Monday, March 28, 2011

Three-Cheese Chicken Florentine

I keep thinking sometime last fall was when my "a-ha!" moment came about mushrooms. But the more I think about it, it may have been over the summer -- or at least the thought that I could actually like mushrooms occurred to me. We were out to dinner at a winery-owned restaurant down in Cincinnati one weekend, and I was having a hard time deciding what to order. That is until they listed out the specials; one of which included a rather delicious sounding smothered and covered Florentine ravioli dish. I knew there were mushrooms in the dish but I figured they'd either be so small I wouldn't notice, or big enough I could pick them out.

Lucky for me they were so small and mixed in that I totally forgot they were there. Not to mention I was far too busy trying to eat as much of that fabulous ravioli as possible, as there would be no doggie-bags since we were out of town. There had to be something wrong with me, obviously, because I just couldn't get enough of something full of spinach and mushrooms. I blame the sauce, and the cheese. They get me every time.

Needless to say, when I ran across a recipe for a cheesy chicken Florentine, I jumped at the chance to try it, hoping it would taste oh-so-close to that dish I had months ago.

Three-Cheese Chicken Florentine

Adapted from: Cooking Light, March 2006

8 ounces penne (or other medium-sized pasta)
2 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
8 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced onion
3 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (16 ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 (10.75 ounce) can reduced-sodium, reduced-fat cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

In a large non-stick skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink, and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet, sautéing 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper and sauté 3 minutes or just until spinach starts to wilt.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. In a large bowl, toss the spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup. Pour mixture into the baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves: 8

Well, while this dish was good, it definitely didn't live up to my expectations. It was creamy and noodle-y and full of spinach, but there was just that one certain thing missing which I just can't put my finger on. Maybe more cheese?

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 322Calories from fat 108
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12.0g18%
Saturated Fat 5.9g30%
Cholesterol 75mg25%
Sodium 602mg25%
Total Carbs 25.2g8%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugars 2.9g
Protein 27.6g
Vitamin A 30%Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 26%Iron 12%


  1. I am the same way with mushrooms. I like the flavor they add to dishes, so I don't mind them as long as they are minced up really tiny. Otherwise I will pick them out because I cannot stand their texture.

  2. YUM! That looks like something I need to make very very soon. I love the ingredients, such a good weekday meal!

  3. Wow this looks delicious! Love the light twist and beautiful photos too!

  4. This looks so good! I love how this is only 322 calories yet looks so cheesy and fattening. I will have to give this a try.

  5. Can't stand when I love the way a dish looks and all the ingredients but it's not quite right. Had the same experience recently and ended up adding Dijon mustard which seemed to satisfy my tastebuds. But you did give the recipe a B so I'm going to try it.

  6. Even though this didn't live up to your expectations it sure looks incredible. What an interesting way to use cottage cheese. I think I will have to try this for a lighter meal. Thanks for sharing :o)

  7. Only 322 calories!?! CRAZY! I must try at once!

  8. This looks so delicious! My kids love cheese and pasta and they must love this dish! Thanks for sharing.

  9. This dish looks so good, and I like this lighter version. My husband doesn't like cooked spinach, but I do, so I'll have more on my half;)

  10. Im not a mushroom fan, but Ill cook with them and eat around them. If small enough I just enjoy the meal. This looks like a beautiful supper, cant wait to try it!

  11. Garlic is what's missing. Always use garlic! ;)



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