Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

Weeknights in my house usually call for make ahead dinners that are not only easy but can be assembled up to a day ahead. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was allegedly pinned over a million times. Plus this is great  We also realized people are always looking for Casseroles travel well. 

 We are updating this Creamy Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe with new photos especially since Make Ahead Dinners are a must these days.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

This recipe piqued my interest and I just could not wait to see what all the hype was about. This Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake is a make ahead dinners recipe that is not only a crowd pleaser but more importantly a time saver.  

If you forget to defrost the chicken, be sure to read this on how to make frozen chicken breasts instant pot

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe (Make Ahead Dinner)

We all have nights when we can’t even imagine being able to get a home cooked meal on the table for our family. This Pasta Bake Casserole has assembled ahead of time and about an hour before dinner can be taken out of the fridge while you heat up the oven.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

If you are in the same boat as me, and kids are super busy around dinner time, you definitely want to Check out this post about 16 great Make Ahead Dinners 

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

The ingredients for this make ahead chicken and pasta casserole are simple. We used flavored Philadelphia Cream cheese because they take all the work for you if you choose to use their flavored varieties. Of course you can use plain cream cheese and make your own flavor adjustments.

Ingredients for you Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

I am not sure what I will try next time.  But sometimes when you have a flavor combination that works, why change it up? 

 

MAKE EVERYTHING IN ONE DISH:

This Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe is so wonderful since you make everything in the same dish so there is less clean up too. How genius to cook the onions in the oven. Saves so much time and clean up don’t you think?

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

For one pan meals be sure to check out Asparagus and Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinners and Incredibly Easy Italian Sausage and Pepper Sheet Pan Dinner

 

How to make weeknight meal prep easier:

Always be prepared for the next meal by making more protein than you need or make Instant Pot Chicken.  Instant pot chicken can even be made from frozen chicken breasts.

Or if you are a better planner than me, next time you are making chicken breasts or pork tenderloins, be sure and throw a few more in the oven so you have leftover to make this super easy make ahead casserole.

 I bet this would be great with another protein like cooked pork too.

You can easily substitute the veggies and cheeses to fit your family’s tastes in this make ahead dinners idea. This Easy chicken dinner will be a family favorite.

Simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl spreading the cream cheese evenly in the mixture. 

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

 

Put it in a coated 9×13 glass pan and cover and refrigerate until dinner time.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

Does this Casserole Travel Well?

 

Since this is not a liquid filled casserole it travels well cooked or frozen.  So go ahead and make it because its definitely one of those Meals that travel well.

 

PIN THIS FOR YOUR NEXT MAKE AHEAD DINNER GO TO RECIPE:

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe: Make Ahead Dinners

How would you change up the flavors in this easy dinner recipe?

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

Print this recipe for your next make-ahead casserole that travels well too.

Make Ahead Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

Make Ahead Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A one dish pasta meal that is great for a crowd and busy weeknights Make Ahead Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe CHEESY SPINACH TOMATO PASTA BAKE

Pasta bake recipe loaded with chicken, fresh spinach, tomatoes, , and mozzarella cheese. This hearty and healthy make ahead recipe is the perfect pasta dish for a busy weeknight. This recipe is super kid friendly because kids love baked pasta and cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 oz uncooked rigatoni, or any other pasta you have on hand
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 10 oz pack frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 14 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 8 oz container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
  • ½ t salt, ½ t pepper
  • 1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions for al dente.
  2. Spread oil on bottom of 9 x 13 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer.
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender.
  4. Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.
  5. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels.
  6. Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl.
  7. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. You can cover the dish at this point and store in the fridge for later
  8. If you made this ahead of time, take out the casserole for 30 minutes, or while you preheat oven before cooking.
  9. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. I use pan lining paper with the parchment on the food and foil facing out.
  10. Uncover and bake additional 10-15 minutes
  11. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 237 Saturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 39mg Sodium 837mg Carbohydrates 24g Fiber 1g Sugar 2g Protein 16g
All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on stayingclosetohome.com should only be used as a general guideline.
Treat the family with a yummy make ahead dessert too, like this Easiest Texas Sheet Cake Recipe- Desserts for a Crowd   or these  Slutty Brownies Recipe.       Both of these recipes are great for serving a crowd.  Make two casseroles when you have a larger crowd to feed too!!   

5 Comments

  1. I know it is great to make a meal with not much mess.

  2. This looks like such an easy, delicious recipe and I love that it’s a one pot/dish meal!

  3. I just pinned it and I am def going to try it this week. It sounds so good. I actually think my kids may eat it 🙂

  4. Maria, this looks like a yummy casserole. Love the flavored cream cheese and the spinach! My family would like this (I bet you could make an easy Tex-mex version by adding Mexican flavored tomatoes and change the cheese out—maybe season the chicken a little:) Stopping by from friday frenzy. Have a great weekend!

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