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Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake:

Ingredients


8 ounces uncooked rigatoni (GF noodles)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium) 
(10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts 
(14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes 
(8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese (I've noticed Farmer's cheese from Lifeway doesn't bother my lactose/dairy issues as much, so season the farmer's cheese with chives and onion salt/powder & mix it with equal parts 0% greek yogurt & a little smart balance for a cream cheese alternative) 
1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher salt)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese (GoVeggie shreds or any other lactose free cheese)

Preparation

1. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; add onion in a single layer.
3. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside.
4. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.
5. Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken, and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.
Sausage 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake: Substitute 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage for 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts. Reduce salt to 1/4 tsp., and omit 1/2 tsp. pepper. Proceed with recipe as directed.

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