Some of my best recipes are from Southern Living Magazine and this one has been a favorite for years. It is a good size recipe for four people then you have enough for seconds or left overs. Of course you can make it stretch further with hearty appetizers, a healthy salad and crusty bread. Sometimes I change it up a little depending on the ingredients I have on hand and it always turns out perfect. My one suggestion is not to over mix the ingredients. As a result the flavors will be more distinct and it will look more appetizing.
Chicken ‘n’ Spinach Pasta Bake Southern Living, February 2007 Makes 4 to 6 Servings Prep: 15 min., Bake 1 Hr
- 8 oz. uncooked rigatoni
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 (10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish; 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 minutes or until bubbly.
Notice in the pictures, I substituted the can of tomatoes for fresh grape tomatoes sliced in half. There is nothing better than fresh tomatoes that really taste like tomatoes. I also added 1/2 cup parmesan cheese mixed in with the mozzarella. Garnish with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.