Recipe Box, Chicken & Ham Bechamel Pasta

My favorite part of cooking is the creative side~ even though I plan dinners in advance, sometimes I deviate… and make up a recipe~

pasta bake

34 degrees and raining made me reach for the pasta ๐Ÿ˜Š

This isn’t exactly diet food, but with lower calorie pasta, and Bechamel Sauce made with olive oil instead of butter, chicken broth and milk instead of cream,  it is a little less sinful  ^^’


Let’s just say that I kept opening the oven and stealing a noodle while it was baking because it was irresistible~

chicken pasta

Oh and when I was making the sauce and sauteing the garlic, the scent filled the whole house with a divine aroma, and when my son stopped by he said he would definitely be back for dinner

chicken ham pasta

I think I forgot to mention that the smoked Gouda added an intoxicating flavor…


Get started by poaching your chicken in chicken broth.  Bring broth to a boil with chicken submerged, then cover it and turn the burner off after several minutes and let the pan stay on the burner.  The chicken will gently cook as the broth cools down, and you will end up with tender and  flavorful chicken


Saute the ham in a dry skillet, letting it caramelize and brown a little from it’s own fat, then remove it to cutting board and chop into fairly large pieces


Put your pasta on to boil while you make the bechamel sauce

Bechamel sauce is a fancy way to say white sauce.  It is made with a roux and milk or cream.  This is a basic sauce in both French and Italian cuisine and it’s simple to make and heaven to eat

Saute minced garlic in olive oil for a minute, until it is fragrant and just begins to brown


Stir in flour and add more olive oil until you have just enough to incorporate the flour


Borrow 1 cup of chicken broth from the sauce pan where the chicken is poaching and add it to the roux.  Stir in 1 cup of milk and use a whisk to break up any lumps


Season with salt and pepper and add another cup of chicken broth


Stir in Parmesan cheese and let it melt


Add drained pasta and toss to coat


Put 1/2 of the pasta into the bottom of a greased casserole dish, like this 8 x 8 inch square.  Top with ham and chicken


Then add spoonfuls of ricotta and half of the smoked Gouda and season with salt and pepper


Top with remaining pasta and smoked Gouda


Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes

pasta bake

Chicken & Ham Bechamel Pasta

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4


  • 6 oz reduced fat pasta spirals
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4-5 big slices leftover ham or thick sliced deli ham
  • 4 oz smoked Gouda cheese grated
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 T flour
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 oz freshly grated or shaved Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Put broth in a deep sauce pan and add chicken. Bring to boil, cover and turn off the heat after 2 minutes. Do not move pan, but let chicken poach slowly as the heat dies down.
  • Meanwhile sear the ham in itโ€™s own fat on medium high, until it begins to caramelize and brown. Remove to cutting board and chop.
  • Put pasta on to boil while you make the Bechamel sauce.
  • To make the Bechamel sauce, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan you used for the ham and saute garlic 1 minute. Add flour to pan and another drizzle of olive oil, and stir flour into oil forming a roux.
  • Take 1 cup of chicken broth from the saucepan where chicken is poaching, and stir it into the roux. Add milk. Stir stir stir, using a wire whisk to break up any flour lumps.
  • Add 1 additional cup of broth, and then Parmesan cheese and set aside. Drain pasta and add to pan of Bechamel sauce.
  • Remove chicken from remaining broth and shred or chop.
  • Place 1/2 of pasta in the bottom of a greased 8 x 8 inch casserole.
  • Top with ham, chicken, and 1/2 the smoked Gouda.
  • Use your fingers to make a layer of ricotta, dropping it in pinches over the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining pasta and sprinkle with the rest of the smoked Gouda. Cover and refrigerate until baking.
  • Bake at 325 until heated through and bubbling. Serves 4-6
Keyword bechamel sauce, chicken and ham pasta, chicken casserole
chicken and ham bechamel pasta

All you need is a crisp green salad and you will be very happy happy ๐Ÿ˜‹

Juicy Details

Spiral noodles really grab and hold onto the creamy sauce better than penne or ziti


This recipe is very similar to Blue Ribbon Chicken Gratin, which has sweet peppers and spinach, and a sauce made with Cream of Mushroom Soup

blue ribbon chicken

You might also want to try this Pasta with Chicken, Prosciutto and Orange here, the orange gives it such a fresh flavor boost and pairs beautifully with the chicken and prosciutto

pasta w:prosciutto & orange

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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15 Responses to “Recipe Box, Chicken & Ham Bechamel Pasta”
  1. Kitty says:

    Oh Jenna, you are so creative in the kitchen! Your artistic hands work wonders with art and food. This dish sounds absolutely heavenly and I can just about smell the fabulous aroma. Your family is so lucky to have you! Happy weekend!

  2. Oh, yum!! And I just poached some chicken last night to do something with today, but I hadn’t decided what until now. Looks great, and better fat content your way.

  3. Judy says:

    Love your site. Love how you lay everything out for your recipes. You are good. Thanks. โค๏ธ

  4. Classic flavors with a twist.

  5. Lynn says:

    Sounds like a rib sticker! I had pasta, chicken and some cheese today too-good stuff:@)

  6. Lori says:

    This recipe sounds delicious Jenna. I like to get creative in the kitchen, while trying to stick to a menu plan also.

  7. This dish looks wonderful and delicious…we do not have pasta in the house now…so I think maybe a great alternative may be cauliflower? … especially with the cheese!…Have a great weekend!

  8. alifemoment says:

    So temptive, I love using bechamel, so creamy, yummy ๐Ÿ˜Š

  9. laurie says:

    That sounds delicious, Jenna. You post some of the best recipes. Thank you for sharing them.

  10. Mary says:

    Jenna, this would be a hit in our house! I know your son was happy to return for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Miz Helen says:

    Jenna, we will just love this pasta dish, can’t wait to make it, looks like pure comfort. Thanks so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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