Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spinach and Chicken Pasta Bake

I have been trying to lose some weight and eat better, so I have been cutting a lot of carbs and dairy. (down 7lbs in 2.5 weeks but the evil sickness helped a bit with that also) I will never eliminate either from my diet completely because that is insanity and I plan on eating as much cheese as humanly possible in the Netherlands, because you just have to! So as a treat I made myself this next recipe from Southern Living and ate a small serving and froze the rest in individual servings for when I get that carb craving.

8 ounces uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 ounce) container chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 Prepare rigatoni acoording to package directions.
2 Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11x7" baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl and set aside. 3 Drain thawed spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.
4 Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarela cheese.
5 Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until brown and bubbly.

I cut this recipe in half, definitely not husband approved with spinach and chicken involved.

Preheat your oven, get some water boiling, and lets get this carb and dairy party started! You need some pasta, onion, spinach, tomatoes, chicken, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

Chop your onion.

saute onions
Drop your pasta in the boiling water at this point. The recipe says to do this step in the oven but I did it on the stove top. Saute the onions until they are softened.

pasta in
Drain your pasta and get everything in the bowl except the mozzarella.

mixed up
Stir it up and try not to just eat it out of the bowl. Looks delicious already!

cheese on
But everything gets better with more cheese! Add your mozzarella, cover it, and pop it in the oven.

Spinach and Chicken Pasta Bake
After 30 minutes remove the cover and in about 10-15 minutes you have this glorious carb and cheese casserole. But hey, there is some spinach in there so that makes it healthy, right?

Spinach and Chicken Pasta Bake
This is perfect for a chilly fall afternoon.

This week I made a new friend and was telling him about the fact that I had a food blog, which I think some people probably find weird. The reason I started it was to kick myself in gear to start cooking instead of just reading recipes all the time. But the reason I kept doing it is the awesome people I have come across while blogging. You never know how or when you might meet someone who will change your life!


  1. Looks delicious. I love that idea to freeze small portion for the cravings. Congrats on the loss :)

  2. Congrats on the weight loss! :) That's an achievement, even if some of it was when you were sick! That does look perfect for a chilly day ... are you having any of those though??? lol ;)


  3. This bake looks seriously delicious :D
    And you inspire me to try and lose my own weight! Congrats :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. I am happy that you are cooking rather than just reading all those wonderful recipes. You are now cooking them and sharing them with the world. That is an awesome thought in itself.
    The people in this foodie blogging world are wonderful. I agree.
    This dish is very healthy and delicious looking.
    I hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

  5. The spinach definitely outweighs the cheese factor!! But I am throwing up in my mouth at all those ONIONS!

    My Mom used to put them in everything, and I used to ask her to leave them out and she would tell me "you can't even taste them" to which I replied, "then why put them in?!"

    Happy Monday!

  6. YUM!! Congrats on the weight loss, that is fabulous! I too have the best weight loss results cutting back on carbs but since I don't like meat too much (I like it as a side with my fat & carbs-haha), it makes it really hard for me to go very long. The 17 day diet ROCKS and the first phase is low carb, low dairy. I felt so good while on it and plan to start it again when I run out of body by vi shake mix. Your pasta bake looks like a fabulous treat--wtg on not eating it all in one sitting, which I really could do! lol

  7. sounds absolutely delicious!!

  8. It looks creamy and delicious! Congrats on your weight loss!

  9. Nice! My family would definitely enjoy this especially kids. I'm so jealous of your weight loss too... I have to lose at least 10 lbs to go back to pre baby days... sigh!