Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake

This dish just sounded so appealing to me. I love casseroles but the fat content is always high in these types of dishes because the main ingredient is often a creamy sauce that is made from scratch or from a soup. I think I would take the Parmesan cheese over a creamy sauce any day. But, I learned something new for myself today. Parmesan cheese has a higher fat content than mozzarella cheese. I always thought it was the other way around. The house smelled like an Italian restaurant with the amount of garlic I put in the dish. Full of flavor and there were also some benefits of fiber from the whole wheat pasta, mushroom and spinach.

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake
Created recipe on 02/25/2010

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake 11 lb or one box of whole wheat pasta (use any shape you like)
4 oz of chicken tenderloin strips chopped in 1” cubes
1 box of frozen spinach thawed and all excess liquid squeezed
½ pint of mushrooms thickly sliced (I used button mushrooms)
8 -10 cloves of garlic minced fine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of wine (I had a red wine available and used that)
1-1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Prepare the whole wheat pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain liquid and set aside.

Sauté the cubed chicken tenderloins for about 10 minutes until browned in olive oil over medium heat in a 10” skillet. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. The garlic will brown with the chicken. Stir constantly so the garlic does not burn. Note: If the garlic burns in the dish, it gives a bitter flavor to the whole thing and does not taste great. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Add the spinach, wine and cook until the spinach is heated thoroughly and the wine is cooked off. Add 1 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese to the mixture, mix well. I used about 3/4 of the 1 lb pasta that I cooked. I felt that adding the whole 1 pound of pasta was too much. Mix the pasta in the filling.

In a casserole dish, even out the filling and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan Cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until dish is thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted.

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake 2I wasn’t satisfied with the color so I flash broiled the dish in the broiler for about 5 minutes to give the cheese the golden color I wanted.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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