Baking | Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake … & a Broccoli salad #comfortfood

“From morning till night, sounds drift from the kitchen, most of them familiar and comforting. On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it; it dries the wet sock, it cools the hot little brain.”

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake … this was one of those meals made on the trot, rummaging through the fridge, cleaning out whatever I could use. Then came the daughters’ call to her brother,  “Whatever she is making smells REALLY good“. One fork dug deep in later, “Man, this is GOOD! Wow!”

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake It turned out to be an indulgent, comforting meal in a bowl for days like we are experiencing. Cold Cold Cold. Temperatures nearly dipping into the freezer, 1-2° C range, no central heating, hands as cold as ice. Cooking feels good, stirring a pot over a warm fire quite comforting. Chopping is ugh; then again, there needs to be a means to the end I guess. The upside? Loads of fresh winter vegetables. L O A D S!

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake I’ve made the most of mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli this season. Mushrooms are dicey though as the older teen cannot stand them, so I need to sneak them in. This time they hid under some lovely garlic butter and olive oil, then disappeared deep into Worcestershire sauce! Life does get so delicious sometimes….

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake This was one of those times in the kitchen when I felt like The Pioneer Woman or then the Domestic Goddess. Every pat of  butter, every dribble of cream seemed justified in this incessantly cold weather. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful the kitchen smelt … warm, garlicky, buttery and oh-so-comforting! Sometimes that little bit of extra fat makes life so much more worthwhile.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake 7The mushrooms were kept veggie company with bell peppers and garlic greens. I love the added flavour garlic greens lend to a dish. Mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce also make for great pairing. I didn’t know that but tasting en-route endorsed it. For that matter rosemary, buttah and chicken make for great bedfellows too.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake The creamy chicken was meant to be served over pasta, but the kids woke up really late. That meant a late lunch so I figured I could bake it altogether briefly. It’s wonderful how the creamy sauce got into every little crevice of the pasta. A quick grating of mozzarella and a handsome dash of smoked paprika {from Juberfam & Mittal; excellent stuff} made us all sing out loud.

Juberfam & Mittal gourmet products  This is a good one bowl meal, warming, filling, indulgent with some oven roasted potato wedges on the side. Oh, and a warm broccoli salad too. Crisp, full of flavour and really nice. Thankfully, broccoli has ended the battle of the greens with the kids! They know 6-7 florets are ‘mandatory‘; now quite enjoy it. I am yet to win the battle of the cauliflower!

Broccoli SaladThe salad plate is a classic white one from Urban Dazzle. It’s reasonably priced and one that I really really like. Aesthetically designed, slightly tilted and handy to have on hand, it beautifully doubled up as a cake platter on my recent Tea Rose Fondant Cake.

Tea Rose Fondant Cake It’s got a nice rounded base which tends to hold any extra dressing juices. Keeps the salad from getting soggy.

Broccoli Salad The tilt towards the front gives it a good feel. I served a cold potato buttermilk salad in it a few days ago. That is one of our favourites and a great way to enjoy spuds! YUM!

Cold potato salad

Before I go on to the recipe, I’d like to thank Turmeric n Spice for having me over in her series “Inspiration form the Blogging Community“. I truly enjoyed being there.

[print_this]Recipe: Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake your picture

Summary: Creamy, cheesy, indulgent and comforting, this is a great one bowl meal for cold winter days. Make ahead and bake just before serving. Maybe you can do a broccoli salad and oven baked wedges alongside. Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra vigin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced fine
  • 750g chicken thigh tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bell peppers {1red/1yellow}, chopped fine
  • 4-5 garlic greens, chopped fine with stalks
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 cups plain milk
  • 200ml low fat cream {or half & half}
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • 350g fusilli, cooked al dente
  • 100g mozzarella, grated
  • 1tsp smoked sweet paprika {from Juberfam & Mittal}


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the chili flakes, dried rosemary and garlic. Saute until garlic turns light golden and fragrant.
  2. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle a little salt and saute over high heat until mushrooms turn golden brown and give up all their moisture. Add the Worcestershire sauce and mix well; then add the chicken tenders. Season with salt and pepper and saute over high heat until lightly browned.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour, mix to coat chicken pieces, and then pour in the milk. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer, add the cream and grated cheddar and simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the chopped bell peppers and garlic greens, taste and adjust seasoning, then stir in the cooked pasta. 
  6. Divide the pasta and chicken mixture into serving dishes, casseroles etc, top with grated mozzarella, sprinkle over smoked paprika and some more garlic greens if you like.
  7. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes, allow to stand for 10 minutes and serve.

Recipe: Simple Broccoli Salad your picture

Summary: Crisp, flavourful brocolli salad.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1-2 tsp salt and 4-5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced fine
  • 1-2 tbsp pickled red & green peppers {or jalapenos}, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Sea salt & pepper


  1. Blanch the florets in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain well and toss in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Reserve.
  2. Dressing
  3. Heat remaining olive oil in small saucepan, add the garlic and sliced pickled peppers. Simmer until the garlic is fragrant and light golden.
  4. Add the sesame seeds and simmer until they turn light brown and begin popping.
  5. Pour over broccoli, toss, grind pepper over it, throw in some sea salt and serve warm or at room temperature.


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  • This looks absolutely wonderful. Definitely the ultimate in comfort food.

  • 4 years ago

    A wonderful pasta bake and lovely salad! My kind of food.



  • 4 years ago

    I have been hibernating in these -10C weather. It is a winter wonderland out there turning to ice. This is indeed a comforting dish Deeba and one I could easily relish with gusto!

  • 4 years ago

    Oh so yummy. Butter makes everything better. is a fact. I want to eat that broccoli salad right now Deeba.

    • 4 years ago

      Ja … doesn’t butter make the world go ’round’?. xoxo

  • Bedobani
    4 years ago

    Yes cheesy pasta is comforting indeed in times like this ! It really looks yum.I’m being a little greedy here, could you post the recipe for the cold potato buttermilk salad ? My dad loves potato and i would love to make a different salad for him. That is surely one thing we get readily throughout the year! Thanks.

    • 4 years ago

      Thank you. Will post that soon!

      • preeti
        4 years ago

        This is simply awesome!
        Would be great if you could share the cold potato salad recipe. My son loves potatoes and he’d be too excited with this. Thank you!

      • Ifrah
        3 years ago

        Can you please post the recipe for the cold potato salad? It looks amazing!! *drools*

  • There is no sign of winter here in Bangalore, I really long for those cold cold chilly winter evening or early mornings, when steeping out of the bed is the toughest task!
    The creamy chicken pasta is the best to confront those cold days :))

  • There is no sign of winter here in Bangalore, i so miss those chilly cold mornings when its a huge task to get out the bed. This creamy chicken pasta is the best way to face the cold cold days. As for the salad, I can never get tired of eating them!

  • 4 years ago

    Love that broccoli salad, n it can be made in a jiffy.
    And that chicken pasta … Drooling ….

  • 4 years ago

    Gosh, all of it looks so darn good! I love the pasta casserole – creamy mushroom sauce kicked up with Worcestershire sounds fabulous and I love the broccoli… a really grea meal! And that chicken salad looks whoa so good! All of it marvelous Sistah!

  • 4 years ago

    What a lovely combination…

  • whenever the weather is cold, all i want it a comfort food in bowl, something hearty, cheesy warm and this pasta is one of those dishes..i loved how your pantry is stocked with so many variety of things- yum yum yum 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    Deeba, this is pure comfort food. Looks (and sounds amazing). MY stepmom use to make a creamy chicken bake that was similar but she’d mix the broccoli in with it. I like the way you serve them side by side!

    Happy New Year to you as well! xo

  • 4 years ago

    i really like your chicken pasta=)

  • Not sure what is more yummy. Your food, the utensils or the pictures you take. The pasta looks so hearty for a cold winters evening. Love it 🙂

  • Emma
    4 years ago

    Wow. This looks delicious. I will be making this at home very soon. Please check out the food blog I have just started Thanks!

  • Anu
    7 months ago

    hello.. could you let me know where you have bought the blue bakeware dish from ?

    • 7 months ago

      I bought the blue baking dish from Aldi in Sydney.

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