I am obsessed with all things spinach and artichoke right now, it must be Spring getting to me. Tossed in a casserole with chicken, pasta, and cheese these veggies become instant comfort food (similar to my long time favorite Spring Shells casserole). This comes together quickly and only needs to bake for 10-15 minutes, just enough to brown the top (all the ingredients are already cooked).
A mixture sauce of sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and sauteed onions and garlic becomes the base for the sauce. Add in the spinach, artichoke hearts, shredded cooked chicken along with cooked pasta and Mozzarella cheese and you are ready to go.
Top with more cheese and bake until golden brown. Despite the creamy base, this is actually a drier casserole. With the chicken it is a complete meal, leave out the chicken to turn it into a side dish.
Spinach, Artichoke, and Chicken Casserole
adapted from Budget Savvy Diva
1 lb of short pasta (I used whole grain Fusilli)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup Parmesan
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 (13.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, chopped
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breasts
1 cup mozzarella
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Cook pasta according to the box. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before you drain the cooked pasta.
Heat oil in a small pan and cook onions for 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
In a large bowl – mix sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, lemon (juice and zest), onions, and garlic. Add pasta and mix. Stir in spinach, artichokes, chicken, reserved cooking liquid from the pasta, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
Place mixture into greased 3 qt casserole dish and place the rest of mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake in the oven, uncovered, until golden brown on top – about 10 – 15 minutes.