Tuscan Chicken Bake

Creamy chicken dishes are a favorite of mine and when they involve just a few minutes of hands on time, they really appeal to me! This one has you puttering in the kitchen for about 15 minutes and then left to boil pasta, putter with side dishes, or just relax a bit while it bakes. Beyond that, it's a stunningly good meal. What's not to love?

If you don't have sun-dried tomatoes, you can substitute a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, although the flavor of the final dish will not be as intense. I love to bright flavor and morsels of chewy tomato you get to enjoy if you have the sun-dried tomatoes on hand.

Apart from serving this over tender pasta, you might want to put together a simple vegetable side or a green salad. And I like having some sliced French bread on hand to sop up the sauce left on the plate too. Yeah, I really like this sauce!

Tuscan Chicken Bake

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 8 oz. chopped fresh spinach (or frozen - thawed and squeezed dry)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ c. heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes, chopped with with 1 T. oil reserved
  • 16 oz. short pasta, cooked according to package instructions (I used penne)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the chopped chicken in the bottom of a large baking dish. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and half of the garlic.

In a bowl, beat together the spinach, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Add the remaining half of the garlic, salt, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, and Italian seasoning and beat to combine. Spread the spinach and cream cheese mixture on top of the chicken, top with sun-dried tomatoes then drizzle a tablespoon of oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Bake the casserole for 35 minutes: Cook for 20 minutes loosely covered with foil then uncover and bake 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot over hot cooked noodles.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 minutes

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