Perfect for Popeye. Or quashing a creamy comfort food craving.
If I’m being honest, spinach is not my first choice in vegetables. (Unless we’re talking about my mom’s spinach dip, that is.) But since my family does a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and we receive a weekly box of whatever is locally in season, we happen to find ourselves with an awful lot of spinach during certain parts of the year. Since I cannot subsist entirely on spinach dip, I’m often trying to think of creative ways to use it and this Creamy Chicken and Florentine Artichoke Casserole is one of my very favorite ways I’ve come across. Creamy and satisfying, it’s as much about the sauce as it is about the spinach and it’s as family-friendly as it is filling.
This is a lower-carb bake and it works perfectly left as is, but if you’re looking for some more carbalicious comfort it also happens to be delicious served over some pasta. You could probably even incorporate some pasta into the bake if you wanted, you would just likely want to up the sauce amount a bit!
It’s also a great use of leftover rotisserie chicken. You need about three cups of shredded chicken, which is coincidentally about what you might pull off of a whole chicken after you’ve eaten part of it the night before. If you don’t have a whole cooked chicken on hand, three cups of shredded chicken equals about a pound and a half of boneless chicken breast.
That chicken is paired with plenty of garlic and spinach and artichoke hearts and all tucked into a creamy sauce that’s adorned with Monterey jack and parm and baked until it’s beautifully bubbly. One of the great merits of spinach — I will admit it has them — is its earthy, mineral flavor and the perfect place for it is paired with something creamy like this, where it does a masterful job of balancing things out.
Creamy Chicken Florentine Artichoke Casserole
15m prep time
30m cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz baby spinach
- 10 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion and cook until starting to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add spinach and artichokes and cook until spinach has wilted. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Let cook until mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
- Remove from heat, then stir in Italian seasoning, Monterey Jack cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese has melted.
- Add sauce to spinach-artichoke mixture, along with chicken, and stir to combine. Transfer to baking dish, top with Parmesan cheese and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!