Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Sometimes the best ideas come to me when I have some ingredients that I need to use up before they spoil. Usually it’s some sort of fresh produce that I bought and never used.  And then I just say to myself, self, what can I do with this bag of spinach?  And that’s when it hits me.  A creamy chicken and spinach pasta bake!  Of course I had a jar of some roasted red bell peppers that I decided to throw in and it turned out creamy, cheesy and delicious!  And the tiny humans joined the clean-plate club again and had seconds without even noticing there was spinach in it!

Start by boiling your noodles.  Any shape will do.  I found a box of these twisted-corkscrew-type noodles.  I’m pretty sure the technical name is cavatappi.  When the noodles are al-dente, drain and set aside.

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Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in some olive oil for about 3-4 minutes.

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Add chicken, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 7 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

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Then add spinach and wilt.

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Add cream cheese and stir to combine.

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Place the cooked noodles in a large pot.

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Add chicken, spinach and cream cheese mixture.

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Add some parmesan cheese.

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Then add roasted red bell peppers.  Mix to combine.

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Pour into a greased casserole dish.  Top with more parmesan cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe:

1 – 16 oz box cavatappi noodles (or any other short-shape pasta)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 – 16 oz bag baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
8 oz light cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top

Boil noodles until al-dente, drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil.  Add chicken and cook for about 7 minutes until cooked through.  Add spinach and wilt.  Then add cream cheese and mix to combine.  Place noodles in a large pot.  Add spinach, chicken and cream cheese mixture.  Then add roasted red bell peppers and parmesan cheese.  Mix to combine.  Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with more parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes until browned on top.  Serve and enjoy!

Caroline