This delicious Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake recipe gets its great flavor from sliced leeks, parmesan cheese, dijon, and a touch of lemon juice. It’s a lightened up creamy chicken pasta bake, made with whole wheat penne, that’s sure to be a hit!
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It’s officially leek season, at least here in Minnesota! Leeks have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that’s, of course, reminiscent of onions. Combined with salty parmesan, dijon, lemon, and thyme, they really shine in this dish.
The leek-based sauce in this recipe tastes even better when it’s drizzled over whole wheat penne and diced chicken. Mmmmm. Aren’t you excited to make it?!
But for real, this Healthy Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake recipe is so easy and ultra flavorful. It’s big enough to feed the whole family, but you can also make it for just 1-2 people and eat the leftovers for lunch!
Overall, chicken leek pasta is a winner. And I hope you like it as much as I do!!
How to Make Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake
- Cook the diced chicken in a skillet for ~3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a clean plate. While that’s cooking, boil the pasta.
- In the same skillet, cook the sliced leeks and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add the milk or cream, dijon, lemon, thyme, and cheese.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken. Stir until coated.
- Put the cooked pasta in a greased 8×8 baking dish.
- Add the chicken and leek mixture to the dish, stir, and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for ~20 minutes.
Looking for another veggie + chicken recipe like this Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake? Check out the Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken while you’re here!
To make the best possible Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake, follow my tips for prepping, storing, and making it in advance:
- To prevent the pasta from getting too mushy, cook it for 3/4 of the recommended time. For example, if the package says to boil it for 8 minutes, do it for 6 instead. It will finish cooking when you put the pasta bake in the oven.
- To make this Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake in advance, follow the steps up until putting it in the oven. At this point, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you want to put it in the oven and eat!
- Leftovers can last for 3-5 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.
- Ingredient substitutions:
- You can use milk, half and half, or cream in this recipe. The higher the fat content of the milk you use, the creamier the sauce will be.
- I used whole wheat penne pasta for some extra fiber, but you can use regular or gluten free pasta if needed.
More Recipes with Leeks
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Healthy Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake
- 2 cups whole wheat penne pasta - dry
- 2 tsp olive oil - divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into cubes
- Salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 2 leeks - light green and white part only, sliced into half-moons and cleaned in a bowl of water
- 2 cloves garlic - pressed or minced
- 1 cup milk - can sub half and half or cream
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 lemon - juiced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 cup parmesan cheese - freshly grated and divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8" baking pan and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but only for 3/4 of the recommended time (i.e. for 8 minutes, cook for 6). Drain and reserve for later.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cubed chicken and cook for 7-9 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the chicken is cooked through. Be sure to season the chicken with salt and pepper during the cooking process. Transfer to a clean plate.
- In the same skillet, heat the rest of the olive oil and add the sliced leeks and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until tender. Add the chicken, milk, dijon, lemon juice, thyme, and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta to the greased pan. Pour the leek and chicken mixture on top, making sure to pour in the liquid from the skillet, and stir. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy warm!
- To make this in advance, follow steps up until putting it in the oven. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you want to cook it (up to 24 hours).
- Leftovers can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in a skillet, with about a tablespoon of olive oil, for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
Happy February! – Lizzie
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