While this Chicken ‘n’ Spinach Pasta Bake is quick enough for the busiest of weeknights, and it is delicious enough for weekend entertaining. You are going to want to double it if you’re serving a crowd. Actually, go ahead and double it regardless—thse leftovers are too good to pass up.
To prepare, start by cooking the rigatoni according to the direction on the package. While the past cooks, cook the finely chopped onion in a baking dish at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. When it’s finished cooking, keep the oven set at 375 degrees and transfer the onion to a bowl. Drain the chopped spinach by pressing it between layers of paper towels. You’ll have to repeat this process several times—you’ll be surprised at how much water is in that frozen spinach! Stir together rigatoni, spinach, chicken, diced tomatoes, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and reserved onion. Spoon it into a baking dish and top with a layer of creamy shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake the casserole covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 15 minutes or until it’s perfectly bubbly.
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If you’re not a huge fan of chicken, try swapping in three cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage instead. Be sure to reduce the salt to ¼ teaspoon, and omit the pepper.
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This casserole is a great make-ahead recipe to fix and freeze. Simply prepare through step five. Cover the casserole in heavy-duty aluminum foil and freeze. When you’re ready to eat it, allow the casserole to thaw before baking according to the directions listed on the recipe.