Chicken & Spinach-Artichoke Pasta

We LOVE  Spinach and Artichoke dip!  My oldest has eaten it with vigor ever since she was old enough to eat a chip.  I was rather uninspired to make dinner today, we had a bunch of things needing to be done around the farm, soaps to make and so on.  Finally, I decided to throw some frozen chicken breasts into the oven and see what happened.

The result was this fabulous light, but very filling and economical pasta!  Everyone loved it, even my two-year-old who declared it “GROSS” until she ate a noodle, and kept eating them.

My new go to is cooking frozen chicken.  It saves me the mess of having chicken juices run all over while I pull the chicken out of the package and it’s always so tender and flavorful.  Simply thaw the chicken enough to be able to remove all the packaging

Simply thaw the chicken enough to be able to remove all the packaging, and place it into a baking dish coated with olive oil.  Salt, pepper and add another seasoning you like (I used McCormicks Sicilian blend for this recipe), cover with foil and bake at 350′ for about 2 hours.  Presto! Fork tender, flavorful chicken just waiting for you.

 

Here is my recipe, you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken if you wanted to!

 

Chicken and Spinach-Artichoke Pasta

2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (about 3 cups)

3 Tbsp minced onion

1 clove minced garlic (about 1- 11/2 tsp)

4oz cream cheese

1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese

1/2 cup parmesan  grated/shredded cheese

1/2 can artichoke hearts, finely chopped

1 small bag of fresh spinach

Chicken broth OR the liquid from your roasted chicken

Salt & Pepper

Red Pepper flakes (optional)

 

In a large saucepan saute the onions and garlic in a small amount of olive oil or butter until tender.  Add the spinach, artichokes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until the spinach begins to wilt.  Add the cream cheese and shredded cheeses.  Stir until the cheeses are melted and the spinach is wilted.  Add a dash of red pepper flakes if desired.  Use enough chicken broth to thin the mixture out, so it is more of a sauce than a dip.  Add the shredded chicken, combine and tasted for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Mix into cooked pasta of your choice.  I suggest using a hearty pasta such as Penne or bow-tie.

 

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