Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spinach, Artichoke and Chicken Pasta

When I was a little kid growing up in Southern California my whole family would eat artichokes for dinner.  Mom would boil them on the stove and we would sit around the table for what felt like hours peeling back each leaf and dipping them in butter and scraping the soft goodness on our bottom teeth.  Who wouldn't love an artichoke?  I guess my husband doesn't.  I assumed all families steamed artichokes for dinner in the spring, but I guess that wasn't a big tradition here in West Michigan.  When we were first married I made James one for dinner and he said, "What is that?!"  Ha ha ha.  When I make this meal for him I cut the canned artichoke hearts up into small pieces and I tell him it's Spinach and Chicken pasta.  He eats it all up and never complains.  =)


3 C cooked chicken-chopped      3.84
1 lb penne pasta                            1.00
1 med onion--chopped                  .40
1 clove garlic--minced                    .05
1 box chopped frozen spinach     1.42
      (thawed and drained)
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts        2.42
         (make sure not to get the marinated ones)
3 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp flour
2 C skim milk                                 .30
1 1/2 C chicken broth                   .50
4 oz provolone                              1.18
   (shredded is best, all I can find is sliced--which I chop into small pieces)
3 oz shredded Parmesan             .98
S&P and a pinch of nutmeg to taste


Heat water in a large pot and cook the penne once the water comes to a boil.  My box recommended 11-13 minutes, so I cooked it to the lowest recommended time.   Meanwhile in another large saucepan heat the margarine, onions and minced garlic over med-low heat.  When onions are soft add the flour and stir well.  Gradually stir in milk and chicken broth to form a slightly thick sauce.  (it should be thinner than gravy)  Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.  Slowly stir in Parmesan and chopped up provolone.  The provolone makes the sauce a little sticky and stringy.  If you like smoother less gooey sauce, then just add more Parmesan and skip the provolone.  I like the provolone because it has a great tang.  Turn the heat to low and stir in drained thawed spinach and the chicken.  To disguise the artichokes, I chop off the end and quarter the remaining layers.

  Stir the sauce really well to incorporate the spinach, artichokes and chicken in the ooey gooey sauce.

Yum!  Doesn't that look like spinach and artichoke dip?  Mmmm  mmmh!  Turn the heat off.  Drain the pasta, and mix the pasta into the sauce untill well incorporated.
See?  You can hardly tell there is artichokes in there!  But this pasta tastes sooooo good.  It's like penne Alfredo and spinach & artichoke dip all mixed together.  I made three pans for $4.03.  One I put in oven to bake for dinner.  The other two went into the freezer for a later date.

Thaw for 1-2 days in the fridge.  Then bake covered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

Christie aka Keeza


  1. Oh my, my, my!!! This looks amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I will definetly be giving this a try!! For some reason, bacon is coming to mind to add??? Yummo!

  2. I plan on making this for my freezer meal swap. The recipe listed above made those three pans? Or did you tipple the recipe you gave and make enough for three pans at once? Thanks so much. :)

  3. The above recipe made those three 8x8" pans. If you want to make 9x13 inch pans you would need to double the recipe. I hope you have success! Thanks for checking out my blog.

  4. I will be making this for my freezer swap on Thursday! I can not wait to try it out.