Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Penne Bake


Roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up the in-season asparagus! Recipe on

Today is the last day of March. Besides the fact that we’re about to be 1/4 of the way through 2014 and it feels as if it just began yesterday, we got SNOW yesterday. SNOW. Like the cold, white stuff that falls from the sky in the WINTER. Last time I checked, we were well into Spring. I know, you have such little sympathy for me :P

On another note, I bought a Kindle. Yup, I did it. It just seemed like the best investment. I went back and forth with the whole Nook, iPad mini, and Kindle dealio but I only wanted a device strictly for reading and no interruptions so iPad mini was definitely out of the picture so then Nook vs. Kindle. Well, I already am a devoted Amazon Prime member and B&N doesn’t seem like they’re doing too well sooo Kindle it was! Plus, 85% of you vouched for a Kindle Paperwhite. Oh, the best part was that it was on sale for $20 off at Best Buy so win-win all-around! And with that new purchase, I finished the Divergent series with Allegiant and basically bawled my eyes out in my office. I don’t understand why everyone thought that was a bad book or that it had a bad ending. I thought it was wonderful!

Do you get super attached to characters in books that you read (especially trilogies for me) that after you finish the series, you feel kinda empty inside? I wasn’t exactly bawling because of the ending or the events, but moreso for the fact that an amazing series has ended and now I have to find something else to replace it and I don’t want to because I loved the characters so much. Yeah, I’m totally crazy, aren’t I? I told myself I can’t read another dystopian trilogy for a while. I need time to mourn the end of the Divergent series (see? I’m totally crazy). I tried to find a happy/chick-lit book but all the ones I want to read, I’m saving for the plane ride, so I think I’m going to go all dark and suspenseful and read Gone Girl. I bought it last year and never started it because of SO many people saying how horribly it ended. I hate bad endings and I hate when there’s no closure so it kind of shyed me away from reading it. I heard that the author (Gillian Flynn) is re-writing the ending for the movie that’s coming out later this year because of how controversial it was. So anyway, I’ve started it and so far, it’s pretty engrossing. Like, I can’t put it down. I foresee myself finishing it this week, for sure. Have you read it? Thoughts?

Roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up the in-season asparagus! Recipe on

Roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up the in-season asparagus! Recipe on

Roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up the in-season asparagus! Recipe on

Alright so, despite weather woes, it’s asparagus season! What better than to roast them and throw them into a creamy penne casserole bake? This could totally be a vegetarian dish but I figured Jason would appreciate a bit of protein so I threw in some cubed chicken breasts but you can certainly omit it. I really like panko and Parmesan so I generously covered the top of the casserole with way too much but it was nice to have it dispersed throughout each bite of this dish. Haha, it did make it annoying, though, to scoop out the pasta. The panko went everywhere since it was such a heaping amount! Just don’t go as crazy as I did ;)

Anyway, grab the recipe below for this very Spring-y dish! Easy to put together and it makes a lot so you’ll have some delicious leftovers to look forward to!

Roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up the in-season asparagus! Recipe on

Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Penne Bake
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 10 mins

This roasted asparagus and chicken penne bake is a great way to use up your in-season asparagus! 

Servings: 6
  • 2 large bunches of asparagus, tough ends chopped off
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups penne pasta
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, or whatever % milk you like to use
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the topping
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a large baking sheet (you'll likely need two) lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, place asparagus into a single layer and drizzle olive oil over the asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I would say about 1/2 tsp. of each on each sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, cut asparagus into equal thirds.
  4. Turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  5. While asparagus is roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. You want to slightly undercook the pasta because you'll finish cooking it in the oven.
  6. In a large pot, brown the cubes of chicken with 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat, but don't cook them all the way through. Remove from pot then add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium then add in the milk and whisk in the flour. Let mixture thicken, about 3 minutes, then add the chicken back in along with the pasta and roasted asparagus. Toss the mixture together to coat all the ingredients with the creamy sauce, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and pour into a large 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  7. In a small bowl, toss panko and parmesan cheese with melted butter. Sprinkle generously on top of the casserole.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until pasta and chicken has been thoroughly cooked through and mixture is bubbling.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.



Posted on March 31, 2014

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  1. 03/31/2014 at 8:34 am

    This is totally my kind of dinner! Now all I need is for it to appear on my table around 5:30 tonight and we’re all set ;)

  2. 03/31/2014 at 8:37 am

    What a tasty way to enjoy some asparagus!

  3. 03/31/2014 at 8:52 am

    Perfect for lunch or dinner or BOTH!!

  4. 03/31/2014 at 8:57 am

    Loving this dinner idea! All of my favorite ingredients :)

  5. 03/31/2014 at 9:34 am

    Perfect for spring!

  6. 03/31/2014 at 9:45 am

    Definitely adding this to my weekly dinner rotation!!

  7. 03/31/2014 at 9:57 am

    I have had enough of the snow too, Julie. I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday (especially knowing that today would be 60 degrees) when it started to dump snow all over.

    Love this dish – it’s a must make! Cheese, chicken, and pasta – how can you go wrong?

  8. 03/31/2014 at 10:04 am

    This looks so good! I am SO sorry that it is snowing there- it is really just brutal…

  9. 03/31/2014 at 10:21 am

    Had nothing planned for dinner tonight.. This is going right on the menu! :)

  10. 03/31/2014 at 10:27 am

    this is getting made tonight! i have all the ingredients and it looks fast, easy and delish!!!

  11. 03/31/2014 at 10:36 am

    We had snow yesterday, too. I just stood at the window, looking out with a horrified look on my face. Where is spring?!

    This penne bake looks like a great way to encourage spring to show up!

  12. 03/31/2014 at 10:37 am

    At least snow makes a cozy day of reading (and eating a boatload of pasta) a little more acceptable, right? ;) Although I’d much rather be laying outside reading and eating pasta..ha. Divergent is next on my list!

  13. 03/31/2014 at 10:52 am

    Oh mammma!!!!! I want to dig into these face first!!

  14. 03/31/2014 at 11:23 am

    Ugh. The snow need to go. It’s snowing now and I pretty much just want to cry and scream. HA!
    This pasta is the perfect dinner! Need it tonight!

  15. 03/31/2014 at 11:28 am

    I know exactly what you are talking about when a series ends and you miss the characters. I STILL feel that way about Harry Potter, truth.
    Asparagus is one of my all time fave veggies, so I would gobble this right up! Glad you added that mandatory crunchy cheesy topping too :)

  16. Shelley
    03/31/2014 at 12:08 pm

    I read Gone Girl. It is interesting for sure. I wouldn’t say the ending is controversial but it is a little disturbing. Wonder how the movie will differ. Hope to hear what you think.

    • Julie
      03/31/2014 at 9:20 pm

      I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I’m almost done!

  17. Lindsey
    03/31/2014 at 12:10 pm

    This dish looks so amazing I only wish I didn’t already have plans for dinner tonight…that might have to change. Not that the food didn’t look good enough, those plates are absolutely gorgeous. Love them and this recipe. Thanks for all you do!

    • Julie
      03/31/2014 at 9:20 pm

      Aw thanks so much, Lindsey :)

  18. 03/31/2014 at 12:13 pm

    Hi, well I really want to make your recipe but I am responding to your question about Gone Girl. I LOVED that book. I know people say it’s dark and such, but it’s wonderfully written with a NEW plot idea. As an author, I am often disappointed with books because the characters aren’t developed enough or it feels like the author is slapping in the ending. This book is not like that. It’s a fantastic read.
    P.S. I just finished Gillian’s “Sharp Objects” also dark, but well written.
    Lorena Bathey

    • Julie
      03/31/2014 at 9:20 pm

      I’m glad to hear you’ve read other Gillian Flynn books because I think Sharp Objects is next on my reading list :) I really love how she writes and as weird as this sounds, the darkness of her books appeal to me! Thanks for letting me know, Lorena!

  19. 03/31/2014 at 12:56 pm

    Looks absolutely perfect. I’m so excited for asparagus season!

  20. 03/31/2014 at 1:24 pm

    I seriously cannot believe you have snow, that is utter madness! On another note, love my kindle reader, but have yet to read Gone Girl. I just finished Wonder, a book I never would have picked, but I really liked it. Isn’t it crazy how it could be snowing but it’s asparagus season, I think Spring is drunk.

    • Julie
      03/31/2014 at 1:46 pm

      LOL “I think Spring is drunk” cracked me up!!

  21. 03/31/2014 at 3:03 pm

    This looks delish and I just happened to grab some asparagus over the weekend so I think I’ll try it out!
    Also, I have actually read Gone Girl and I really enjoyed it. I liked the ending because I felt like it made sense for the characters, but I’ll be interested to hear what you thought once you finish. Enjoy!

    • Julie
      03/31/2014 at 9:19 pm

      Sounds like a great weekend plan, Sarah! Hope you enjoy it!

  22. 03/31/2014 at 6:05 pm

    Yep I’m totally that person that gets way into books and the characters and when they are over I feel lost. I want to contact the author and tell them to keep the story going! This pasta looks fabulous! I love asparagus, so perfect for spring!

  23. 03/31/2014 at 6:23 pm

    Love this combination! Yum!

  24. 03/31/2014 at 7:30 pm

    Love this comforting bake for a quick and delicious weeknight meal!

  25. 03/31/2014 at 8:35 pm

    This is my kind of comfort food! I love spring asparagus!

  26. 04/01/2014 at 10:18 am

    Okay, I am going to HAVE to make this for lunch! Simple and perfect comfort food. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie
      04/01/2014 at 5:08 pm

      Hope you enjoyed this, Yolanda!

  27. 04/01/2014 at 10:49 am

    Gonna need you to hold me. Coo? Coo.

  28. CC
    04/01/2014 at 1:08 pm

    This looks sooo tasty and I can’t wait to try it out! As for Gone Girl, I LOVED the book – I finished it in 3 days. Prior to reading the book, I also heard the ending was disappointing but I actually think thats what made the book so enthralling!

    I am very disappointed to learn that the movie wll have a different ending (I HATE when movies arent true to the book).

    Enjoy reading the book and I cant wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    P.S. I just started reading Sharp Objects and am enjoying it very much so far.

    • Julie
      04/01/2014 at 5:10 pm

      I finished reading Gone Girl last night. I was fairly disappointed in the ending. I really was holding out and hoping I didn’t think like the others did but man, what an amazing book from beginning to middle and such a bad ending! :( I must say, though, I loved how dark and suspenseful and thrilling it was, but I just wish the book didn’t end the way it did.

  29. 04/01/2014 at 5:09 pm

    Over the top deliciousness!

  30. 04/01/2014 at 9:46 pm

    Love this springy dish! You will sooooo love Gone Girl! I could not put it down. I love her style of writing. I actually read her two other books too. Very dark, but so good!

  31. Ash
    04/02/2014 at 4:47 am

    Love the recipe and your blog! Just wanted to quickly comment on your thoughts about Divergent – man what an ending! I really felt empty and pretty sad inside (so much so that I lost my appetite for the two days afterwards!!) But one very cheesy quote that keeps reminding me of Tobias/Tris was ‘don’t cry because its over, smile because it happens’ and despite the shocking ending I’m glad she stayed true to her character. If you read this, thanks :)

    • Julie
      04/02/2014 at 8:29 am

      Aww, that quote is so true!

  32. 04/02/2014 at 6:34 pm

    Julie, I love this pasta dish! It’s just the pasta dish we need this time of year. I’m with you about reading Gone Girl (I’m so curious but many have said not to even invest my time reading it.) My apologies for missing this post earlier. I was away Monday and Tuesday. Thanks for sharing. Pinning! xo

  33. Jeanne
    04/11/2014 at 4:42 pm

    Made this last weekend and we all thought it was delicious but a bit dry. Next time I will double the white sauce. Thanks for sharing this yummy dish.

    • Julie
      04/12/2014 at 11:39 am

      Glad to hear this, Jeanne! Thanks for the feedback.

  34. Amy
    10/05/2014 at 12:25 am

    I read your little opening article & find it ironic how it’s 7 months later & now the cool weather has now started kicking in & you were waiting for it to end when you posted this recipe. This recipe showed up on my Pinterest page. It looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try it! Just curious what you thought of the Gone Girl book ending? I too was pissed & left hanging! Ironically the movie opens this Fri. I will see it, because I heard the author definitely changed the ending for the movie. Looking forward to it!

    • Julie
      10/05/2014 at 2:12 pm

      Wow, that’s crazy this was 7 months ago. It totally didn’t feel like it!! I hated the Gone Girl ending – hated it! I can’t wait to see the movie – I heard it was really good and the ending was slightly different but it worked a lot better!

  35. Abigail
    08/08/2016 at 12:13 pm

    Sounds and looks absolutely delicious. I think I’ll make this for dinner tonight!

  36. Gaby Dalkin
    04/11/2017 at 5:48 pm

    Love asparagus season! This combo sounds AMAZING!

  37. Gaby Dalkin
    04/26/2017 at 1:30 pm

    What a tasty looking dish! Definitely want to try this!

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