Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta
Pasta, chicken, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes baked together in a creamy cheese sauce, the ultimate comfort food for any night of the week. Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta is packed with flavor and simple to make, completely gluten-free….and nobody will even know.
Seriously, enough with the darkness…..even though the temps are more like May, I’m already sick of the winter darkness. I’m counting down the days until it the shorter days start to become incrementally longer…I think it’s December 21, am I right? Where we get a few extra seconds of daylight each day and summer starts to creep a little closer with each passing minute? I’m still looking forward to a big snowfall, I need at least two under my belt before I’m ready to hang up the puffer coat….but the dark. I’m done. I’m suffering from SAD…I think. I miss looking out the window at 5:00 in the evening and still seeing….well, anything. Because at 5:00, I look out the window and it’s dark. BUT I am enjoying the whole neighborhood all lit up for the holidays. So, there’s that.
To cheer myself up, I eat. Isn’t that what all food lovers do? Look for something carby, cheesy and comforting to help us pull ourselves out of a funk? I have a feeling I’m not alone….and that’s why I whipped up another cheesy pasta dish to share with all of you. Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta is kinda like this baked gnocchi skillet from last year but much, much healthier. Less fat (there’s still a ton of cheese but I used low-fat milk instead of cream) and it’s gluten-free! Yep, I did it…I went down the gluten-free road. And let me tell you this….Barilla’s new line of Gluten-Free pastas are incredible. They taste just like their traditional pasta so the switch is not noticeable at all making this the perfect dish to serve your gluten sensitive friends and family. I found Barilla Gluten-Free Penne at my local BJ’s Wholesale Club and you can too. Be sure to visit BJ’s Wholesale Clubs on December 22nd and 23rd to see an in store Barilla Gluten Free pasta demo at select clubs.
Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta is really easy to pull together, too. It’s loaded with roasted chicken...a great way to use up leftover chicken from your Sunday dinner…spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and three cheeses. You can even assemble the dish in advance and pop it in the oven for dinner after work making this a pretty awesome meal for busy weeknights. And if you’re not into the whole chicken and spinach thing, you can definitely sub your Barilla Gluten Free pasta in this taco inspired pasta dinner. Nobody will ever know. I swear. And if you’re looking for more recipe ideas using Barilla Gluten Free pasta you should check out their Pinterest board!
Disclaimer: This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Barilla®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GlutenFreeBarilla http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta
- 1 package Barilla Gluten Free Penne
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small vidalia onion diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta just to al dente. (The pasta will still have a firm bite to it.) Immediately drain and set aside. (Do not overcook.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the italian seasoning, salt, red pepper, ground pepper and cornstarch stirring to coat the onions completely. Slowly add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and stir in the milk. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, chicken and spinach stirring to combine. Stir in the colby jack cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar and 1/2 cup parmesan. Set aside.
- Coat a 9x12 inch baking dish with cooking spray and add the pasta to the dish. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta and stir to combine. Top the pasta with the remaining cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
- Serve immediately.