Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Rigatoni

I am always trying to find a good way to jazz up pasta since it is so inexpensive and my kids love it. I like this recipe because I can get two veggies into the kids without a fight. When boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale, I stock up. When it comes time to defrost, I find two recipes that use cooked chicken. I make the chicken for both meals to save time and clean up.

  • 1/2 - 3/4 pound of rigatoni or penne (prepared as directed)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed (I have thrown in fresh chopped spinach as well)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 14 oz of Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz of chive and onion cream cheese
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (you can use more if you like)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a deep pan, pot, or wok and add chicken; After about 3-4 minutes, add onions to the same pan and cook until chicken is no longer pink (do not overcook chicken; onion should be translucent but not browned).  Remove from heat.
  4. Drain spinach between paper towels or by pressing with the back of a spoon in a colander, add to pan with chicken and onion.
  5. Add cream cheese, salt, pepper and tomatoes to the same pan.
  6. Combine the chicken mixture and the cooked rigatoni.
  7. Spread mixture into baking dish.
  8. Top with shredded cheese.
  9. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, covered; 15 minutes, uncovered.

Difficulty: medium (it does require several dirty pots and pans) - update: I have changed the recipe to bring the prep down to two dirty pans and a colander. Not too bad!
Time: 15 minutes prep; 45 minutes baking
Source: an internet recipe that I finally modified to be quick, easy, and yummy


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