Monday, March 17, 2014

Chicken & Spinach Pasta

Our oven died a couple weeks ago, when our menu plan was filled with things that needed to be baked. Thankfully, we've gotten it fixed since, but of the handful of things left on my plan, not ONE of them was crock pot or stove top only. We had pizza the first night I realized it was completely dead (that's also the day I dropped a wooden shelf on my head.... so we probably would've had pizza anyways), and I came up with some alternate meals. 

This Chicken & Spinach Pasta is actually something that was on the original menu, but originally required baking. With some slight adaptation to make it stove top (and a decent amount of adaptation simply because I wanted to), it worked. 

It's actually a pretty basic dish, but I really like adding the cream cheese/sour cream for some extra creaminess. 

The cutest thing about this was Gabriel's reaction to the spinach/tomato in it. It isn't unusual for me to put (small) pieces of tomato in things, but for some reason he said "icky" when he found a piece at the edge of his plate. I explained that it was tomato & it was yummy, then showed him the spinach & said that was yummy too. So he picked up a piece of spinach, told me "spinach yummy!" then promptly ate it. When we had leftovers the next day, he ate all of the spinach before even touching the pasta. :)

Chicken & Spinach Pasta

  • 16 ounces dry small pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°, if desired. (Baking is not necessary.) Spray a 9”x13” baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook pasta; drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a large saute pan set to medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic. Saute for 3 - 4 minutes to slightly soften; do not brown.
  4. Add in cream cheese; stir to melt. Reduce heat to low. Stir in sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir until everything is well combined and bubbling. Add pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes. Add more milk as needed to obtain desired consistency.
  5. If baking, stir to coat and immediately transfer to baking dish. Add remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.  
  6. If not baking, add remaining cheese and heat thoroughly.
  7. Top with basil or parsley for garnish.
8 servings
20-45 minutes

Source (for original): Inspired Dreamer

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