Chicken for dinner again? No need to sigh and roll your eyes. Our recipe for Cream Cheese Chicken and Spinach Casserole takes the humble boneless skinless chicken breast from dull to delicious.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a staple of many family’s menu plans. Cheap and easy to cook with, these cuts of chicken are great to have on hand for busy nights. They bake up quickly and you can go in many different directions with them. If you like Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or pretty much any other kind of cuisine, boneless skinless chicken can adapt its mild flavor and texture to any kind of seasoning blend.
However, the neutral flavor and texture of boneless skinless chicken can sometimes cause many cooks to believe that they are boring. Of course, if you simply toss them on a baking sheet unseasoned, the boneless skinless chicken will definitely be boring.
With a delicious, flavorful marinade and the amazing texture of cream cheese, this recipe for Cream Cheese Spinach and Chicken Casserole will make your family happy. Although it includes the much-maligned green vegetable, spinach, most family members will happily consume it since it will be smothered in a creamy sauce and covered in cheese!
Prep Time 15 mins
Baking Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Gallon-Sized Zip-Top Plastic Bag
Microwave Safe Bowl
Deep Casserole Dish
- 8 pcs Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders alternately, you can use 3 or 4 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts; you may want to cut these into smaller pieces to reduce the cooking time
- 4 ounces Softened Cream Cheese
- 2 cups Frozen Spinach
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil divided
- 1 cup Shredded Cheese
- 1½ teaspoons Minced Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
First, you will create the marinade for the chicken. To a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Close the bag and squish the marinade around in the bag to combine all of the ingredients.
Then, add the chicken to the bag, press out all of the air, and rub the chicken breasts in the bag, rolling them around in the marinade so that they are completely coated in the oil and seasonings.
Set the zip-top baggie aside for about ten to fifteen minutes to allow the chicken breasts to absorb the flavors of the herbs and spices. While you are waiting on the marinating chicken, you can move on to preparing the other parts of the recipe.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees and place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover the bowl with a saucer.
Microwave the spinach for about two minutes, stirring it halfway through the time. If the spinach is still not thawed, return the spinach to the microwave and heat it in 30-second bursts.
When the spinach is thawed, use the saucer to hold the spinach in the bowl so you can drain the water off of the spinach. When you can no longer pour any water off of the spinach, use several paper towels folded together to press as much excess water as you can off of the spinach.
When the spinach is thawed and drained, it should measure about one cup. Stir one tablespoon of the olive oil into the spinach.
Spray a nine by thirteen baking pan or a deep casserole dish with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the zip-top baggie and place it in the casserole dish in a single layer.
Spread the softened cream cheese over top of the chicken tenders and spoon the spinach over the top of the cream cheese dividing the cream cheese and spinach evenly. Sprinkle the cheese over top of the spinach.
Bake the Spinach Chicken Casserole in the preheated oven for about twenty or thirty minutes.
When it is fully cooked, the chicken should be at an internal temperature of 165 and the cheese will be all melted, bubbly, and lightly browned.
There are two primary things to remember when cooking with boneless skinless chicken. First, you have to realize that these cuts of meat are very lean, something that dieticians and doctors love. The downside of the meat’s leanness is that it’s very easy to dry out this kind of meat.
To avoid that, you should definitely have a meat thermometer on hand to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The temp that you are shooting for is 165. You don’t have to dry it out to ensure that it is safe to eat! You can also coat the chicken in a lovely rich sauce to make sure that it stays moist while it is baking. This recipe’s cream cheese and spinach sauce help the chicken to stay moist and tender.
The second thing to remember when cooking with boneless skinless chicken is that the meat has to have some extra seasoning. In most cuts of meat, whether it’s poultry, beef, pork, or something else, the fat is where most of the flavoring lies. Commercially grown chicken has less fat than ever due to their diets, and boneless skinless chicken breasts have most of the fat cutaway in the butchering process.
Marinades, flavorful sauces, and rubs are great ways to add delicious flavor to a boneless skinless chicken breast. Our recipe has a wonderful marinade that only takes 15 minutes to penetrate the meat. You can leave out the red pepper flakes if you want a more neutral dish, but for those who like a little zing in their food, the red pepper flakes are the perfect addition.
Keyword Cream Cheese Chicken and Spinach Casserole, Main Course, Recipe
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.