Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole (this can be made with or without Chicken)

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole (this can be made with or without Chicken)
By: Stephanie


1 Box Medium Shells (I use Barilla)
1 Pint Cottage Cheese (I use Knudsen 2% Lowfat)
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella (divided into 1.5 cups and .5 cup)
2 Cups Finely Shredded Parmesan Cheese (divided)
1 (10oz) Box Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
1 (14 oz) Can of Artichoke Hearts, diced)
1 8 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese (optional) at room temperature
Pepper (to taste)
2-4 TBSP Dried Basil
2 TSP Garlic Powder
4 Cheese sauce (you can make it from the season pkts, you can buy it in a jar, or you can make it from scratch)
***I buy 1 Alfredo pkt (Knor brand), 2 Creamy Garlic pkt (Knor brand) when I can't find their 4 cheese sauce pkt
and make the sauce (which usually requires butter and milk) on the stove top while cooking the pasta
1 Rotisserie Chicken (or the equivalent of 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of cooked chicken, depending on how much you want), shredded


1. Cook pasta (according to box, minus 1 minute from lowest cooking time) and sauce (according to pkts)
2. While pasta and sauce are cooking, drain and dice artichokes, drain the spinach and shred the cheese
3. When pasta is done, drain and add back to the pot
4. Add Spinach, Artichokes, Seasonings, Sauce, Cottage Cheese, 1 cup Parm, 1.5 cups Mozzarella and the cream cheese and chicken (if using)
and stir together with a wooden spoon
5. Pour into a 13x9 Baking Dish (sprayed with non-stick spray) top with the rest of the two cheeses.
6. Cover with foil and cook at 375 for 30 minutes and then take the foil off and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered

**If you are short on time, you can turn the broiler on after the first 30 minutes and melt/brown the cheese that way in about 2 minutes...just make sure you watch it closely


Renee said...

This sounds so good!!! I am going to have to be making this soon!

Stephanie said...

I hope you like it friend...it's a favorite in this house.
It started out without the cream cheese and chicken and then one day when I was improvising those ingredients found their way in and have stayed, but by no means are necessary.

Hope you enjoy!