Best Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe #Chicken #Spinach #Pasta #Baked #DinnerRecipe #chickenrecipe

by - 8:58 AM

Best Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe | It's a very simple pasta bake that could be changed up to suit your tastes and to utilize what you have on hand. Swap out the spinach for some blanched broccoli. Add in some canned artichokes or fresh, chopped mushrooms. Want to make it a little more healthful? Use whole wheat pasta. #Chicken #Spinach #Pasta #Baked #dinnerRecipe #chickenrecipe

Best Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe #Chicken #Spinach #Pasta #Baked #DinnerRecipe #chickenrecipe

Best Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe | It's a very simple pasta bake that could be changed up to suit your tastes and to utilize what you have on hand. Swap out the spinach for some blanched broccoli. Add in some canned artichokes or fresh, chopped mushrooms. Want to make it a little more healthful? Use whole wheat pasta. #Chicken #Spinach #Pasta #Baked #dinnerRecipe #chickenrecipe

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces dry pasta (I used a combination of rotini, farfalle and penne. Any similar size would work.)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 cup whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half (I used half-and-half)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into large chunks (Can use grape/cherry tomatoes sliced in half)
Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

Instructions:
First, Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Then, Coat a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray.  (Mine was a 10" round, but a 9 x 13 would work fine.)
Cook pasta in salted, boiling water to al dente.  Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a medium saute pan set to medium heat.  Add in the onion and garlic.  Cook for 3 - 4 minutes to slightly soften veggies.  Do not brown.
Add in cream cheese and stir to melt.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir in sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using).  Stir until everything is well-combined and melted.  Turn off heat.
Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl.
Add in the sauce and gently stir to coat.
Pour into the prepared baking dish.  (I drizzled in a little more half-and-half over the mixture once it was in the baking dish because it looked a little dry to me.)
Top with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake uncovered for about 20 -25 minutes ... or until casserole is bubbly and beginning to brown.  Top with basil or parsley for garnish.
NOTE:  In order for the pasta bake to not dry out, I place the baking dish on a sheet pan and add 1 - 2 cups of very hot water to the sheet pan once in the oven.  This will create steam during the baking process and will help to keep everything moist.

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