Chicken Pasta & Spinach Bake

We eat a lot of pasta in our home. Seriously, I could eat it every day and never get tired of it. So I am always looking for ways to make it a little different when plain noodles and sauce just won’t do.

I discovered my favorite way to enjoy pasta is baked. This hearty dish is similar to baked ziti, with some veggies snuck in. My kids adore this dish and go back for seconds! It is also a fantastic way to use up leftover cooked chicken breast. No one will ever know!

Chicken Pasta and Spinach Bake


8 oz. penne pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 28 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 3 oz. package cream cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a  9 x 13 baking dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions for “al dente.” Drain. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Heat oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken, seasonings, half of the spaghetti sauce and the drained tomatoes. Let simmer 2-3 minutes.


Cut cream cheese into small chunks. Add to chicken and tomato sauce mixture. Simmer until cream cheese is melted. It will turn a delightfully creamy shade of orange… mmmm.


Stir in spinach. Cook another minute, until spinach wilts slightly.


Pour chicken mixture over pasta, mix well.


Top with one cup of the shredded mozzarella. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.


Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with a crisp salad and garlic bread.

This will also freeze well as a make-ahead dish. Double the recipe and save one for next time you are craving some Italian comfort food!

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.


  1. That recipe sounds yummy. I need to find more interesting pasta recipes with no egg or dairy since my daughter is allergic to them (and peanuts too). I love pasta, but I admit that I am not very creative with it.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  2. Looks delicious! I think I’ll have my husband make this for me soon!
    .-= Shirley´s last blog ..Computer Shopping and Personal Finance =-.

  3. I am excited about this recipe. I am going to cook half and freeze the other half. Thanks for sharing.

  4. That looks and sounds delicious! We eat a lot of pasta too so I’ll be trying this recipe out soon.
    .-= Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy´s last blog ..30 Free Photo Prints from York Photo =-.

  5. I like that you snuck some spinach into your baked ziti.

    Looks great!
    .-= Brenda´s last blog ..Pickle Lady/TMTT =-.

  6. Thank you! This is super timely as I need to use up some left over chicken too!

  7. Looks delicious…and like a great way to use of some “leftover” cream cheese I have. Hate when I only use part of an 8 oz. package and then it’s just sitting there. :)

    Thanks for sharing!
    (visiting from Tasty Tuesday)
    .-= Lydia ´s last blog ..Tasty Tuesday: Poppy Seed Ham & Cheese Sandwiches =-.

  8. Alison @ Hospitality Haven says:

    Oh my gosh! What a fabulous recipe! I’ll definitely be giving this a try. I’m glad I found your blog through Tasty Tuesday! :)

  9. That looks so good!! I love one dish meals around here. Whether it be some type of casserole or bake or crockpot meal.

    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Bath and Body Works: Free Lip Care Item w/Any Purchase =-.

  10. This looks like a great recipe. With cheese and pasta on sale regularly, this is pretty frugal! Thanks for sharing.
    .-= FrugalFriend´s last blog ..Grocery Deals March 10-16 =-.

  11. This looks great…I love your blog’s mission!
    .-= the country cook´s last blog ..blueberry-lime jam =-.

  12. I feel that we are pasta soulmates. Seriously, anyone who tells me that they could eat pasta every day and never tire of it is a friend of mine. Looks delicious, and I’m loving the fact that leftovers can be used!

  13. Yummy! I love that you don’t have to chop the spinach up to sneak it in! :)
    .-= Mandy Roberson´s last blog ..Growing, growing,…Gone! =-.

  14. smilinggreenmom says:

    Okay – I am officially hungry now! This looks wonderful :) I love pasta so much and just about anything with tomato sauce and cheese!!! My recent find on pasta is one that uses Kamut Khorasan Wheat flour – the texture was great and it is so healthy! Have you tried this one yet? I must try your recipe with the spinach, thanks!

  15. Made this last night and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Alyssa Francis says:

    I am so tickled you made this! Glad it turned out yummy. Thank you for your comment! :)

  17. delicious!!! this one won awards at my house!! something everyone ate and even ate the left overs for lunch~
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..catching up & organizing…. =-.

  18. Just wanted to say that I made this tonight and it was a hit! My husband and I really liked it – so did the kids. Thanks so much for sharing!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Saturday Link Love =-.

  19. I will def. make this within the next week!
    One pasta dish we really like and I’ve been asked to make for my mother-in-laws work and a funeral is:
    Creamy Resturant Style Tortellini
    2 pks (9 oz. ea) tortellini
    4 oz. cream cheese
    1 c. of milk
    6 tbs. grated parm. cheese (I always use more :D )
    1 pk (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves (again I add probably double)
    1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes

    Cook pasta according to package and set aside, place cream cheese (I cut in small pieces – to cook faster) in lg. skillet and add milk, cook on med-low heat until cream cheese is melted and well blended, stir often…mix in about 4 tbs. parm. and some pepper, add spinach and mix well, (I then like to put in a pretty serving dish and then do the last step), sprinkle with tomatoes and remaining parm. We like to eat it with garlic/cheese bread
    Let me know if you try it and what you think!!!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Alyssa Francis says:

    Thanks for sharing this dish, Lindsay, it sounds delicious! I love using cream cheese in pasta dishes. Makes it extra yummy. :) I will certainly try this, I think my kids would enjoy it too.

  21. I’ve been surfing around follow blogger’s pages, trying to find various fun things to comment on. AS I’m a huge food lover, and pasta is a house favorite, this really caught my eye. I look forward to trying it and pairing it with a nice wine. I’ll have to stop by and let you know when I finally get the chance to make it.

    .-= Matt mmWine Horbund´s last blog ..WBW68 Domaine Ruet Chiroubles – Cru Beaujolais =-.

  22. Yummy!!!
    .-= Kirstin´s last blog ..Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Bar Keepers Friend =-.

  23. This is very similar to one of our favorite dishes! YUM YUM!

  24. Made this last night. It was delish! My entire family ate it, including my extremely picky 3 yr old who won’t any vegetables (she didn’t even know she was eating spinach and tomatoes)!

    My hubby even had this for breakfast the next morning he liked it that much. I used some left over chicken from a roasted chicken I had made…so this really helped stretch our meal budget. Thanks!


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