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Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Bake

Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Bake by Picky Palate

This was such a great weeknight dinner last week. I call it our Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Bake. It’s surely not a looker in photographs, but definitely a no-stress, whip up in no time dinner.

All you’ll need is some spaghetti, pesto, milk, chicken and mozzarella cheese to make this dish. Oh and it’s green, so it’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope you enjoy!

spaghetti and pesto

I used the Barilla Whole Grain Spaghetti noodles and the Trader Joe’s prepared pesto, but use whatever you can find at your grocery store.


Pasta shot with my hubby ๐Ÿ™‚

preparing spaghetti

Once your pasta is cooked, add your pesto, milk, chicken and seasonings.


Give a nice stir.



Transfer half the spaghetti into your baking dish.



I used these fun Ciliegine mozzarella cheese balls for the middle of the bake, but feel free to use shredded mozzarella cheese as a substitute.

cheese 2

Top with your remaining spaghetti then top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Now, you’re ready to bake!

Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Bake by Picky Palate


Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Bake


  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 1 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water. Place noodles back into pot. Add pesto, milk, chicken, salt, garlic salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Transfer half of the spaghetti to baking dish then add mozzarella balls. Add remaining spaghetti then top with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Makes 8 Servings

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40 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    Tieghan says:

    I wish we had Trader Joes in Colorado! I love this store. This pasta looks so cheesy and good! Perfect Friday night dinner!

  2. 2
    Kay says:

    I have a jar of that TJ’s pesto at home so this is perfect!

  3. 3

    Pesto? And MOZZARELLA BALLS? Cool ingredients make me so happy. Also, Friday makes me happy.

  4. 4
    Maria says:

    Love this pasta bake!

  5. 5

    Oh girl, those mozzarella balls push this over the top!!

  6. 6
  7. 7

    Pesto makes me feel summer is here and that’s a good thing!

  8. 8
    marla says:

    Wow! This pasta bake looks great Jenny ~ Love the cheese ‘n pesto combo!

  9. 9

    So DELISH! Love the thought of putting pesto instead of the usual red sauce. Thank you for sharing this amazing dish! (=

  10. 10

    I have some pesto in the freezer and this is the perfect use for it. Thanks, Jenny!

  11. 11

    Great looking pasta! Now I can’t wait for summer and all of the fresh basil!

  12. 12

    That looks awesome! I will have to make that soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 13

    Pesto just says Spring! to me. I love the flavor. And somehow it makes the pasta feel lighter, even when it’s heavy with cheese.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    I think the plate looks wonderful girl! The mozzarella cheese balls are so fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 15

    i love how easy this is to put together! baking it is super fun too because it’s kind of like forgetting about it for a while and then you smell it coming from the oven and can’t wait for dinner! haha

  16. 16
    Niki says:

    This looks great! Can you prepare everything in advance and then bake it off at the last minute? How about freezing?

  17. 17
    Melissa says:

    Oh I’ve never thought to use mozzarella balls in a pasta bake! GREAT idea! I will be making this for sure this week. Seems like a great weeknight meal ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 18

    Fantastic idea, Jenny! I’ll be trying this soon!

  19. 19

    […] 3/18 ~ There is nothing like a good pasta bake and this Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti from Picky Palate looks […]

  20. 20
    Kim B says:

    This looks delicious Jenny! Can’t wait to try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 21
    Shelly B. says:

    Hello, Just wanted to drop a note to say this dish was so good…I made it for dinner last night and it was a hit!

    Thank you for your creativitiy!

  22. 22
    Crystal says:

    Loved it! Added sun-dried tomatoes also from Trader Joe’s. Do yourself a favor and try it out, really adds wonderful flavor!

  23. 23

    Made this just the other night using 100% whole wheat pasta, roasted chicken and shredded mozzarella (what I had on hand). My girls and husband loved it and told me it was a “definite make again.” Thanks Jenny!

  24. 24

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  25. 25

    […] Cheesy pesto chicken bake. ย I will be making my own pesto in the Vitamix. ย Hope it turns out […]

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    […] Sunday: Turkey Sloppy JoesMonday: Chili Cheese BurritosTuesday: Black and Pinto Bean Chicken ChiliWednesday: Stuffed Shells (from the freezer) or Cheesy Tuna PastaThursday: Date nightFriday: Cheesy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti […]

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    […] Preparation Read full directions on Picky Palate […]

Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!