10 ounces dry pasta (I used a combination of rotini, farfalle and penne. Any similar size would work.)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 cup whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half (I used half-and-half)
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into large chunks (I used grape tomatoes sliced in half)
Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray. (Mine was a 10″ round, but a 9 x 13 would work fine.) Cook pasta in salted, boiling water to al dente. Drain and set aside. -While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a medium saute pan set to medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes to slightly soften veggies. Do not brown. -Add in cream cheese and stir to melt. Reduce heat to low. Stir in sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until everything is well-combined and melted. Turn off heat.
Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl. -Add in the sauce and gently stir to coat.
-Pour into the prepared baking dish. (I drizzled in a little more half-and-half over the mixture once it was in the baking dish because it looked a little dry to me.)
-Top with the remaining mozzarella.
-Bake uncovered for about 20 -25 minutes … or until casserole is bubbly and beginning to brown. Top with basil or parsley for garnish.
NOTE: In order for the pasta bake to not dry out, I place the baking dish on a sheet pan and add 1 – 2 cups of very hot water to the sheet pan once in the oven. This will create steam during the baking process and will help to keep everything moist.
Chicken And Spinach Pasta Bake