Italian-inspired Chicken 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake is perfect for company. But it's also speedy enough for weeknight meals.
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Make It
Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; add onion in a single layer.
Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside.
Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.
Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken, and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.
Sausage 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake: Substitute 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage for 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts. Reduce salt to 1/4 tsp., and omit 1/2 tsp. pepper. Proceed with recipe as directed.
Very good! I did season chicken prior to cooking and also added onions to chicken to cook as well. Instead of 2 cans of tomatoes, I added half a can of italian tomato sauce, also garlic bread, and it turned our great! Didn't give it 5 stars b/c I did have to slightly change the recipe.
Good recipe! I, as well, added some more pasta and the extra can of tomatoes and made it in a 9x13 dish. Next time I will saute the onions in the pan with the chicken to give the chicken a bit more flavor. I was very surprised by how well the flavored cream cheese fit into this dish. I froze the leftovers and it was a very good "reheated" meal as well. My husband is not a big spinach fan so next time I am going to try it with a different green, probably collard or or turnip and see how that works.
This is a fabulous recipe...my husband raved about it and he's not that fond of chicken or cooked spinach! I did slightly alter the recipe and added an additional can of diced tomatoes (it would have been too dry without it) and I only added about 2 cups of chicken. I also just sauteed the onions in a pan before mixing in the other ingredients. It's a very classy and extremely tasty meal!
This is an excellent recipe with just a little tweaking. I add a pint of ricotta cheese to the mixture, two cans of diced tomatoes, 16 ounces of pasta, and extra cheese to make a creamier casserole. Great for family night dinner, but nice enough for company. A little cream or sour cream can be added before cooking if the mixture appears a little too dry.
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