I was certainly inspired to make different Italian dishes when I got back from my trip. My husband was all for it too! He loved all the food as much as I did. When I made this recipe it really hit the spot. Everything came out oh so yummy! The smell of it cooking in the oven was enough to make me salivate! I also had a nice amount of leftovers for lunch the next day! I made bruschetta to go with this casserole, but garlic bread is also a great side as well. This casserole will definitely make more than one appearance in my kitchen and will take my husband and I back to our trip!
Check out what our friends from Grazing In The City have to say about this:
“But, this was a delicious alternative to a typical tomato sauce-y pasta casserole bake.”
The flavors in this soup are out of this world!
- 1-2 tbsp Crisco olive oil
- 1 tbsp Land O Lakes butter
- 3-4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 small container baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 package rigatoni pasta
- 1 (10 oz) Green Giant package of frozen spinach, thawed and ‘pat dry to remove excess liquid’
- 1 dash of nutmeg
- 1 (14 oz) canHunt’s diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (16 oz) container Great Value cottage cheese
- 1 (16 oz) package Kraft shredded mozzarella
Cook pasta according to directions. Melt butter in pan with olive oil. Sautee chicken until cooked well (be sure and add whatever spices/herbs you like). Set aside to cool and chop up. Slice mushrooms and saute in the same pan. Heat until they start to wilt and add onions. Cook together for a few minutes on medium heat, until onions start to sweat. Add chopped garlic and cook together for a minute or so more.
Once the onions, mushrooms and garlic have cooked together and combine with the chopped chicken. Combine drained spinach and drained can of diced tomatoes – be sure to add the nutmeg to the spinach as well. Stir everything until mixed well. Add a layer of pasta to a greased casserole dish. Next, add the chicken and spinach mixture and top this with a layer of cottage cheese. Add another layer of pasta, a layer of chicken and spinach mixture and top this with a layer of mozzarella. Continue layering until everything is added and finish with the last of the mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until it’s browned on top and bubbling up on the sides.
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Quick Tip: Add ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.
Thanks again to Grazing In The City for this amazing recipe.