Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake, prepared with spinach and tomato sauce, then baked until bubbly and delicious!
Hey, you! Happy Sunday!!
Whaaaaaat? Look at us! We’re livin’ one hour ahead like it ain’t no thing! Happy Spring Forward, everyone! Let’s make a toast to more sunlight and wine!
What do you mean, why wine?! It’s wine… you should always toast wine. Right? Right?!?
Also? It’s the 9th of March and it’s snowing. SNOWING! March 9! … Insane.
However, this food… besides being completely delicious… it’s creamy, it’s cheesy, it’s flavorful, it’s BEYOND!
It has been too long since we talked pasta and chicken. Too. Long. In fact, those two ingredients together haven’t appeared on here since that Chicken Bruschetta Pasta, which was way back in September! Of 2013!!
This is so easy to make. Boil some pasta, cook some chicken, make a cheese sauce, stir in some spinach, top with tomato sauce, bake, and dinner is done!
…Ooookay… now that I wrote it all out, it seems like a lot of work, but I promise, it.is.not. And it’s soooooo delicious! I also have this 20-month old that can confirm it – she inhaled a good quarter of the pan. For reals. She did. Girl can eat!
Obviously, lately, every pasta dish I make comes with cheese. Whether in dry, shredded form, or in a sauce, it’s still with lots of cheese. Care for a Spaghetti Beef Casserole?! Great stuff!
But, do you really need convincing? No, seriously… do you need me to convince you that cheesy pasta and chicken bake are good? Of course they are!
I could just stare at this picture all day… I am in love with this dish!
Let’s Eat Up!
- 3 cups penne pasta , uncooked
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 skinless , boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-pound), cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package (6-ounces) baby spinach
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Grease a casserole dish with baking spray; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
- Drain pasta and return to pot; stir in cheese, butter, and 1/4 cup milk; add more milk if needed. Continue to stir until smooth and well combined.
- Transfer cheesy pasta into previously prepared baking dish and set aside.
- Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat.
- Add cubed chicken and cook until done; about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Set chicken aside.
- In a saucepan, add olive oil and cook over medium-high heat.
- Add spinach, minced garlic and season with salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted, stirring frequently.
- Add cooked chicken to spinach and stir in tomato sauce; cook over medium-high heat until heated through.
- Spoon chicken and spinach mixture over pasta.
- Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Remove from oven.
- Let stand 5 minutes.
RECIPE SOURCE: DIETHOOD