Over the past few months our Ballymena Today Youth Team member Rachel has been busy cooking at the Cooking club in Ballymena Academy. We have loved her recipes so far which include a gorgeous swiss roll, lasagne, and some amazing salted caramel brownies. Here is another savoury dish which could save you time when you need to get dinner on the table asap.

Cooking Club at Ballymena Academy – Pasta Bake

For our fourth and final Cooking Club, we made a delicious chicken, bacon and sweetcorn pasta bake which turned out really well! It filled two middle-sized ovenproof and one dish fed 5 people – so this is certainly an option to be making for dinner!

This has been the most difficult so far, in my opinion, as there are lots of things going on at once in this recipe! One piece of advice – keep really close to the recipe, as we didn’t follow it very carefully at some points and so had to fix the mistakes… but follow the recipe and you’ll be fine!

The recipe which we used was taken from ‘Dairy Council Northern Ireland’. They have a website which has many other delicious recipes for all occasions, as well as much more – check it out here. In order to get straight to the recipes, click on ‘Consumers’, then ‘Recipes’!

Note: this recipe does not originally include onion, but we thought it was really nice to add some, so we sliced up a red onion and added it into the saucepan just after we browned the bacon and chicken!

So here’s the recipe…


  • 2 small Northern Ireland chicken fillets
  • 585ml (1 pint) Northern Ireland semi–skimmed milk
  • 200g Northern Ireland back bacon
  • 300g pasta
  • Small tin sweetcorn
  • One red onion (optional)
  • 100g Northern Ireland cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 100g breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 2tbsp cornflour


  1. Cut chicken into small pieces, dice bacon and brown both in a pan with olive oil.
  2. Add sweetcorn (and onion if using) and cook slowly.
  3. Meanwhile, boil pasta until soft in a large saucepan.
  4. Mix two tablespoons of cornflour in a small saucepan with a small amount of milk taken from the pint. Take the rest of the milk and add to the cornflour/milk mix and keep stirring until really thick.
  5. Add the chicken, bacon and sweetcorn (and onion) mixture into a large bowl and add the cornflour/milk sauce.
  6. Drain the pasta well and stir it into the mixture. Mix this all really well together!
  7. Pour mixture into one large ovenproof dish, or two smaller ones, and cover with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven at 180°C until the cheese on top is golden (ours took around 15-20 minutes).

Recipe taken from ‘Dairy Council Northern Ireland’.

So that’s dinner sorted! This recipe would also be really nice in several smaller, single dishes! Why not fill up each dish equally and give each person their own individual dish, along with some chips or salad?

And, sadly, that’s it from the HE club! As my HE teacher said, this club was “an excellent way to display your culinary skills”. Maybe if there is a club like this near you and you like baking, why not give it a go?

Happy baking!