But then Jay was coming home and I needed something that was moooostly vegetarian and pretty healthy because that's his desire these days for food, and I like him, so I try to cook things that he likes.
Hence: this. Super duper easy and fresh and flavorful chicken and spinach. It's really simple, but the flavors are great all together. As for how to use this? We've done it over quinoa, tortellini, and just plain with buttery toasty crunchy bread for dipping. ALL are great, so you really can't go wrong. Most of all, this is super duper quick; by the time you make quinoa or whatever you'd like to serve with this you can have the spinach dish almost completely done. Bonus points on time if you use leftover chicken!
You need chicken, fresh spinach, garlic, parmesan (I use fresh and grated, but one or the other is just fine), cream cheese, pine nuts, heavy cream, and vegetable or chicken stock. For the cheese, I use the canned stuff IN the dish and fresh ON the dish. But, again, you can use whatever you have around.
Now, we stir! This makes a lovely little chicken flavored garlic cream sauce. That is NOT a bad thing. When the sauce bubbles, let it reduce for about 3 minutes, then pour it all over the spinach. Give the spinach a stir to help it start to wilt.
Now, transfer the spinach mixture to a baking dish. Let it heap up - it'll cook down in the oven!
Try this soon - it's a great weeknight addition to your favorite quick meals.
Garlicky Chicken Spinach Bake
- 1 whole or 2 split boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 7 ounces each
- salt pepper, and olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach
- Preheat the oven to 450F and a skillet to medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in the skillet, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool, then shred with two forks into bite-sized pieces.
- When the chicken is done, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook for one minute then add the stock, cream cheese, cream, and half the parmesan. Stir to combine until the sauce is smooth and bubbly.
- Place the spinach in a large bowl. Pour the cream sauce over the spinach and stir to wilt the spinach slightly. Add the chicken to the mixture. Taste, and add salt and pepper to your preference.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the pine nuts and remaining parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dish is bubbly and the spinach has wilted a bit more.
- Serve with crusty bread for dunking, or over quinoa or pasta. Enjoy!