Recipe | Chicken Pesto Florentine

Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut?  Always making the same dinners?  Like every Tuesday becomes taco night?  Or we’re having grilled chicken…again!  Well, I was feeling this way yesterday, after having felt this way for a few weeks.  As I was editing, somehow Chicken Florentine popped into my head.  I was determined to find a good recipe and head to the grocery store!  After searching online, I found two recipes that I combined to make my own dish…and voila!  Chicken Pesto Florentine!  

As I was listening to Pandora and dicing onions, cooking chicken, baking bread, and chopping garlic, I posted on facebook that I was in the midst of making this wonderful dinner, or so I hoped!  I promised to share it, if and only if, it was, in fact, a delish dish!  The verdict is in, and with two votes, my husband’s and mine, we WILL have this meal again in the future!  Plus, we have leftovers for the next couple of days!  Win!

           Chicken Pesto Florentine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast*
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups Philadelphia Cooking Creme**
1 pound bowtie pasta or other small noodle
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in spinach leaves, cook, stirring until wilted about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and pepper, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add cooking cream, stirring to combine.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Add pasta to chicken mixture stirring to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Makes 8 servings
*I didn’t shred my chicken.  I used thin slices just to add more of a chunky texture to the dish.
**I did not have 2 cups of Philadelphia Cooke Creme, or cream cheese. After a quick google search, I learned that pureed cottage cheese was a substitute!  Hooray for not having to make another trip to the store!  

Sources: Bowtie Pasta | Picky Palate (main recipe), Pesto Pasta Recipe | Simply Recipes (brilliant idea to add pesto!), Common Ingredient Substitutions (so handy!)
A little spinach salad is a great addition, and as our friends say, salad makes any meal truly gourmet! 😉

Basil Pesto gave this dish just the punch of flavor that it deserves!
And pairing some lemon water in a wine glass made my lunch extra fancy today! 

I highly recommend adding some yummy crusty Italian bread to dip in the pesto sauce!  
This particular bread needed to be baked first, and it was so wonderfully fresh and warm out of the oven!

Bon Appétit!   Do you have a new favorite recipe?  I’d love to try it!  Leave it in the comments or email it to me!  If I make your dish, I will photograph it and send you a thank you! 

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  • AnonymousApril 18, 2012 - 11:14 PM

    Sounds good …. looks good, so I'll give it a try!!! Thanks, Stephanie.ReplyCancel


Welcome to the Stewart Imagery Blog!  I'm Stephanie, and I'm so excited to share all of my recent wedding and portrait work, as well as personal stories relating to life with two sweet boys and their handsome dad! Sit back, relax, and savor the sweet details of life and love that I have the joy and honor of photographing!