Triple the cheese and incredibly decadent, you won’t believe this dish is actually lightened-up! Serve Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Bake with your grain of choice (or any carb-less option) for the perfect well-rounded meal.
What you’ll need for this recipe
First, let’s get our ingredient list ready!
- cooked chicken breast (I’ll give instructions on how I cook mine for this recipe, or you can use a rotisserie chicken breast and skip a step!)
- artichoke hearts
- fresh spinach
- cherry tomatoes
- part-skim ricotta
- fat free mozzarella
- pecorino romano cheese
The chicken breast
If you want to use cooked rotisserie chicken breast here, go for it! You’ll save yourself about 20 minutes of cooking time. Otherwise, you can make your own really quick poached OR roasted chicken breast. To poach: Put 1.5 lbs of raw chicken breast in a large pot. Add two dried bay leaves, a sprinkle of kosher salt, a sprinkle of whole peppercorns, and 2 smashed garlic cloves. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F (you can use a thermometer like this one). To roast: Preheat your oven to 450F. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on all sides. Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray and place the chicken breasts on top. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Once your chicken is cooked, dice it into small pieces (or you can shred it). Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Cooking the filling
Now that the chicken is prepared and ready, it’s time to make the filling for this Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Bake. First, you’re going to sauté some diced onion in olive oil spray, because every great recipe uses diced onion, right? Next, you’ll add some garlic and some rinsed, chopped artichoke hearts. Make sure that you buy the ones packed in water, as you don’t want to add any extra oil to this dish. Once those flavors have combined a bit, it’s time to add the cherry tomatoes. These are going to cook for a good 10 minutes until they start to burst and break down. This will create a thick sauce that will make the dish delicious! The last step once the tomatoes are cooked down is to add the fresh spinach leaves. These just take minutes to wilt, so we add them last. I use two large bags here, because we all know spinach cooks down so much. After the spinach is wilted, add your cooked chicken.
The cheese, please
Now that that’s all done, it’s time for the fun stuff! The cheese…. cheeses. In the same pan, add your ricotta, mozzarella (reserving 1/2 cup for the topping) and your pecorino romano. Stir to combine and watch everything get creamy and delicious.
Cooking, storage and reheating the Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Bake
Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray and pour your cheesy mixture right in. Top with the remaining mozzarella, and cover with foil. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Since everything is cooked already, we are really just looking for things to get nice and combined and bubbly. Remove the foil, and bake for another 5 minutes to crisp the cheese a bit. This recipe makes four HUGE servings. It is super filling and delicious on its own. When I make this, I serve it with rice or a grain and it makes for a perfectly well-rounded meal with protein, veggies and a grain. If you are low-carb, this would work really well with cauliflower rice, zoodles or spaghetti squash also.You can store this dish right in the baking dish, covered tightly. You can also pre-portion the servings out into individual serving containers and it will keep perfectly. To reheat, pop a serving into the microwave in a microwave safe dish to take the chill off, then you can pop it into a preheated oven to get it back to its original crispy state.
Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Bake
- frying pan
- 9 x 13 baking dish or casserole
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked, shredded or chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 14 oz artichoke hearts, in water
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano
- 1.5 cup fat free mozzarella
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 16 oz spinach leaves
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a large frying pan, sauté the chopped onion with olive oil spray for 5 minutes over medium high heat until translucent.
- Rinse the artichoke hearts and drain them. Chop them and add them to the pan.
- Add the minced garlic cloves to the pan. Stir and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to burst and break down.
- Season with the salt and pepper.
- Add the spinach leaves. Cover the pot to steam the spinach. Check every few minutes and move the spinach around with tongs. It should take only a couple of minutes to wilt the leaves.
- Add the cooked chicken and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and the pecorino romano. Taste for seasoning at this point.
- Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil spray. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.
You might also enjoy these recipes with artichokes: