Baked Pesto -Tomato -Spinach Chicken Penne

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. It sounded yummy. It is a recipe from All Recipes. Click to see original recipe. After I started to make it, I ended up changing it up a bunch. I decided to make my own alfredo sauce since I had everything in frig to make it.

Baked Pesto -Tomato -Spinach Chicken Penne

  • 16 oz penne
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 (15oz) jar Alfredo sauce or make your own (recipe to follow)
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed) (optional, but makes it really yummy)
  • handful or more of fresh baby spinach
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 cups Italian 5 cheese Blend
  • Italian Seasoned PANKO breadcrumbs

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Do not rinse.

Heat the jar of alfredo (or make your own) add crushed  tomatoes, pesto and pinch of pepper.

Combine chicken, penne, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes. Add sauce. Stir to combine. Top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly brown on top.

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (if desire, you could add a bit more)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add garlic. Saute one minute. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, add cheese and whisk quickly, heating through.

I do not have an ingredient line up photo…since I decided to change it all after I started making it.

Here I am making the alfredo sauce. Just added the cream and simmering for 5 minutes.

 

Then added cheese. Cook until cheese melts and has thickened a bit.

Add pesto and crushed tomatoes.

and pinch of pepper.

Toss together the chicken, penne

I cooked my chicken in the microwave in a covered dish. I seasoned the chicken with  Italian seasonings.

sun-dried tomatoes

and spinach. (This is a great way to sneak in spinach)

Toss in sauce.

Top with cheese and bread crumbs. ( Mark and I agreed, the bread crumbs were so tasty on top. Make sure to use the italian PANKO crumbs) Pop into the oven.

Baked Pesto-Tomato-Spinach Chicken Penne ~ really good.

You could take out the spinach and the sun dried tomatoes and it would still be good. The crunchy topping is really good. I was happy that I made my own Alfredo sauce. Alfredo in a  jar is ok, but fresh is really good.

It is a cold winter day here in the midwest. We had our first snowfall….now I am ready for spring 🙂

~Relish Food  & Life

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