Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casserole

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Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casserole is a delicious, make-ahead casserole recipe with chewy pasta, cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts. 

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My warm and wonderful Sunday turned into a cold and crappy Monday – boo!

We were supposed to get up into the upper 60s today, but barely reached the mid 50s. HOWEVER, we had a bonus, surprise thunderstorm around noon. I heart thunderstorms! They’re so cozy, no? :)

Since a run outdoors was out, I headed to the gym after work. It’s probably for the best anyways, because I got a great workout in. I started with a 55 Minute Oasis Treadmill Routine:

Time Speed Incline
0-2 4.0 1.5%
2-5 6.0 1.5%
5-10 6.5 1.5%
10-15 7.0 1.5%
15-20 7.5 1.5%
20-22 4.0 1.5%
22-25 6.0 1.5%
25-30 6.5 1.5%
30-35 7.0 1.5%
35-40 7.5 1.5%
sub-total: 4.4 miles
40-55 4.0 4.5%
sub-total: 1.0 miles
Total: 5.4 miles

Called the “oasis” routine because at 20 minutes, you get to start over at 4.0 mph. Like an oasis in the desert. You get it. ;)

Followed by this quick, stair stepper routine x2:

Minutes Steps per Minute
3 minutes 60
2 minutes 80
1 minute 100

Woo! BTW, the woman on the treadmill next to me had her incline set to 14 as she walked. 14!!! It inspired me to “take a hike” on the treadmill the next time I go. I did up my incline from 1% to 1.5% for my run, and I think I felt it. I was breathing reeeal heavy.

Super cute.

At any rate, although my brain is screaming for Spring, my heart, apparently, is still stuck on winter. I can’t stop making comfort food for dinner!

Shepard’s Pie, Arancini Casserole, Meatballs

shepardspie arancinicasserole meatballs

I figured why stop now, and made the YUMMIEST casserole for dinner. You’ve got to make it – Make-Ahead Chicken and Spinach Artichoke Casserole!

It is so amazingly delicious and comes together in a snap. Ben and I made it together yesterday, so all I had to do was pop it in the oven tonight!

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Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casserole

Print this recipe!

Serves 8

Adapted from BHG.com

Ingredients:
8oz bow tie pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
2 small shallots, chopped
2 cups chicken tenders, cut into small chunks
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1-8oz package Colby Jack cheese
1-14oz can quartered artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1-10pz package chopped, frozen spinach, thawed and wrung out with a dish towel
1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasoning and 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese. Stir in colby jack cheese, artichokes and frozen spinach. Combine egg mixture, chicken and pasta, then pour into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 pan. Cover pan with foil and put into the fridge overnight.
  4.  The next day, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. While casserole is baking, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, bread slice and paprika into a food processor. Pulse until you have bread crumbs. Stir in melted butter.
  5. After 20 minutes, top casserole with breadcrumb mixture and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until breadcrumbs are crunchy. Serve!

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Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Such great flavors!

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Creamy, cheesy, chewy & hearty. I love that crunchy topping too.  By my calculations, only 330 calories a serving, to boot!

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You know what, although it’s technically a “casserole-type” dish, this was surprisingly light. I think it’s the spinach in there. So yummy. Colorful too!

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Served with a side of roasted asparagus. Just some spears topped with olive oil and garlic salt, then popped into the oven with the casserole for the last 10 minutes. :D

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I need to put the leftovers away ASAP, because this is totally the type of dish you stand over and pick at with your fork. You’ve been there…

In other news, I felt something tickling my foot this afternoon as I happily worked away on a spreadsheet at work. I kicked, thinking whatever it was, dust, lint, etc. would launch off from the force. Um no. The tickling persisted. I looked down to see…an ant.

An ant crawling on my foot.

Disgusting!! Ants don’t really gross me out as much as spiders, flies, praying manti…but seriously – tickling my foot? No.

2 minutes later I noticed something crawling out of the corner of my eye. Another ant. 5 seconds later – one crawling down my wall calendar! It was an infestation!!

Luckily someone wielding a wicked bottle of Raid came to my rescue a short time later, but still, gross. I hate the thought of those tiny little buggers crawling all over my stuff, into my water and onto my food. Right?!

That got us talking – would you rather have an infestation of bugs or mice?

The answer might not be as clear as you think. Sure – rodents are absolutely filthy, but they don’t (usually) crawl all over you. Insects, on the other hand, have no boundaries.

I think I pick mice.

Ahh!!!

Off to do some housework – had too much fun playing outdoors this weekend and blew off my chores. C’est la vie. :)

See you!

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Comments

  1. nicole 03.21.2011

    ooo that looks so good! and sounds really easy. a def plus! :-)

  2. I’d rather have the mice for sure – insects give me the creeps! Especially cockroaches…those send me screaming like a little girl!

  3. Hannah Marie 03.21.2011

    AHH! I just got done vacuuming a million little ants all around my apartment…so gross! Luckily I didn’t find any of them in my bedroom or I’m not sure I would be able to sleep tonight.

  4. Your casserole looks yummy and light! I’ll have to give it a try!

  5. Lauren 03.21.2011

    I just ran outside tonight for the first time in ages and I’m pretty sure the hill I climbed was at like a 20 as far as incline. I nearly died!

    Love the make-ahead recipes. It looks fantastic!

  6. I love make ahead dinners! This one looks delicious!

  7. Mary Ann 03.21.2011

    That casserole looks so good! I would make it right now if I had spinach and artichokes. I know what’s going on my grocery list! I already thought of ways to make it gluten free lol! Rice pasta and crushed rice crackers for the topping.

    I’ve had both mice and ants before, and even though ants are disgusting and hard to get rid of, mice are worse imo. They chew into all the food pacakges in the pantry and leave their gross little poops all over the house. They even got into some of my crafting supplies and ruined papers and stuff with their chewing and urine. Not fun.

  8. OMG a mouse infestation would send me packing! I HATE RODENTS!!!

  9. Heather 03.21.2011

    What do you use as your calculator to determine the amount of calories in a dish?

    Thank you!Heather

  10. Melanie 03.21.2011

    No! No to mice! I grew up in an older home in the country and we would get mice in the wintertime. I distinctly remember reading in my room at night with the lights low and seeing a mouse running across the floor… And then later, in the night, waking up to a scritch-scratching noise. Convinced myself it was in the walls. Nope – a mouse had been chewing on a poster stored on my trundle bed INCHES BELOW ME! Yuck!!! I was always careful to keep my fingers and toes and hair safely contained in the center of my mattress after that…

  11. Meg 03.21.2011

    I’ve had a mouse in bed with me before while staying in a cabin AND while staying in a nice hotel, plus I’ve been woken up from being bitten on the back of my neck by a spider in my own bed, so really in my opinion there is no winner! I guess I’d rather have mice though, because you can usually hear ‘em coming!
    Like the new treadmill routine btw, I definately want to try it at a modified pace (I’m very slowly recovering from a herniated disc in my lower back).
    Have a good night!

  12. Emily 03.21.2011

    I definitely choose insects [spiders are not insects, so I don’t have to consider them. :)]. I used to work at an insect/invertebrate zoo, so insects seem safer to me. Mice chew everything up and get into your food and poop everywhere. At least insect poop is small enough not to be grossly noticeable. Also, that casserole looks fabulous!

  13. Oh gosh definitely insects! There are mice that live in the attic at my house back home, and they die and my room always smells!! booo haha

  14. Both are traumatizing, but I’d still choose bugs as I’m phobic of mice! I haven’t had mice for the past two winters, but I still spend the first 3/4 of winter convinced that any rustling sound I hear is a mouse. Ick. We had ants last spring, and not anything that could be dealt with with a bottle of raid either. First I spotted one, then another, and then I realized that the carpet was alive. It was horrifying, but not quite as bad as mice to my mind. Thankfully, a couple days after we put some Terro poison down, they were all gone.

  15. Michelle 03.21.2011

    You need to buy some Terro Liquid Ant Bait and place it where you see ants coming in. I had an ant problem in my garden window and the following year by the window above my kitchen sink. They take the bail back. Also put the Terro Outdood Ant Killer in a 5 lb granular and sprinkle around your foundation.

    You will be amazed how well it works and how quickly you will be rid of them.

  16. I will definitely be making this soon!!

    I miss thunderstorms! I haven’t experienced one in a long time!!

  17. Mary Ann 03.21.2011

    I ended up making it tonight after all! Yum! I found some spinach in the freezer and subbed some chopped brussels sprouts for the artichokes (practically the only veggie I had left in the fridge, tomorrow is grocery day) and mozzarella for the cheese. It was delicious gluten free! Thanks Kristin, you rock!

  18. looks great! and mice or insects? tough call. a couple years ago we had mice in our house…it was horrible. i lived w/ roommates at the time, and my then-boyfriend/now-husband had mousetrap duty every time he came over. now we get ladybug infestations in our apartment and they seriously are like locusts! covering everything! i find dead ladybugs everywhere. it’s so gross!!

  19. Jenny 03.21.2011

    WOW — that dish looks fabulous!! I love spin-art dip! I once asked Granite City to make their spin-art chicken sammie into a wrap (I’m not huge on full chicken breasts in sandwiches), and they gladly obliged. You should try it!

    As for rodents or insects? I’d rather have insects in my home. I am currently living in FL and I had a GECKO creep into my condo this week. NO JOKE — I guess we learned our lesson for keeping our door open !

  20. dmcgirl 03.21.2011

    Icky, do I have to pick? I would say mice cause you would probably never see them. Ants gross me out more than spiders, cause they won’t come off of you!

    That cass is awesome! I will have to make it, hopefully, I can do you proud!

  21. Emily M 03.21.2011

    I don’t want either. Just reading this makes me feel all creepy crawly! Eeeek!!! We live out in the country in Indiana an spiders are our problem out here. I have a mini heart attack every time I spot one.

  22. Cara 03.21.2011

    This looks delicious. It may have to be on my dinner list for next week!

  23. Christie 03.21.2011

    I can’t read the comments in this post because it’s creeping me out! I don’t like bugs but mice really scare me.

    Instead I’ll just think about cream spinach artichoke casserole. Yum :)

  24. Alexis 03.22.2011

    You failed to see the best part your ant encounter: reappearance of insects likely means that spring is nearly here! hooray :)

  25. Juani 03.22.2011

    I despise rodents (of any type) with every fibre of my being,due to 2 traumatizing experience I had with them when I was a kid.I would much rather have a bunch of cockroaches crawl around my place,than a bunch of mice or rats.

  26. sherry 03.22.2011

    What do you do with left-overs?
    The dishes you make are too big for just two people.
    We are not big fans of left-overs.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.22.2011

      Fortunately Ben and I love leftovers for lunches (often times they’re better the days after they’re made!)

  27. Carrie 03.22.2011

    This looks so good and I have everything in my pantry. Going on the menu later this week!

  28. We had an infestation of mice last year and while it was bad…I think an insect infestation would be worse! I hate spiders so so much. At least with mice you can hear them…insects sneak up on you!

  29. Hope 03.22.2011

    That casserole looks amazing! I love spinach and artichokes so this would be the perfect recipe for me. I love that you can make it ahead of time and then bake it when you are going to eat it. That definitely makes preparing dinner much easier.

  30. I’m definitely keeping this casserole in mind. Especially in New England, there’s a time when you crave spring-fare meets winter and I think this a perfect dish to bridge the seasons!!

  31. Ashley 03.22.2011

    This looks incredibly yummy! Not to mention super simple! :).

  32. lauramich 03.22.2011

    Teh Husband dislikes both spinach and artichokes, so there’s no way I’m sneaking this one by him. But I do have a couple of similar casseroles in our arsenal.

    First, I’ve revised this Asparagus and Ham Casserole to use chicken breast instead of ham (less salt) and sugar snap peas instead of asparagus (cheaper and available year-round).

    The Cauliflower, Pasta, and Cheese Gratin is a more recent addition to our rotation. I use the full 7-ounce package of reduced fat sharp cheddar, and omit the parmesan. But don’t give me too many snaps for making it healthier, because sometimes I add ham or bacon.

    I should also note that I use Barilla Plus, Ronzoni Smart Taste, or a comparable pasta. Teh Husband doesn’t care for whole wheat pastas, so these are a compromise.

    Re: bugs vs. mice—Mice. We actually have mice, which I discovered after finding that someone besides me had been gnawing on the dark chocolate in my candy drawer. I’m careful to keep the kitchen spotless and to seal up anything that might be tempting to a small rodent; otherwise, it’s live-able.

  33. Mary 03.22.2011

    Looks amazing and easy! Going to try it this week :)

  34. Anne Weber-Falk 03.22.2011

    UGH! NEITHER! Mice are very dirty and can make you sick. Bugs are not much better. While ants don’t upset me as much they are a bother and they can bite. Ouch. One time my husband and I had moved to a new rental and it turned out to be infested with ROACHES! It was horrible and we had no place else to go so we had to stay there. The landlord took care of it right away but it was several weeks before I stopped seeing them completely. It was awful and I will never forget it. Now I am a freak about bugs in the house.

  35. yet another one of your recipes I am bookmarking….have another family dinner im making for my roommates on sunday…maybe ill do this!

  36. Rachel 03.22.2011

    Ok so I just came across your blog and I love it. I’ve wanted to create one for awhile, and you further inspired me. I also love your eat, run, travel theme. I have a serious obsession with food and love to run too so this makes your blog very fun to read. I also love San Fran too I saw when you posted your Top 10, very nice. I’m in Houston, and while I know it’s not the most at first glance desirable city to visit or live, it’s actually pretty awesome, and has the best food in the country hands down! If you’re ever here, I can give you a list of foodie recommendations. Oh and my brother’s girlfriend is from Iowa so I thought of her too when I read your blog, thanks for sharing!

  37. Claire 03.22.2011

    This dish looks great! Do you think it would work to half the recipe, and use a small square dish instead of the one you used? It’s just me, and I don’t need the temptation of 8 servings of that stuff! :)

  38. That casserole looked soooooo good. I WILL DEFINITELY BE MAKING IT. It had all the ingredients I love and I agree with you on it being a dish I would hover over AFTER I already ate my plated meal.

    Also…..I would pick ants because at least I wouldn’t feel as guilty killing them. Mice would possibly require blood or seeing those little guys stuck in paper….can’t help but feel a little sad at that point.

  39. ashley 03.22.2011

    I need to make that casserole! I just need to figure out how to make it for one since my bf is currently in Italy on det. hmm…

    And I would choose…neither haha i’m a wimp.

  40. Susie 03.24.2011

    When in the recipe do you add the pasta? I missed that part in the recipe and have looked a couple of times and don’t see it. Or maybe it is so obvious that it isn’t needed in the directions….except for people like me! ;)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.24.2011

      Ah – you’re right – good catch! I updated direction #3 :) Thanks!

  41. Susie 03.24.2011

    Thanks! One more question! Do you have any tips on how to make the bread crumbs if you don’t have a food processor? Can I use crackers or store bought bread crumbs.

  42. […] recipe was inspired by Kristin’s recipe, which she originally got from […]

  43. Jana 04.27.2011

    This feels like a dumb question, but I have fresh spinach and not frozen…could I just saute it before I put it in you think? I am hoping to make it tonight!

  44. Karlee 05.10.2011

    can you leave the chicken out?

  45. […] BEST casserole ever. & healthy-ish too. recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats & found here:  Chicken, spinach, artichoke casserole   looks amazing. tastes pretty fantastic too. make it. you know you want to. great work […]

  46. Anna M 10.18.2011

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve made this twice and I’m in love! Job well done. :) (My boyfriend complimented the dish many times and I told him to thank IGE!)

  47. Jodi 02.10.2012

    Can i make this without letting it sit overnight…?

  48. Amy 02.28.2012

    Thanks for this recipe – I’ve made it so many times. It’s become a regular for us.
    :)

  49. Erika 09.23.2012

    This was amazing! By far my new favorite make ahead dish. Thanks Iowa Girl for the great idea! I made a few tweaks on it over at my blog, which you inspired me to start (your photos are much better). http://aglobetrottersfare.blogspot.be/2012/04/artichoke-spinach-sundried-chicken.html

  50. Katie R. 09.29.2012

    I want to make this tomorrow for my in-laws, but can I make it the same day?

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