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 made all in one pan and filled with herb-y, garlic deliciousness.
When the wind is whipping and there’s speculation of a big snow storm right around the corner, there’s no better way to prepare than with cozy comfort food. Baked Pasta recipes are my go-to when I’m looking for something hearty and this Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta is one of our favorite dinners of all time.
CHICKEN FLORENTINE PASTA
Baked pasta is kind of a revelation and when you can just mix it all together then toss it in a baking dish….that’s a game changer.
This easy Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta recipe is just that. Al dente pasta mixed with a creamy sauce that’s baked until blissfully comforting. It’s one of the easiest weeknight dinners that you can easily prep ahead.
Based on our favorite chicken breast dinner, Chicken Florentine, this dinner is just as simple to make. The word “Florentine” (pronounced “FLOR-en-teen”) refers to a dish that is prepared in the style of cooking originating in the Florence region of Italy.
A recipe using the word Florentine in the title, such as Chicken Florentine Pasta, simply means that the dish includes spinach. Chicken Florentine can be made a variety of ways including mushrooms, artichokes or other additions but this recipe is simply made with a spinach cream sauce spiked with parmesan cheese.
HOW TO MAKE IT
Pretty simple as far as baked pasta casseroles go, this Florentine Pasta Bake is a great prep ahead dinner for busy weeknights.
Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Saute the onions and garlic until softened.
Stir in the Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper and cornstarch cooking for 1 minute.
Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in the milk over low heat and cook until slightly thickened.
Add the chicken, tomatoes, spinach and cheese stirring until cheese is melted. We like to use leftover chicken to make things easier!
Arrange the pasta in a baking dish and pour the sauce over the pasta.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and amazing.
HOW TO MAKE IN ADVANCE
To make Florentine Pasta casserole in advance. Assemble as directed in the recipe instructions and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.
Freeze your casserole for up to 30 months.
To bake, thaw the casserole to room temperature and then bake according to instructions.
WHAT TO SERVE IT WITH
Because this is an all in one dinner, we like to round out the meal with a wedge salad or a tossed salad with a splash of apple cider vinaigrette. We also love serving it alongside a pile of green beans or some asparagus spears.
MORE EASY BAKED PASTA RECIPES
If you love this Chicken Florentine Pasta as much as we do, you should also try the BEST Baked Ziti ever! It’s loaded with sausage, mushrooms and ricotta cheese.
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)!
Get the Recipe: 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.