will go to in order to ensure their kids are eating healthily…
While you can choose to cook a few plain chicken breasts and then shred them (or mince them!) to add into the chicken alfredo lasagna, you can also purchase a grocery store, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Not only do rotisserie chickens taste fantastic but they also make dinner so easy! Just pull the meat off and toss it into the dish- done and done!
You can opt to use ground beef instead of chicken which I have done several times. While the taste is still great, my kids see the “brown” and get “scared”. If your kids aren’t as picky as mine, definitely give this a try!
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Lasagna
Now comes the hard ingredient: broccoli. I am lucky in the sense that both of my kids will eat broccoli happily but I am very aware that many parents may struggle to get a healthy green veggie into their kids mouth (trust me, we have many of those struggles with other foods!). That is why this chicken broccoli alfredo lasagna recipe comes with a few tricks that have worked for us in the past.
- Point out that the broccoli is covered in cheese sauce or cheese ‘dip’ (kids love to dip foods!)
- Pretend that chicken and broccoli are best friends and have to stay together, that means going into your mouth in one bite!
- Pretend the broccoli are little trees and tell your kids they are eating the forest
- If they have a friend who loves broccoli, remind them how it is their friends favorite so maybe they would like it too
Hopefully some of these tips work because the broccoli in this recipe is fantastic. If you are still struggling, substitute the broccoli with a veggie your kids will eat (Brussel sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, cauliflower, corn or just peas will all work great!).
Making Chicken Lasagna Alfredo
Putting this whole meal together is so simple that it only takes about ten minutes to whip up. Everything is tossed in a casserole dish and then popped into the oven. While it bakes, you can play with your kids, prep the next day’s lunch boxes, clean or just relax!
Another plus is that you can fully make this meal and then wrap it tightly to store in the freezer. Pull it out later when you need a quick dinner and simply reheat it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. The lasagna will be fresh and ready to serve. I have made huge batches of this recipe, frozen several trays and then had dinners ready for weeks!
This broccoli chicken lasagna is also a perfect party food since you can prepare it ahead of time in large quantities. When you are ready to serve dinner, simply place the big casserole dish on the table and let everyone dig in. It doesn’t get any easier to entertain guests than just serving a delicious one pot dinner!
This complete meal has it all- protein, veggies, delicious cheese sauce and pasta. It will fill you up and make everyone in your family smile. It is also perfect for serving at a party as one batch makes a nice big dish! It really doesn’t get any better than this…
Broccoli Chicken Lasagna Alfredo Recipe Ingredients
- Penne Pasta
- Cooked Shredded Chicken
- Broccoli head
- Parmesan cheese
- White sharp cheddar cheese
- Fresh mozzarella
- breadcrumbs (optional)
- Newman’s alfredo sauce (roasted garlic)
More Simple Dinner Recipes
A creamy, flavorful alfredo sauce covers the pasta, chicken and broccoli in this easy to make, one pan casserole that is perfect for weeknight dinners, parties or when you are just craving a comfort meal.
- 1 box (13.25oz) Penne Pasta (cooked per package directions)
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (about 2 chicken breasts)
- 1 head of broccoli (chopped)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup white sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup milk
- Fresh Mozzarella
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- 1 jar (15oz) Newman’s Alfredo Sauce (Roasted Garlic)
- Preheat oven to 400(F) degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. Layer the bottom of prepared pan with about half of cooked pasta, shredded chicken and chopped broccoli.
- Spread half of the parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, milk and Alfredo sauce on top. Add the remaining pasta, chicken, and broccoli followed by the remaining cheese, milk and Alfredo.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes of until the top is golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Use whole wheat pasta or veggie pasta noodles to add a little extra nutrition
- Look for lower fat alfredo sauce to cut back on the calories
- Pre this dish and then wrap it well and place it in the freezer. Take it out and bake for 5 more minutes than directed whenever you are ready! This will keep in the freezer for up to two months
- This will keep in the fridge, wrapped well, for one week