Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Artichoke Florentine Penne Pasta Bake

We love Spinach Artichoke Dip at our house, so much that we can easily make it a meal.  Actually there are a lot of dips that we can make a meal of, but that is probably not something I should brag about.  I had a package of spinach that I needed to use and I didn't think I should serve my family a dip for dinner this evening, nor did I feel like having another spinach salad. Here is the pasta dish I made for dinner this evening that uses the same ingredients as that Spinach Artichoke dip that is so popular.  I added chicken, but my daughter Ashton thought the chicken could be left out and it would be great as a side dish as well.  I think it can be used for a family dinner, but you could also serve it if you were entertaining.  It has a creamy Swiss cheese sauce and uses plenty of butter and cream, which makes it pretty decadent. It is the holidays after all!  I added the red pepper because I thought it would be pretty with the green spinach and so festive during this Christmas season! Give it a try I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Chicken Artichoke Florentine Penne Pasta Bake

8  tablespoons butter, divided
1  medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1  red pepper, diced
3  cloves garlic, minced
6  ounces fresh Baby Spinach
1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4  cup flour
2  1/2 cups chicken broth
1  cup heavy cream
2  tablespoons white wine or sherry
1  cup shredded swiss cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
1  pound penne pasta, cooked and drained
2  (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
4  cups cooked chicken

3/4  cup Panko or fresh bread crumbs
1  cup grated Parmesean cheese
3  tablespoons butter, melted

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and cook 2 to 3 more minutes until garlic is fragrant.  Add the spinach and nutmeg, cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In the same skillet melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes until bubbly.  Gradually add the chicken broth, heavy cream and the white wine.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens.  Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the Swiss cheese until melted.  Season to taste with salt & pepper. 

In the bowl with the spinach mixture, add the cooked pasta, cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, and cream sauce.  Mix until well blended and pour into a greased 9 X 13 casserole dish.

In a small bowl, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in the panko or fresh bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and topping is beginning to brown.



Shared at these fabulous link parties:
Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper
Addicted to Recipes Scrumptious Sunday Link Party

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! I love this idea. Artichokes and spinach are 2 of our faves! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week & come back soon ~EMM


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