Friday, October 11, 2013

Cheesy Italian Chicken

I got this recipe from the OAMM and it is now one of my favorite meals! Served with spaghetti the veggies end up being a fantastic chunky pasta sauce (I also cut up the chicken and mixed it with the pasta & veggies). This recipe freezes very well and doesn't need to completely thaw before baking so it can be made quicker than other frozen meals.

5 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
14.5-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut into small fillets)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, artichokes, spinach, olive oil, flour, salt, and pepper. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish*.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place on top of vegetables. Bake for 40-45 minutes; top with cheeses and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove and sprinkle with fresh basil.

*If you have a smaller family this can easily be split in half. Just use two smaller pans and divide the veggies and chicken in half. Cook one for dinner and freeze another for later!

To make a freezer meal: Once the chicken and veggies are in the dish, cover with plastic wrap and foil. Place cheeses in a separate freezer bag to keep with the dish. When you are ready to cook, thaw (or mostly thaw) and bake (uncovered) as directed above, top with cheese, then broil.

Note: This can be made gluten free by omitting the flour with the veggies. Your vegetable mixture will be a little more watery in the end, but will still be delicious!

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