When we shared our recipe for slow cooker marinara sauce, we talked about how versatile it is. We’ve used it in spaghetti, slow cooker lasagna and now this tasty casserole recipe: Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake.
In this one-pan meal, we take the classic marinara sauce and mix it with parmesan cheese, cream and salt, creating a shortcut version of a tomato cream sauce or vodka sauce that is creamy, cheesy and delicious. It serves as the base for the pasta, chicken and spinach. When combined, they create a mouthwatering blend of Italian flavors.
The strings of melty cheese as you pull a spoonful from the baking dish – and the pasta and chunks of chicken – mean kids and adults alike will love this family meal that is quick and easy to prepare. Leftovers reheat well in the oven or microwave, so don’t worry about making too much.
Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake
- 4 cups Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (1 lb.) penne pasta, cooked al dente, drained
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 package (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and salt.
- Add cooked pasta, chicken and spinach, stir until blended.
- Place half of pasta mixture in prepared baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through.
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