If you’re looking for a flavorful and satisfying meal that the whole family will love, look no further than this Easy Italian Bake recipe. Packed with tender chicken, savory Italian sausage, vibrant bell peppers, and a rich tomato sauce, this dish is a true crowd-pleaser.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making this delicious Italian-inspired casserole. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for you. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get cooking!
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s make sure you have the necessary kitchen equipment on hand:
- Large deep dish or casserole dish
- Cutting board and knife
- Large pot for boiling pasta
- Colander for draining pasta
- Mixing bowl
- Oven for baking
- Cheese grater
Tips and Variations
To save time, you can use pre-cooked chicken or even rotisserie chicken for this recipe.
Feel free to experiment with different types of pasta to suit your taste and preference.
If you prefer a spicier version, try using hot Italian sausage instead of the mild variety.
For a vegetarian twist, you can omit the chicken and sausage and add more vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach.
To enhance the flavors, consider adding some dried herbs like basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning to the sauce mixture.
If you’re a cheese lover, you can sprinkle some grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza cheese for an extra cheesy kick.
Food and Drink Pairings
To complement the rich flavors of this Easy Italian Bake, consider serving it with a fresh green salad tossed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Additionally, a side of garlic bread or warm dinner rolls would be perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce. For a refreshing beverage, try pairing this hearty dish with a glass of Chianti or a sparkling Italian soda.
3 pounds chicken breasts (cooked & cut into bite-size pieces)
6 Italian sausage links
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (Hunt’s in the can works great!)
1 pound of pasta (penne, macaroni, shells, or any variety you prefer)
1 large package of pizza cheese
2 large bell peppers (red & green, cut into chunks)
Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius).
Cut up the cooked chicken breasts, onion, peppers, and Italian sausage into bite-size pieces.
Boil the pasta in a large pot according to the package instructions. Be sure not to overcook it. Once done, drain the pasta using a colander.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sausage, onion, peppers, chicken, and spaghetti sauce. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated.
Transfer the mixture to a large deep dish or casserole dish. If it doesn’t all fit in one dish, you can make a small side dish to freeze for a delicious lunch later.
Top the mixture heavily with pizza cheese, ensuring that all the ingredients are covered.
Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Once baked to perfection, remove the Easy Italian Bake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.