Wednesday, September 28

chicken & spinach pasta casserole

are you looking for something super easy for dinner? this recipe has a 15 minute prep time for those in a rush (mind you have to have cooked chicken though)...regardless its quick and yummy! also freezing is our newest trick. we have been making dinners go further by making the dish into 2 small pyrex vs one larger one and putting the second in the freezer. we rarely eat our leftovers, so this is the perfect way to avoid waste/kill 2 birds with one stone!

chicken & spinach pasta casserole

what you need...
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

what to do...
Prepare rigatoni according to package directions. Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish (or break up into 2 smaller if you don't need the whole meal); add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels. Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken, and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Sausage & Spinach Pasta Casserole: Substitute 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage for 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts. Reduce salt to 1/4 tsp., and omit 1/2 tsp. pepper. Proceed with recipe as directed.

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