Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Bake

This popped up in my feed the other day and it just looked and sounded delicious.  It comes from the Cooking Nurse's blog.

I asked M to bring some muscle to stir everything, at which point he commented that it smelled "amazing."  He attributed the smell to the cream cheese.

The initial odor (which has such negative connotations; what do you say for something that smells awesome??) did not disappoint...  this was one fantastic meal.  I followed the recipe as written by The Cooking Nurse, adding the artichokes, and boy was I glad I did.  M commented that artichokes and spinach are just a natural pairing, and I agree.

Of course, artichokes aren't a flavor I enjoyed until I was in my mid 20s.  I hated them as a kid.  So, it's no surprise that neither of the boys liked this meal.  A said he liked the cheese and chicken, but wouldn't touch the pasta.  E just wouldn't eat it. 
But we really enjoyed the meal and maybe next time, I'll add some roasted red peppers.

Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake
Source: Adapted From The Love Life Cooks, originally from, via Cooking Nurse

8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 15 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 8oz container of chive and onion cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until lightly browned on both sides. Cut into bite sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cubed cooked chicken, chopped artichoke hearts, drained spinach, and cream cheese. Stir well. Season with Italian seasoning, and salt/pepper to taste.
Transfer to a greased 9×13 in pan. Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.

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