Chicken Florentine pasta bake is a new favorite in our household, among the adults that is. A pasta casserole that is rich in flavor, not creamed sauces. Who can resist a pasta dish that has artichoke hearts, spinach, chicken, and cheese in it? It is simple enough to make but it has that fancy taste to it. While reheated leftovers are nice for lunch if you have access to a microwave at work, but we also found that by adding a dash of Italian dressing this actually makes a nice pasta salad when cold. This is an easy dish to throw together with a little planning ahead of time. The bold flavors of the Artichokes and spinach combined with the light sauce is just out of this world good.
2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or cubed is fine)
1 lb. dry med pasta (bowtie, penne, or rigatoni)
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1 ¼ cup milk
1 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ – ½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 cups shredded cheese (jack, or a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and jack)
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
¼ cup parmesan cheese divided
½ cup bread crumbs
½ tsp paprika
1 tbsp. melted butter
Cook pasta, drain and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs ,milk, and seasonings. Stir in the chicken, grated cheese, artichokes, spinach, half the parmesan, the cooked pasta, and onion.
Place mixture in a 13×9 in casserole dish and bake covered for 20 minutes at 350.
In a small bowl combine the remaining parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika and melted butter. Sprinkle the topping on to casserole and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes more or until golden brown.
The kids ate it but asked very nicely if I would please not make them eat it again, apparently it way to many green things in it. The husband and I on the other hand thought it was one of the most flavorful casseroles I’ve ever made.