Sunday, May 15, 2005

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake (Adapted from Kraft)

5 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) dry whole-wheat penne pasta
9 ounces fresh spinach leaves
2 teaspoons canola oil
16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized chunks
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups marinara sauce
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 ounces (1/4 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. 1 minute before the pasta is done, stir in the spinach.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken - season with basil, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce and drained tomatoes. Bring to a boil - reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done,a bout 3 additional minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

When the pasta is ready, drain well and place back into the pot. Stir in chicken mixture and 2 ounces (1/2 cup) mozzarella. Scoop the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes - scatter with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Continue baking until the cheese has melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 4 servings.

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  1. I just made this last week from the Food and Family magazine .aka. Kraft. I also made some changes as kraft tends to be on the mild side.
    This is a very YUMMY recipe!

  2. CLS - Glad to hear more feedback!

  3. Oh, that looks fantastic! And one of those dishes that's a total no-brainer to prepare, and can be made ahead. Perfect for the busy holiday season.