This baked pasta is full of yumminess. There’s artichoke hearts, spinach, cheese, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. And pasta, of course. I used whole-wheat, because it’s my favorite, and good for you too.
Do you need a meal to bring to a new neighbor or a friend with a new baby? This pasta bake is the perfect meal for gifting. After William was born, a good friend brought us a big dish of this and it fed us for days. It was wonderful. The leftovers reheat well, and it’s full of protein, carbs, and veggies, which is just what you need when you’re putting all of your energy into taking care of a newborn. Add in a green salad and a loaf of french bread and you have a complete meal. If you’re making this for a family with young kids, I suggest steamed carrots and applesauce for the kiddos.
Making this recipe is so easy, but like most baked pasta dishes it does take some time to put together. Nothing exceptional, but it’s a bit more effort than just boiling pasta and reheating a jar of sauce. You can save some time by cooking the chicken ahead of time or buying a rotisserie chicken. If you plan ahead and defrost your spinach in the refrigerator the night before, that will help too.
The time it takes to make this is totally worth it, because you will have a lot of delicious food when you’re done! I was able to share some with my parents, and we still had enough for our family to have two dinners. And let me tell you, once you taste this Chicken Florentine Artichoke Pasta Bake, you will be so glad to have leftovers to look forward to!
Chicken Florentine Artichoke Pasta Bake
Makes 8 servings
- 16 ounces farfalle pasta
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (or 10 ounces chopped fresh spinach, gently wilted in a skillet)
- 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the topping:
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking dish (either a 13x9x2-inch dish or a 3-quart casserole) with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Add onion mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, cooked chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, and Parmesan cheese to the bowl. Stir until well combined. Add the pasta and gently stir until the mixture is evenly distributed. (If your bowl is not large enough to fit the pasta and the artichoke mixture, you can layer the pasta with the mixture in the baking dish, stirring carefully to combine the layers as you go.)
- Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the Panko, Parmesan, paprika, and melted butter. Toss to evenly distribute.
- Sprinkle the partially-baked pasta with the topping and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more, until hot and golden brown on top.
Source: Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.