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Chicken Pasta Bake with Feta and Peas

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 541kcal
Author Eat Love Eat

Ingredients

  • 300 g (3 cups) wholewheat penne or pasta of choice
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into small strips
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 50 g (3 tablespoons) butter
  • 50 g (3 tablespoons) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 600 ml (2 1/2 cups) milk
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 100 g (2 large handfuls) baby spinach roughly chopped
  • 250 g (2 cups) frozen peas
  • 200 g (7 ounces) feta cheese
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) extra mature cheddar cheese grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 15 g (1/4 cup) panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Place a frying pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil. Add the shallots along with a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. 
  • Add the chicken strips, the mixed herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is white but not fully cooked through. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in salted water for a couple of minutes less than the package instructions suggest.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour and onion powder to make a roux. Cook for 2 minutes to get rid of any raw flour taste. Gradually add the milk to make a smooth sauce. Stir in the dijon mustard and cook until the sauce thickens (it won't be super thick, but will coat the back of a spoon).
  • Crumble the feta into the sauce and grate in the cheddar. Stir to combine but bear in mind that the feta won't melt - that's ok! Season to taste but remember that the cheese is quite salty. 
  • Drain the pasta and return to the pan it cooked in (or a large bowl). Add the cooked chicken and shallots, sauce, spinach and frozen peas (no need to defrost). Stir well to combine. Season with a good grating of fresh nutmeg. 
  • Pour the pasta mixture into a large baking dish (about 9"x13"). Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs over the top and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling. 

Notes

This chicken pasta bake reheats really nicely - add a splash of water to the baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 180C for about 30 minutes (from fridge-cold) until piping hot. It also heats up pretty well in the microwave (great for work lunches!)