Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta Bake

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Flavorful, golden and bubbly  my Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta Bake combines a classic
appetizer combo and transforms it into a dinner time delight!

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

While I don’t make many casseroles because my boys don’t really like them (kids!), sometimes I do like the convenience of a casserole. One of my favorite casseroles is Mac ‘n Cheese. I’ve made these Mac ‘n Cheese recipes: Crawfish Mac & Cheese, Gnocchi Mac & Cheese, Quinoa Mac & Cheese and Muenster Mac & Cheese to name a few. It’s the creamy sauce that I like. I also like dips for the same reason. Wesley (Big Daddy) and I order the Spinach Artichoke  Dip every time we eat at a restaurant. Big Daddy isn’t much of a ‘dip’ guy, but he does love Spinach Artichoke Dip. It came to me one day to combine one of Big Daddy’s favorite dips with the creamy pasta that I love. That’s how this Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta recipe was born!

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta

One bite and Wesley said “This is the best pasta dish you’ve ever made.” The reason he liked it so much he said was that I “didn’t over do it on the cream sauce.” Had I been making it just for me, I would have loaded it up with cream sauce and cheese and not much else! He also explained that he enjoyed the slight tang of the marinated artichokes and added the spinach “gives it just enough ‘earthiness’ without overpowering the dish.”

Most baked pasta recipes call for boiled chicken. I wanted to add the most flavor to every component of the recipe therefore, I pan sautéed the chicken in a little oil with a sprinkling of salt and pepper to season it. I was careful not to over-cook and dry out the chicken. Even though there are a lot of steps in this recipe, cooking the pasta, cooking the chicken, and making the cheese sauce, I timed myself and it still came together right at 30 minutes. I used chicken tenders so they would cook faster. You could also cube chicken breast for quick cooking too.

Once all these separate components are ready, you simply mix everything together and bake until bubbly and golden.

Artichoke Spinach Baked Pasta

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta Bake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks (or 5 or 6 chicken tenders)
  • 2 T vegetable oil for cooking chicken
  • salt and pepper for chicken - I used about ½ tsp each
  • ½ of a 9 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, drained well (squeeze excess liquid out with a paper towel)
  • 1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoked hearts, drained and chopped
  • 8 oz pasta (I used farfalle, or bowtie, but any shape will work)
  • 4 oz jar diced pimientos, drained (optional) If you're not a huge fan of pimentios omit or add just 1 or 2 Tablespoons of them
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • (I doubled the above recipe for Bechamel for this recipe, the amounts I used for this recipe is listed below. For detailed cooking instructions on Bechamel read the above link)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese, seperated (I used Cracker Barrel white cheddar. A havarti or muenster would also be good in this recipe.)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions to al dente stage. Drain.
  2. Heat a saute' pan or skillet to medium high. After skillet is hot add 2 Tablespoons of oil. While oil is getting hot, salt and pepper chicken. Add chicken to hot pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Turn and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Cook time will depend on how hot your pan is. You can cut chicken open to test for doneness. Remove from pan when they're cooked.
  3. Cook Bechamel Sauce. Heat a large pot on medium. (You can use the same pot you boiled the pasta in.) Melt butter in hot pan, but don't let the butter brown. Add flour and whisk. Cook flour 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue whisking to remove any lumps. Cook until sauce thickens 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
  4. Combine pasta, chicken, artichokes, spinach (pull it apart into small pieces), and pimientos in a large bowl.
  5. Pour sauce over pasta mixture and gently stir. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  6. Top mixture with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  7. At this point you can refrigerate 4 to 6 hours and cook later.
  8. When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook uncovered 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly and browned.
  9. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers up to 2 days.
Notes
Recipe from Paula @CallMePMc.com All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission that includes copying the ingredient list or entire recipe and posting in the comments on Pinterest. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you, Paula

One month ago: Easy Individual Pizzas
One year ago: Oreo Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes

Other recipes you may like:

Kentucky Hot Brown Mac & Cheese
Kentucky Hot Brown Mac Cheese

Oh So Easy Shrimp & Grits
Shrimp-and-grits #callmepmc

Baked Sausage & Pepperoni Pasta
Sausage Pepperoni Penne Pasta Bake

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Paula
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Comments

  1. says

    I love spinach artichoke recipes and pinned this to my ‘Recipes from Others’ board!! Thanks for sharing it with us Paula and have a beautiful day!

    Hugs,
    Heather
    MySweetMission.net

  2. says

    Hi Paula: So many times that lengthy list of ingredients and the big paragraph of instructions can seem daunting, but when it’s packed with goodies like this, 30 minutes or 2 hours, I’d make this one. Thanks for the recipe. Sharing this one.

    • says

      I felt the same way about this recipe that’s why I timed myself. I hate long recipes, well, long dinner recipes, I can spend all day baking 🙂

    • says

      I changed windows trying to improve my photos. I’m still not really comfortable with that aspect of blogging.

  3. says

    We love spinach and artichoke dip and this casserole-twist sounds amazing Paula! I can imagine how flavorful this tastes with the sautéed chicken too – pinning. What a great recipe, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • says

      Thank you Kelly! I get over the moon when my husband doesn’t over any ‘critiques’ for my recipes 🙂

  4. Shannon says

    This looks fabulous! I have to tell you, the first time we had artichoke spinach dip was at an art gallery opening. My husband filled half his plate with it and was eating it with a fork when someone came up to him and said, “oh, I see you like that dip, too!” This recipe will make him VERY happy 😉

    • says

      lol, I could do that with just about any dip, I love cream dips especially. This should be perfect for him!

  5. says

    My family is mixed on casseroles too, but I think it’s because I sneak too many healthy vegetables into them. But I sure they will love this “pasta” dish. Thanks for bringing it to foodie friday.

  6. Paola Medrano says

    A few questions; is the spinach a fresh or frozen bag? You said well drained which sounded as if it could be frozen, but then again I wash spinach even from a new bag and wasn’t sure if that’s what you meant, to drain well after rinsing. Also, when you said you doubled the recipe for the cream sauce, was the ingredient list already doubled ir do I need to double it from what’s listed?

    • says

      Yes, the spinach is frozen. I’ll go clarify that in the recipe. Sometimes no matter how many times I proof a recipe, I still leave something out. The recipe for the cream sauce listed is exactly as I made it for this pasta. I was mainly refering to the process used to make a cream sauce is the reason I referred that link. Sorry for the confusion. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.

  7. says

    Pinned. This has some of my favorite ingredients – spinach and artichokes. YUM! I love casseroles because it’s a great way for me to sneak in more veggies. For me, if it’s mixed with pasta and covered in a sauce, the kids will eat it 🙂

  8. says

    I stopped by from Cast Party Wednesday because I wanted to try making a “green” meal & thought spinach would be a good start. Thanks for the idea! HUGS

  9. says

    Really surprised that your boys aren’t fond of casseroles. Mine loved them. But boy howdy catering to kids’ tastes can be a journey. I have two new children in my life that thankfully I don’t have to cook daily for, but it’s a real challenge as to what they will eat and not eat. Good thing I like challenges and also I am soooo pleased they are now part of our family. I suspect this would not be a winning recipe for them, but it sure would be for me and their parents.

    • says

      What a blessing to have 2 new children! Yes, my boys like opposite foods from each other and are very hard to please. I’m beginning not to make 3 different meals, I know everyone says don’t do that, but I have somewhat in the past. It’s a journey for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Shannon says

    I made this for dinner tonight for both my family & two others who I was took meals to. It was AMAZING!! Everyone loved it, which is a big complement. Thank you for sharing!

  11. says

    Wow, Paula…I am going to have to invite company for dinner so that I can make this. Hubby won’t go near spinach or artichokes but I LOVE them! This recipe looks great. Pinned it 🙂

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