Someone ask me the other day if I ever had bad days in the kitchen. I just laughed as they ( my many bad days) all came flooding back to me. So to answer, I tucked the most embarrassing ones back in the dark corners of my mind for another time and confessed some of the others. Hey, I need to keep some mystery about me don’t I ? Of course!
Looking back several of those memories cause me to giggle but there are some that make me CRINGE when I think about look and taste of them. I won’t subject you guys to all of my recipe bloopers yet (maybe in the future) but to get a glimpse just imagine my waffle maker that took my husband
days okay a whole week to get clean! Yep, bless his heart he is my biggest supporter and he graciously tackles dish detail in our home. Trust me, taking on a food bloggers kitchen is no easy feat. Some weeks there is a bottomless sink of dishes at all times during the day! Poor guy, but he enjoys when I pay him with the finished treat.
Thankfully, my latest botched trial for a recipe turned out to be a nice surprise instead of an embarrassing moment that I would like to forget. This creamy and rich casserole was meant to be something TOTALLY different but I got half way into making the dish and realized that I had somehow forgot to purchase some items to finish it. So that recipe just didn’t work out that night but “tada” a nice new family style meal that is so satisfying and super easy to make.
Oh this casserole isn’t going to win any trophies in the “oh so fancy” category but it does score major gold for the “no special ingredients” and “freezer meal” categories. I don’t know about you, but those two trump fancy with this busy girl any day of the week!
Now, let me tell you more about why this casserole is a smart dinner option. Remember earlier I said it was super easy, man did I tell the truth! You just add all the sauce ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth. After you have blended and set aside your sauce you can then work on the “Florentine” component of the dish but don’t let that fancy word fool you for a second. In this recipe it just means that spinach is involved. I use 10 ounces of fresh cooked spinach that has been sauteed, drained very well and then added to the casserole mix. See, nothing fancy about spinach. I prefer cooking my own spinach from fresh because I think it has a milder taste. You can absolutely use frozen if it is easier for you also. If you totally are against the spinach you can use kale or even leave it out if you want. In any case just make sure you squeeze all the excess water out of your greens before adding it to your mix or it could become a watery mess.
Oh and word to the wise if you cook your own instead of frozen, wait until it cools completely before squeezing the water out. OUCH! Yep, I am speaking from experience. In my defense I was in a hurry to get the casserole done to feed my hungry family and again my zonked brain was lacking energy at the time. It had been a long day but ended well.
Once you have your spinach cooked and drained you can toss it in a big mixing bowl with your shredded chicken, 4 oz of your shredded cheese and half (1/3 cup) of Parmesan. Next pour your sauce mixture into the big bowl and add in the spices. Once it is all added just stir the mixture up until all ingredient are incorporated. Lastly, pour your mixture into your 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake and serve! You can find the full recipe and baking temperature below in the recipe section of this post.
If you are making this as a freezer meal you would add it to your pan and top with the remaining cheese. Cover it tightly and put it into the freezer. When you are ready for your meal just thaw it in the fridge the day before and bake it for dinner the next evening. You could bake it straight from frozen but that would add about an hour or more to the cook time, so I highly recommend thawing first. I also love using disposable pans for my freezer meals for faster cleanup later and my hubby thanks me for that each time I do, haha! I hope you enjoy this casserole around your table as much as we do!
Side dish suggestions: I would suggest a small serving of a nice green salad or other green non-startchy veggies since the casserole has some carbs already from the spinach and sauce. I typically eat about a cup of this as a serving. It is very filling and satisfying.
Cheesy Chicken Florentine (Low Carb, THM-S Friendly)
Oven Temp: 350 Serves: 6-8
- 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Daisy Cottage Cheese
- 1/2 cup of Duke’s Real Mayo
- 2/3 c Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided equally
- 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided in half
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (14.5 oz) jar of Prego Artisan Three Cheese Sauce
- 12 oz. Thawed Spinach (drained and squeezed dry)
- 2 lb. shredded chicken
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
*Note: When buying your cream cheese, mayo and jarred sauce try to look for the brands that have 1-2 carbs per serving or LESS to avoid over doing it on carbs. The brand I suggest in the recipe are the lowest I have found.
Directions: In a food processor add in your cream cheese, Prego Sauce, cottage cheese, mayo and eggs. Blend all the ingredients in your food processor until it is smooth. In a large mixing bowl add in your shredded chicken, spices, thawed and drained spinach (remember to squeeze extra water out), 4 oz of the Mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Pour your sauce mixture into the bowl with the the other ingredients and stir until it is all completely incorporated. Once your mixture is ready pour it into a 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake the casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes and serve with a lite salad or non-starchy veggies like green beans.