Kavey’s Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake

Do you ever envisage a new dish in your head, hoping it will be as delicious as you imagine? And when you make it, it’s even better? I can’t pretend it’s something that happens all the time – more often there are tweaks to be made… or rarely, the idea is quietly binned and never mentioned again – but now and again success strikes and makes me insufferably chuffed with myself.

So it was with this Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake.

Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake

In my mind were a number of recipes we enjoy, from macaroni cheese to chicken savoyarde to the penne al forno at my local Italian.

Once the idea for my new dish popped into my head, all we needed was to enjoy a roast chicken dinner (oh, the hardship) and follow that, as usual, by stripping the leftover meat off the carcass and popping the remaining skin, bones and tendons into the slow cooker with water overnight to make stock.

 

5 from 7 votes

Kavey's Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 250 g dried macaroni-style pasta
  • 50 g white breadcrumbs (we used Panko)
  • 300 g leftover roast chicken (chopped small)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 600 ml chicken stock (slightly warmed)
  • 175 ml double cream
  • 50 g parmesan or other strong hard cheese (grated)
  • 2 tsp French mustard
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon
  • salt
  • pepper

Recipe Notes

For the pasta, choose any of the small hollow tube shapes. We chose chifferi rigati by De Cecco, which are short ridged elbow-shaped tubes.

We like the tarragon flavour to be understated. If you like it strong, add an extra teaspoon or two of dried tarragon.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C (390F).

  • Put the pasta on to cook. When ready, drain, rinse and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Keep the heat low to medium, to avoid browning.

  • Add the chicken stock and cream and stir thoroughly.

  • Add the cheese, mustard and tarragon. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • Cook for a further 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens a little.

  • Once the sauce is ready, add the chicken and drained pasta and stir thoroughly.

  • Transfer into an oven-proof casserole dish.

  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the surface.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crumbs on top are golden brown.

Serve hot with a crispy green salad.

Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Do let me know how you like it!

Other delicious and simple recipes from Kavey Eats:

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Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake - this super easy recipe is an utterly delicious way to make the most of leftover roast chicken meat, both white and brown meat can be used and it's had a huge thumbs up from everyone who's made it so far. Give it a try and do let me know how you like it!

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
44 Comments to "Kavey’s Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake"

  1. Kathryn

    One of my friends used to make something similar and it was so delicious. I haven’t eaten it for ages but I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and knock this version up!

    Reply
  2. Franglais kitchen, Nazima

    Chicken and Tarragon go so well together, and I am a great mac cheese fan so this is right up my street, perfect comfort food and a good way to use roast chicken leftovers. Love the crispy topping too – anything with breadcrumbs suits me just fine! I have some little le creuset pots waiting for a good use and I think this will be one to try out.

    Reply
  3. Erin

    made this this evening for dinner, big success!
    The whole family absolutely loved it, so delicious, and a perfect way to use up cooked chicken.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Thank you Erin, so happy the whole family enjoyed it! And thank you so much for letting me know, it means a lot to hear back on how people get on with my recipes!

    Reply
  4. Anna

    Lovely recipe. The sauce with cream, parmesan and tarragon is really delicious and would be great on its own poured over a cooked chicken breast. Thank you Kavey! Definitely a recipe which will be used many times!!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Thanks Anna, yes I think that would be much like chicken Savoyard, one of the dishes that inspired this one, to an extent!! 👍

    Reply
  5. Jude

    Can’t get my kids to eat the ‘brown’ leg meat from the roast chicken so this is the ideal way to use it up. I was searching for a recipe that chopped the meat up small and was so pleased when I found this. Have made it twice and it has gone down a treat both times. The last time I didn’t have any cream so just used milk and a bit extra Parmesan and it was still delicious, if a bit less decadent! Thank you for a great recipe 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    So lovely to hear that you’ve enjoyed my recipe and also that it’s giving you a way to serve up the brown meat and have the family enjoy it. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!

    Reply
  6. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    Kavey, I’m with you; I like the tarragon to be quite subtle. The predominant flavor here should be chicken, right? This looks like something my husband will like. I feel fortunate that he likes casseroles, because I grew up with a no-casseroles-allowed father.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    No casseroles allowed? But that one word covers so very many very different dishes! I wonder what put your dad off them so much? Yes, indeed on the tarragon – clearly there but not overwhelming, though of course folks can up it if they like! Hope you and the husband enjoy this one!

    Reply
  7. Lynn Anderson

    Just made this for about the tenth time. Delicious as always. I add fresh tarragon, some sweet corn, green beans and broad beans to the pot for a complete dinner! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Ah that makes me so happy, thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know. Really appreciate it!

    Reply
  8. TimFG

    Tried this tonight after following a link to it from a Guardian ‘things to do with leftover roast chicken’ article. Felt the tried and tested Nigel Slater risotto could be given a miss for once. Fantastic recipe! Simple, silky, indulgent, look forward to doing it on a crisp Autumn evening. Your quantities were spot on too. Served it with a cheap bag of ‘use by today’ Italian Salad Leaves from Sainsburys and whizzed up some mustard dressing in the blender whilst it was in the oven. Might substitute a small glass of white wine for some of the stock next time, but suspect it doesn’t really need it 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Tim, what a lovely comment, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you enjoyed the recipe. I do try to ensure that amounts and instructions are accurate so your comment really makes me happy!

    Reply
  9. dorinad

    comfort food..so tasty..thank you! I look forward for your recipes…do you have a blog? Wish you all the best and thanks again

    !

    Reply
  10. Jenny Duff

    Really easy to make. Leaving out the salt it’s perfect baby and toddler food, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation when my grandson tucked into it. I chopped it up with scissors before he ate it so that there weren’t any big chicken pieces in there and the pasta was a bit smaller. I had boiled up the chicken carcass to make the stock so again no salt. Later in the evening, it heated up again really well for adults to eat and they loved it too. I think it’s the addition of the parmesan that makes it have a good depth of taste. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Delighted you and your grandson both enjoyed it, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, makes me so happy to hear!

    Reply
  11. Stacey

    I followed the link from the Guardian website. I have made this 4 times now. It is delicious. Easy to make, great recipe. Thank you.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    That’s lovely to hear, thank you so much for letting me know! If you take a photo next time I’d love to see it! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Monique Sharp

    Hello! This was delicious! I hope you don’t mind but I adapted it slightly by cooking some chopped smoky bacon together with a sliced leek in a separate pan then mixed it all up. Thanks for recipe. Will make again.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I don’t mind at all, happy to provide you with a starting point that you ran with to create something delicious!

    Reply
  13. Sarah

    Made this tonight – it was delicious! Thank you! Another left over chicken recipe to add to my list and save my husband from another chicken curry!

    Reply
  14. Steve H

    In the oven as I type. The sauce tastes amazing so looking forward to the whole dish when ready. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    My pleasure, I do hope you enjoy it. And if you happen to snap a photo, do please send it over, I’d love to see it.

    Reply
  15. vera bentley

    this was outstanding! well, i imagine it will be, all ive done is lick the spoon after i was finished making the sauce. i over did some of your measurements coz iv got a full roasted chook to do. it looked nice & yummy & hubby said it smelt fantastic while the sauce was cooking. its finished & im going to heat it for dinner tonite – thanx for a special dish – which will be a keeper!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Hope it was enjoyed by all. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, I really appreciate it! 👍

    Reply
  16. Wendy

    This looks great (got here from The Guardian as well). Have you tried freezing it? Is there too much cream/cheese? thanks

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I’ve not tried freezing it, as we always make it with leftover chicken from roast a day or two before. If you try, do please let me know?

    Reply
  17. Chris Trinder

    Brilliant. My husband said I’m 71 and didn’t think that I be served a meal I hadn’t had before that I’d love and really enjoy. It was great

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    You (and your husband) have just made my day. Couldn’t ask for a more wonderful response! ❤️

    Reply
  18. Jerri

    This is my go to recipe for using up leftover chicken. Thanks for posting it. My little boys gobble this up everytime I make it.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    So pleased the whole family enjoys it! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

    Reply
  19. Jean

    My other half doesn’t like hot and cold on the same plate so although I can do a side salad as an option I know he won’t take any… so my “side” will be garlic bread 🙂

    Love the look of this recipe, going to try it tonight – thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  20. Alexio

    Salivating at the thought of making this again tonight. I skimp on the calories by using creme fraiche, but otherwise keep to the original. Always a winner!

    Reply

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