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Cooler weather is here and that means it’s time for comfort food! There is just something about when the temperatures begin to drop and wanting a nice warm casserole. Plus casseroles are the perfect thing for busy moms, they tend to be quick and easy to put together which is perfect for weeknight dinners or that holiday party that someone forgot to tell us about. I love that with a few ingredients I can have a complete, tasty dinner for my family with minimal effort, like my husband’s favorite, Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken. It is what happened when holiday party food meets dinner.
My husband is a huge fan of Spinach Artichoke Dip, he would probably eat it every day if he could get away with it. That is probably why he loves when this casserole so much. I love it because it is one of the easiest casseroles I make. It uses simple ingredients, is shocked full of vegetables and chicken, and I use my favorite pasta, Barilla®. I have used Barilla pasta for easily well over 10 years. From their classic blue box pasta to their gluten free pasta’s (a gluten free pasta that actually tastes like regular pasta too!), my family loves them all. I have a variety of the pasta’s in my pantry at all times.
Being a frugal mama, I always keep my eye open for the best deals and right now if you head over to Target has a good deal on Barilla Pronto pasta with their Cartwheel app. Right now you can get 20% off Barilla® Pronto Pasta until November 26th. I like this one pan, no boil or drain pasta for making my homeschooler lunches.In this Spinach Artichoke Penne, you can use any type of Barilla Penne Pasta. I prefer the Gluten Free but, I can’t eat gluten. I also use Barilla’s Creamy Alfredo Sauce. It is a simple and creamy sauce that helps bring this casserole together.
To make the casserole, start by dicing the chicken into bite size pieces and sauteing in a bit of olive oil and garlic, draining juices as needed. While the chicken is cooking bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta for 8 minutes.
This recipe has spinach in it but I’m not going to cook it in a typical way. I don’t want to overcook it so when I drain the penne I’m going to add it to the pot I cooked the penne in.
I then add the hot penne back to the pot and give it a stir.
and then the chicken and stir. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the hot penne and chicken without overcooking.
Then stir in the alfredo sauce.
Next, add in the quartered artichokes and diced tomatoes with chiles
and finally, stir in a cup of Parmesan cheese.
Then pour the penne mixture into a prepared 13×9 casserole dish and top with some more Parmesan cheese.
Let it bake uncovered and allow the flavors meld together and get all bubbly and delicious.
After thirty minutes the casserole will be done and you will have a meal your entire family will love.Spinach and Artichoke Penne is a simple dish with all the flavors of Spinach and Artichoke Dip that will leave your family and friends wanting more. It will become “that dish” at the party that everyone raves about and asks you for the recipe. Everyone needs a dish like this in their arsenal of recipes.
How do you add Barilla® to your favorite cool weather casseroles?
- 3-4 chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 12 ounce box Penne Pasta
- 2 jars Alfredo Sauce
- 1 (12ounce) can marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained, trimmed and quartered
- 1 (5 ounce) bag Baby Spinach
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced Tomatoes with Green Chile Peppers, drained
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute; then add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add spinach to pot used to cook pasta and add drained, hot penne and diced chicken and stir together wilting spinach.
- Stir in Alfredo sauce, artichoke hearts,diced tomatoes and, 1 cup of parmesan cheese together. Once well-combined pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.