Chicken, Spinach Pasta Bake

Yum ! We loved this. Anything with copious amounts of cheese is sure to be a winner.




Recipe borrowed from: http://www.joyouslydomestic.com/2013/04/chicken-and-spinach-pasta-bake.html
Image is my own

Ingredients:

10 ounces dry pasta (I used a combination of rotini, farfalle and penne. Any similar size would work.)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese 
1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 cup whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half (I used half-and-half)
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


Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray.  (Mine was a 10" round, but a 9 x 13 would work fine.)

Cook pasta in salted, boiling water to al dente.  Drain and set aside.

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 veggies.  Do not brown.

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.

Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl.


Add in the sauce and gently stir to coat.

Pour into the prepared baking dish.  (I drizzled in a little more half-and-half over the mixture once it was in the baking dish because it looked a little dry to me.)

Top with the remaining mozzarella.


Bake uncovered for about 20 -25 minutes ... or until casserole is bubbly and beginning to brown.  Top with basil or parsley for garnish.

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