Chicken + Spinach + Tomato Pasta Bake [recipe]

In my opinion, you can never have too many simple, weeknight meals in your recipe collection.  My favorite weeknight meals are the ones that come with leftovers, for weekday lunches of course =)  I made today’s Chicken + Spinach + Tomato Pasta Bake for a family of 4, and not only was it a HUGE HIT, but I STILL had enough for lunch the next two days!  I always love making bakes (or casseroles) for weeknight meals because you can whip them up ahead of time, then simply stick them in the oven when you’re ready to serve!

chicken-spinach-tomato-pasta bake-recipe-1

Chicken + Spinach + Tomato Pasta Bake [recipe]
adapted from joyouslydomestic

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ounces dry pasta (I used campanelle)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
  • 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into large chunks (I used grape tomatoes sliced in half)
  • Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water to al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  4. 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 onion.  Do not brown.
  5. 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.
  6. Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl.
  7. Pour sauce over pasta mix & stir until evenly coated.
  8. Transfer coated pasta bake into your casserole dish.  Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Top with parsley for garnish.  Enjoy your pasta bake!

chicken-spinach-tomato-pasta bake recipe

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4 responses to “Chicken + Spinach + Tomato Pasta Bake [recipe]

  1. I want to do this as a ‘make-ahead’ meal. I would love to be able to freeze it. Do you think the tomatoes would freeze well? If I put in in the oven frozen, do you have a suggested cooking time or wing it?? Is this best to make, refrigerate (not freeze) and bake in the next day or 2?
    Thanks!

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