When I first ventured into clean eating and 21 Day Fix one of the first things I wondered if I would be able to eat was pasta. I come from an Italian family where pasta is like a religion. I like to throw together some different pasta bakes to sneak in some extra veggies and protein. This stems from stuffed shells that I have made in the past. I really didn’t feel like stuffing the shells and wanted something quick and easy, so this was born! I also like it because ricotta cheese is a great source of protein and you can sneak in a lot of vegetables without much fuss from the family. This is great paired with a wonderful salad. I will forewarn that this recipe isn’t very “saucy”, which doesn’t bother us for this kind of dish, but if you like a lot of sauce I would recommend having some extra sauce on the side to ladle over as you serve. Enjoy!
Chicken, Spinach, Ricotta Pasta Bake
(as always to stay clean, I do try to have as many of these ingredients organic or no additives)
6 cups of fresh spinach
1 pound of chicken breast
1 – 24oz jar of sauce (no added sugar!)
2 cups of ricotta cheese
sea salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 cup mozzarella
1/2 grated Parmesan
1 box of whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli or springs)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta as directed. While pasta is cooking, cube up chicken breast, season with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook on medium in saute pan till cooked through. Remove chicken from pan, add spinach and saute until wilted (can season additionally if you want). Take a 9×13 casserole dish and spray with cooking spray. Add cooked, drained pasta in dish and pour over sauce. Mix the pasta and sauce until pasta is coated. In a small separate bowl, mix together the Parmesan, eggs and ricotta cheese. Season lightly with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread ricotta cheese mixture over the pasta and top with chicken and cooked spinach. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of casserole and place in oven. Cook 25-30 minutes until cooked through and cheese is melted on top.
You can make this dish ahead and even use a rotisserie chicken to save time. I have even used leftover pasta and chicken to make smaller versions of this for a quick dinner or lunch.
21 Day Fix: 1.5 cups = 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue