Monday, October 31, 2011

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Bake

It might take a couple of weeks, but you should be able to get just about everything for this recipe from the co-op (except the parmesan and basil, which I always have on hand anyway).  The original recipe calls for fresh chicken breasts, but my co-op version uses the plain, non-breaded Brakebush chicken (either grilled or roasted).

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Bake
Total time:  45 minutes to 1 hour
Serves 4-6

1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9-10 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. non-breaded, plain Brakebush chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
dash seasoned salt 
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (I use the dried kind from Aldi because I'm cheap, but go for the real stuff if you can afford it :)

1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2.  Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water for the last minute.
3.  Meanwhile, combine chicken, basil, and seasoned salt in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Stir in tomatoes and spaghetti sauce; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low; stir in Neufchatel.
4.  Drain pasta and spinach mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella; pour into 3-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray.  (For a half recipe, I use an 8-inch square dish).  Bake 20 min. or until heated through; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

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