Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Spinach Pasta Bake

I know it may seem like I have forgotten how to cook, and blog anything that is not baby related for that matter.  But, after 6 weeks of cooking hiatus I have found my way back to the kitchen!  This is still kind of baby related though, so I hope you don't mind cute baby pics!  I made this on Monday to take over to our friends on Tuesday for dinner. They just had twins so cooking dinner is not high on their list! Remember this?
14 and 19 weeks pregnant
27 and 32 Weeks pregnant. We are still waiting on Kristina's baby Caroline to join us...soon!
Now this!!
Beckham, Lleyton (I think!) & Sawyer

Three very hungry babies unwilling to cooperate with our photo shoot.  The boys are exactly three weeks younger than Sawyer...amazing what a difference that and a couple pounds makes!  On to the recipe...

I found this one on Pinterest (my new obsession - especially when I am up in the middle of the night feeding Sawyer).  I didn't change too much with it, just a couple tweaks.  Here is the link to the original recipe... from my Recipe Board on Pinterest.

Gather your ingredients:

1 medium sized onion, chopped
olive oil
8 oz whole wheat pasta (I used Barilla Plus bow tie - high in omega 3s and protein - good for the babies!)
3 medium/large chicken breasts
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
8 oz chive and onion cream cheese
10 box of frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 375.  Place chopped onion in 9x13 casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil pasta until tender.

I also boiled my chicken, but you could use precooked or rotisserie chicken to save some time if you want. To shred my chicken I used my mixer - my sister told me about this and it's AMAZING!  Such a time saver!  The chicken went from this...

Those are whole chicken breasts if you can't tell...
To 30 seconds...

I should have made a New Year's resolution to improve my food photography.  Maybe next year.

Once the onions are done, transfer them to a large mixing bowl.

Add the tomatoes, cream cheese, pasta, spinach, and chicken.

Mix together.

Transfer back to casserole dish.

Top with mozzarella cheese.

Don't mind the shadow of my hands...
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, covered.  Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

And my hands again...geeze.
I made this on Monday and didn't bake it until Tuesday - it worked.  So it is a great "make-ahead" recipe.  It was also good for lunch the next day!


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