here's an easy, tasty meal for when you get chicken on sale or from my favorite place -- the mark-down bin! LOL! it's also good for chilly days when you want something besides soup or chili...
Chicken Pasta Bake
8 oz penne pasta
1 tbs olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp Italian seasoning
28-oz jar spaghetti sauce or use your own
14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3-oz package cream cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Cook pasta according to package directions for "al dente." Drain. Pour into prepared baking dish. Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Brown chicken in oil. Add Italian seasoning, half of the spaghetti sauce and the drained tomatoes. Let simmer 2-3 minutes. Cut cream cheese into small chunks. Add to chicken and tomato sauce mixture. Simmer until cream cheese is melted. Stir in spinach. Cook another minute, until spinach wilts slightly. Pour chicken mixture over pasta. Top with one cup of the shredded mozzarella. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
yes, it could! there's two ways to do it...
one -- combine everything except the pasta, spinach, half the sauce, and cheeses. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Cook the pasta and during the last few minutes, dump the spinach in. finish cooking and drain. add the spinach, pasta, and remaining sauce to the crockpot during the last half hour of cooking. then top with cheeses just before serving.
two -- do all as above except the last step. carefully take the crock out of the pot (that sounds so funny! LOL!), top with the cheeses, and place in a pre-heated 350° oven just until cheeses melt, 5-10 minutes.
how your family enjoys this!
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