Spinach and chicken pasta bake recipe

Posted in Recipes.
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A pasta bake made without a sauce jar and packed with cherry tomatoes for little flavour bombs? You got it all here with this recipe for spinach and chicken pasta bake!

As soon as I saw this recipe over at Joyously Domestic I knew I’d love it. After all, I love pasta as much as life itself – and the addition of chicken and spinach, well they’re just matches made in heaven. For dinner, it’s a great weeknight wonder and takes about 35 minutes to get on the table – even less if you use pre-cooked chicken. The addition of a flavoured herb cream cheese gives strong flavour and one I think can be easily substituted with extra milk or yoghurt if it’s not your thing.

Lets-Cook-Pasta-bake-ingredients

Ingredients

300g dried pasta

2 tablespoons butter

½ onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

100g chive and onion cream cheese

1 cup Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)

1 cup full fat milk (or cream)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1½ cups baby spinach leaves, chopped

2 cups of cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

fresh basil or parsley to garnish

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Grease a casserole or lasagne dish with olive oil.

Lets-Cook-Pasta-bake-chicken

  • If you aren’t using already cooked chicken, spend five or so minutes quickly doing it now. Heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and add chicken, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat when browned and cooked through. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until it’s al dente to the bite. Drain and set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a medium frypan or skillet on medium low heat.  Add in the onion and garlic.  Cook for three to four minutes until the onion and garlic is soft, but not browned.

Lets-Cook-Pasta-Bake-sauce

  • Add in cream cheese and stir to melt.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir in yoghurt, 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.

Lets-Cook-Pasta-Bake-bowl

  • Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl and add in the sauce and mix gently so everything is coated  by the sauce.
  • Pour into the prepared casserole or lasagne dish. If it looks a little dry (the pasta will soak up some of the sauce) add a little drizzle of extra milk or cream.

Lets-Cook-pasta-bake-before

  • Top with the remaining Mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Top with basil or parsley for garnish if you want to be particularly fancy (which I forgot to be before taking these photos, drat!).

Serves 6 to 8 people depending on appetites.

Lets-Cook-Pasta-bake-2

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