Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Ah, a quiet Monday afternoon. The husband and Boy #1 are off at a hockey game, Boy #2 is upstairs watching Dumbo, I took a power nap on the couch, rolled out some king cake dough, and decided to update my blog. I wanted to get laundry put away and clean up our toy room a bit, but since the boy is upstairs watching a movie I've decided to put all that off and deal with it later to enjoy some peace and quiet downstairs. Ahhh. I have to revel in it now because I know it won't last long!!

This was another new recipe we had for dinner this past week. I had limited grocery money to use, but I had a lot of the items for this on hand already. It came from (surprise, surprise) Pinterest. I love a good casserole and this one sounded really tasty. Pasta, chicken, spinach, and cheese? Sounds scrumptious! Oh, Pinterest, where would my life be if I hadn't discovered you. If my husband were answering that question I'm sure he'd come up with some witty comment about how our house would be clean, laundry would be done, and we'd eat dinner on time every night. But, he's not, so I'll go on with my Pinterest obsession fascination.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake
Source: Adapted from Saving Money Living Life blog (found via Pinterest)

8 oz uncooked whole wheat rotini pasta
1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ t salt
½ t pepper
1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Spread oil on bottom of 9x13 baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.

Drain chopped spinach well. Stir pasta, spinach, chicken, & next 5 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes.


I only changed up the original recipe slightly. It called for rigatoni, but I like whole wheat pasta, but my grocery stores don't carry whole wheat rigatoni, so I used rotini instead. I also added in the ricotta because 1) I was worried it wasn't going to be creamy enough, and 2) I had some in the fridge that needed to be used up. Plus we're all about extra cheeses here at my house. The original recipe also called for baking it covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 15. I didn't want to wait that long to eat, and I really didn't see the point in it since all the parts were cooked already and it just had to combine and heat up. It worked out fine that way. if I had more time I might try it the original way to see how it compared.

This was a total hit with everyone in my family. The husband and I especially dug it, and Boy #2 had more than one serving. Boy #1 I guess was more lukewarm about it now that I think back to dinner that night, but he still ate most of his and didn't complain. No complaining about a dinner, I take that as a win. This is definitely something I would make again. The husband and I really enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next couple days, too.

By the way, I calculated this to be 279 calories per serving, assuming seven servings (based on the portions I served myself and the husband).

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