Friday, May 31, 2013

Chicken Penne Florentine

Our family loves baked pasta and I have a few favorite recipes and sometimes I just wing it but last week I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light.  I thought that the cheddar cheese and cottage cheese sounded a little weird but ended up leaving it as is and loved the end result.  I upped the veggie ratio and think that there could be even more spinach (it wilts down a ton).  For the chicken, I used a rotisserie chicken and I think slices of spicy chicken sausage would also work well.  I bought Dreamfields pasta  because it's lower glycemic and lower carb but tastes and has the texture of "normal" pasta.  I liked how creamy the mixture was without a traditional flour & butter white sauce.  The cottage cheese gives the dish a protein boost and I think that even people who don't love spinach will like this casserole.

Chicken Penne Florentine (6 servings)
adapted from Cooking Light

1.5 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
3 cups hot cooked penne (about 6oz uncooked)
2 cups shredded roasted chicken breast
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup low-fat milk
5 oz condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted (about half a can)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper.  Saute 4 minutes or until tender.  Add the spinach, oregano, and pepper and saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts.

Put the cottage cheese in a blender and process until very smooth.  In a large bowl, combine the spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, milk and soup.  Stir in 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.  Top with more freshly ground black pepper, and the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until hot, bubbly, and lightly browned.


  1. This looks so good. I'm going to try it with a few GF adjustments. . . GF pasta and using the GF cream of celery soup from Sprouts! Can't wait! Thanks for continuing to be my go-to resource for "what to make for dinner this week?"

  2. I shouldn't be looking at this when I haven't had lunch yet. But I guess that's why I'm looking at it!