Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Pastina literally means "little pasta" so it can be any type of small shape pasta, even small elbow macaroni, which kids love! To get the golden brown parmesan crust, just add a little bit of soft butter on the top. The breadcrumbs absorb the butter and it creates a nice crispy golden brown crust!

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina



Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

45 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina


  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter (plus more for buttering the baking dish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Originally seen on Everyday Italian. Episode: Kids' Cooking Class.

1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Desiree McClellan

    This is my go to. My very picky son who doesn't like cheese (don't tell him), eats this without being forced. Thanks Giada!

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