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