Thursday, December 4, 2008

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

It's funny. I got the Winter issue of the Kraft Food & Family Magazine. I have even made a few recipes out of it already. But I never noticed the recipe for Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake hiding there on page 22. I so much did not see it that when Joe over at Culinary in the Desert blogged about it, I thought he must be mistaken. But nope. There it is. Right there on page 22.

I'm glad that I finally noticed this recipe. It was simple to throw together. And adding seasonings as well as a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes to the jarred marinara sauce gave it a depth of flavor that tasted as if it took longer than 30 minutes to make. I especially enjoyed the addition of fresh spinach and apparently my picky eaters did too, because they were all surprised to hear that it had had spinach in it! LOL!

We'll definitely be making this dish again.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake
Recipe from Kraft Food & Family Magazine

1-1/2 cups multigrain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
HEAT oven to 375ºF. Cook pasta as directed on package, adding spinach to the boiling water for the last 1 min.
COOK and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min. Add spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in Neufchatel cheese.
DRAIN pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. or 8-inch square baking dish.
BAKE 20 min. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min.


Proud Italian Cook said...

Cheesy chicken pasta, yumm!!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is wonderful. I made a couple alterations because A) I was lazy and B) cannot get certain ingredients where I live. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, about 2 cloves of pre-minced garlic, some garlic powder, about 6 chopped mushrooms, did not mix in cheese into the sauce/chicken mixture, and completely skipped the baking aspect. I think baking it is a waste of time and gas. I combined the spinach/penne in appropriate amounts then dolloped the sauce/chicken over it, sprinkling a bit of mozzarella on each individual dish. I topped with about 4~5 cubes of crushed feta cheese and sprinkled what I wanted in parmesan on top, mixing it all up. My way was faster and it was superb. This will be in my top five regular dinner recipes from now on.