This is a surprisingly tasty pasta dish that even people who dislike cottage cheese and/or spinach usually like, and it is toddler-friendly.
I sit on the Board of Directors for a non-profit called Maia Moms that helps encourage and support single moms and their kids on their journey to become self-supporting. We recently had the opportunity to partner with Seacoast Church's Dream Center in a transitional home for up to 4 moms and their children called The Dream House. Our first moms moved in on November 1st, and I made this casserole for move-in day. It is easy to prepare ahead of time, ready to pop into the oven and bake for an easy hot meal. It also freezes well (unbaked and thawed before baking).
Chicken Florentine Casserole
adapted from Skinny Ms.com
- 2 cups cooked chicken (I use meat from a rotisserie chicken)
- 1/2 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed to remove access liquid*
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup cottage cheese, blended to make smooth consistency
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 pound pasta (I used penne)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mist a 9" x 13" baking dish with oil. Cook pasta according to package directions making sure it is al dente (cook for a couple of minutes less than recommended time). In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium-low and saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, oregano & pepper. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and add blended cottage cheese, spinach, chicken, Parmesan cheese & pasta. Stir to combine. Place in casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden & bubbly.
*Do not be tempted to add the whole package of spinach. (Ask me how I know!)