Friday, March 11, 2011

it's always fun to try something new

I like to try new recipes, and my family is use to tasting new recipes...only normally those new recipes happen to be in the form of a when I put a new dinner recipe on the table I always get interrogated by the girl child...
'what's in this'
'why did you decided to make this'
'will I like this'
'why did you have to put tomatoes in it'
'where were you the night of March 10th'

anyways, I saw this recipe a few weeks ago when I was looking around blog land...can't remember even where I saw it...sorry for not being able to give credit to whoever posted might have been Kelsey over @ We Weren't Crazy....but I'm not sure...

anyways, this is one of those recipes that I like because it's pretty flexible with whatever you have around...
use whatever pasta you have (the original recipe called for rigatoni, didn't have that on hand so I used shells, that's all I had)...

you can use frozen or fresh spinach (again the original recipe called for frozen but I bought a bag of fresh spinach the size of Rhode Island last time I was shopping so I decided to use fresh!)...

you can cooked chicken breast to make this recipe or use leftover chicken from something you had earlier in the week, or use a roisterer chicken from a deli, or use sausage instead of chicken...I was thinking a turkey/chicken kielbasa would be really good with this....

as for the chive and onion cream cheese (the only thing that I had to buy to make this recipe, everything else I had)...I'm sure you could substitute it with a block of regular cream cheese and 
just add some dried onion and chopped up chives to the recipe...

Creamy Chicken Spinach and Pasta Bake
8 ounces uncooked pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 grated cloves garlic
2-3 cup chopped fresh spinach, or 1 10 oz frozen package
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast-
     I used the leftover from this 'roasted' chicken recipe
1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce container chive and onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

Preheat oven to 375*

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add onions, garlic and fresh spinach (don't add spinach if using frozen) in a single layer. Bake at 375* for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl and set aside.

(if using frozen spinach...drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels, toss with onions.)

Stir pasta, chicken, diced tomatoes, cream cheese, salt and pepper into spinach/onion mixture. Spoon mixture into baking dish and sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese.

covered, at 375* for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until bubbly.

Serves 4 to 6. Serve with tossed green salad and garlic bread.

Substition: for Sausage 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake, substitute 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage for the 3 cups cubed chicken.

1 1/2 lb. uncooked chicken breasts equals about 3 cups cubed and cooked.
1 1/4 uncooked sausage equals about 3 cups cooked and crumbled.

Beau and I loved this recipe and I'm looking forward to leftover buffet night when I get to eat this again!
the kids...not their favorite, but I'm thinking if I just cut the large tomatoes into really small pieces they'll do better with the whole thing..

I think I'd also almost double the fresh spinach, it always looks like so much before it bakes down, it filled the casserole dish that I was baking it in when I put it in the oven with the onions and then when it was all said and done it looked like I had barely put any spinach into the dish!


Kelsy said...

That sounds familiar, but I don't think I posted it... it sounds like a Kraft recipe kind of. I'm thinking I may have something like that bookmarked to try though. lol

Mandy said...

That looks yummy :) Thanks for commenting on my blog by the way. Looks like your just in Redding? Krystle and I live in Medford, so we arent all that far away. If you are ever in the neighborhood let us know and we would love to meet you! Anyway, LOVE your blog and will definitely follow :)