Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake


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This Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake is a comforting casserole made with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and cheese. Topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan, this hearty chicken pasta is sure to satisfy!

chicken florentine pasta bake in a casserole dish

Warm, filling, flavorful and ideal for making ahead, casseroles are a classic dinnertime comfort food. Some of my favorites include this Macaroni Pasta Bake, Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Chicken and Rice Casserole and this Chicken Florentine Pasta.

After my second baby was born, a good friend brought us a big dish of this chicken Florentine casserole and it fed us for days. It was wonderful! The leftovers reheat well and it’s a one dish meal complete with protein, pasta and vegetables.

pasta served on a plate with a fork with casserole in background

Chicken Florentine is a chicken recipe that is made in the style of cooking of Florence, Italy. Traditionally, chicken Florentine is a dish made with chicken breasts, spinach and a creamy sauce. This delicious chicken Florentine pasta recipe also includes artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce. The casserole is topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping that makes it extra delicious!

Ingredients

ingredients for chicken florentine pasta recipe

  • Farfalle Pasta: The bowtie shape of farfalle pasta works well in this dish. If you don’t have farfalle, any short pasta shape will work. You can use whole wheat pasta for a nutrition boost.
  • Olive Oil & Onion: Onion sautéed in olive oil adds flavor.
  • Eggs & Milk: These are the base for the creamy sauce. Whole milk is best for a richer flavor, but you can also use low fat milk. The eggs help to thicken and bind the sauce and also add richness to the dish.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, salt and pepper add flavor. Crushed red pepper flakes are optional to add a bit more flavor and spice.
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes, Frozen Spinach & Artichoke Hearts: This combination of healthy veggies pair perfectly in this dish. I recommend using sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and canned artichoke hearts. 
  • Shredded Cooked Chicken: You can use a rotisserie chicken, poached chicken or you can cook and shred chicken breasts or thighs. Find tips for how to make shredded chicken below.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese: Shredded Monterey jack cheese adds flavor and creaminess to the casserole. You can substitute the Monterey jack cheese with other cheeses, such as fontina, Colby jack or mozzarella.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is used in both the casserole filling and topping for flavor.
  • Breadcrumb Topping: The breadcrumb topping is made with plain bread crumbs, paprika, Parmesan and melted butter. You can use regular bread crumbs or Panko for an extra crispy topping.

How to make Chicken Florentine Pasta

Making this recipe is easy, but like many baked pasta dishes it takes some time to put together. You can save 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.

You’ll find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below. Here’s a quick look at the recipe steps:

  1. Cook the pasta.
  2. Sauté the onion.
  3. Combine all of the casserole ingredients in a large bowl. First, whisk together two eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired.
  4. Then add the onion, artichoke hearts, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, cooked chicken, pasta and cheese. Stir everything together and then transfer the mixture to your baking dish. side by side photos showing recipe ingredients separately and then mixed in baking dish
  5. Bake the casserole in the oven at 350° F for 25 minutes, covered.
  6. Mix together topping ingredients. breadcrumb topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb topping and continue baking until the casserole is hot and the topping starts to brown.

Recipe Variations

  • You can make this dish vegetarian by omitting the chicken. Also omit the Parmesan cheese, as it is not vegetarian. You can add more veggies in place of the chicken. Try sautéing mushrooms, bell peppers or zucchini along with the onion. Drain off any excess liquid before adding to the other pasta bake ingredients.
  • Use other short pasta shapes such as ziti, rigatoni or penne.
  • To save a step you can omit the onion. You will also not need the olive oil as it is used to sauté the onion.

Make Ahead & Storage Instructions

  • Make Ahead: You can assemble the pasta bake up to one day ahead and refrigerate it before baking. It will take longer to heat through if you bake it cold from the refrigerator. I would recommend baking 40-45 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered, or until hot throughout.
  • To Refrigerate: You can refrigerate the leftovers after baking this chicken Florentine pasta. Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the casserole before or after baking. Make sure it is cool before wrapping it well and putting it in the freezer. Thaw and then heat the casserole to steaming after freezing.

serving chicken pasta casserole with a serving spoon

What to Serve with this Pasta Bake

Serve with an Italian salad or a simple green salad and garlic knots or a loaf of French bread. Other side dishes that go well with this chicken Florentine pasta are roasted carrots, roasted broccoli or roasted cauliflower.

Cooking Tips for this Chicken Pasta

  • You’ll need cooked chicken for this casserole. You can buy a rotisserie chicken or try my Instant Pot shredded chicken or crockpot shredded chicken recipe.
  • Put the frozen spinach in your refrigerator a day ahead to defrost. Once it has thawed, you can squeeze out excess moisture using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Letting the spinach thaw in the refrigerator is much faster than thawing it in the microwave.
  • You can substitute the frozen spinach with 10 ounces of chopped fresh spinach, wilted in a skillet.
  • I recommend using sun dried tomatoes packed in oil because they have more moisture than dry packed sun dried tomatoes.

More Chicken Pasta Recipes

chicken pasta bake served on a plate

Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake

This Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake is a comforting casserole made with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and cheese. Topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan, this hearty chicken pasta is sure to satisfy! Perfect for a weekend dinner or a make-ahead meal for a weeknight.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicken florentine, chicken pasta, pasta bake
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 523kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach (thawed and well drained (see note))
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese (8 ounces)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup bread crumbs (Panko or regular)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish or large casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens and lightly browns, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the onion, 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 everything 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 a bit to combine the layers as you go.)
  • Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, paprika and melted butter. Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle the casserole with the topping and continue to bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more, until hot and golden brown on top.

Notes

  • You can substitute the frozen spinach with 10 ounces of chopped fresh spinach, wilted in a skillet.
  • You'll need cooked chicken for this casserole. You can buy a rotisserie chicken, or try my Instant Pot shredded chicken or crockpot shredded chicken recipe.
  • I recommend using sun dried tomatoes packed in oil because they are more moist than dry packed sun dried tomatoes.
  • You can substitute the Monterey jack cheese with other cheeses, such as fontina, colby jack or mozzarella.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

Nutrition

Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5219IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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