Chicken, Spinach, and Ricotta Noodle Casserole

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm not sure where I found tonight's recipe. I spend a lot of time looking for something new to make.

Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Noodle Casserole Recipe
1 tbsp. butter
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
15 oz. container Ricotta cheese, part skim
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 oz. wide noodles, not egg noodles

Directions: In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the butter. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook over low heat until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach, increase heat to medium, cover and cook until the spinach has completely thawed. Uncover the spinach and stir it over slightly higher heat until all the excess liquid has evaporated. Let it cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the spinach mixture, Ricotta and Parmesan. Season with nutmeg and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water. Do not salt water. Do not add oil to water. Season with onion powder and stir in keep from sticking. Drain and immediately stir into the cheese and spinach mixture.

Butter a deep 1 to 1 1/2 quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon of butter and pack in the mixture. Dot the top with the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and crusty. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving.


-I decided at the last minute to add some chicken to this dish so I cut up 2 chicken breasts.

-I used 2 garlic cloves.

-I added a handful of fresh, chopped parsley.

-I used about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Here's what I started with:

Here's how I did it:
#1 I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

#2 I put a pot of water on to boil for the noodles.

#3 I chopped up an onion and 2 garlic cloves.

#4 I melted 1T of butter in a pan.

#5 I chopped up 2 chicken breasts and threw it in the melted butter to sautee.

#6 I added the onion and garlic cloves and let it all cook for about 7-8 minutes.

#7 I then added 3 big handfuls of semi-defrosted chopped spinach.

#8 I covered it and let it cook for another 6-7 minutes to totally defrost. I then uncovered it and cooked for a couple of more minutes.

#9 In the meantime, I put a container of ricotta cheese and about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl.

#10 I added then noodles to the boiling water and let them cook until they were al dente. (I used about 1/2 of a bag of egg noodles)

#11 I uncovered the chicken mixture and threw in some fresh chopped parsley.

#12 I then put the chicken mixture into the same bowl as the cheeses.

#13 Drained the noodles and then threw them in with the chicken and cheese.

#14 I then sprayed a 9x9 baking dish (anything this size will work) and put the entire mixture in the dish.

#15 I cut up some pads of butter and put them on top.

#16 It then went into the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

The Finished Product:

This dish was really good. I'm definitely glad that I added the chicken breasts to this as it made it a little more heartier.
I will say that it was a little dry but had good flavor. Scott and I were trying to figure out how it could have been just a little moister. I thought about if you added more butter on top and then let it melt down. Scott suggested putting a cream of chicken soup in the mix. If you go with the soup, I would probably only do about 1/2-3/4 of the soup because I don't think you want it to be too runny.
I also have a palate for strong flavors so I think I would even add in a 3rd garlic clove next time.
You could also add in a jar of artichokes ala "spinach and artichoke dip".
Overall, it was a really good dish with great flavor.


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