Chicken Florentine Casserole

chickenflorentineThis past weekend the pastor’s wives of our church gathered to glean wisdom from a woman who is so very dear to me and 30 years our senior (she would kill me if she saw that!).  She sat and talked to us about raising children, serving husbands in ministry and the ups and downs of it all.  It was refreshing to my soul and reinvigorated me as a mom.  I have been living in this state of survival for so long just trying to get through the days by keeping my kids fed and alive that I forgot God intended for us to have joy in the midst of parenting and being a spouse.

We sat, ate and talked around my dining room table – ate what you asked?!  Good question.  B/c the food was the second best thing about this night.  My friend Abby ordered this divine Chicken Florentine Casserole from a caterer in town.  I can’t tell you how delicious this thing was.  It melted in your mouth!  So this is my best attempt to healthily recreate it – shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach and mushrooms – yummy!  And it fed a crowd like a champ:)

Serves 6-8

1/2 pound pasta  (I used bucatini but penna or rigatoni would work well too – whole grain preferably)

2 c shredded chicken (I bake mine and then shred in my standing mixer – works like a charm!  You don’t want the chicken to be too finely shredded)

1/2 box frozen chopped spinach thawed and water pressed out

1 1/2 c chopped fresh mushrooms

1 tsp minced garlic

2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 Tbs flour (I used white whole wheat)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 1/2 c chicken broth

dash of nutmeg

1 tsp oregano

A few cracks of fresh ground pepper

1 c part-skim ricotta cheese

1 c of grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Cook pasta according to directions.  In small saucepan over medium heat put olive oil, garlic and mushrooms.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add in flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.   photo 1Add in chicken broth, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and oregano, stir and bring down to a simmer.  In large bowl, combine with spatula shredded chicken, thawed spinach, ricotta, Parmesan and chicken broth mixture.  photo 2Fold in pasta gently.  Pour into casserole dish and bake covered for 25 minutes and remove cover and cook for 10 more.

Chicken Florentine Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This casserole that feeds a crowd combines shredded chicken, chopped spinach, mushrooms, pasta and Parmesan and ricotta cheeses.
Ingredients
  • ½ pound pasta (I used bucatini but penna or rigatoni would work well too)
  • 2 c shredded chicken (I bake mine and then shred in my standing mixer - works like a charm!)
  • ½ box frozen chopped spinach thawed and water pressed out
  • 1½ c chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1½ c chicken broth
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • A few cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 c of grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. In small saucepan over medium heat put olive oil, garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken broth, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and oregano, stir and bring down to a simmer.
  6. In large bowl, combine with spatula shredded chicken, thawed spinach, ricotta, Parmesan and chicken broth mixture.
  7. Fold in pasta gently.
  8. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes covered. Remove covering and bake for 10 more minutes.

 

 

 

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