This Healthy Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake is only 460 calories per serving which is 1/4 of this dish!I usually laugh inside when pasta dishes are advertised as “Healthy”. Sure it may be healthy, but since pasta is high in calories you can have about 10 noodles before you’re over your limit. So I was surprised when this healthy pasta dish was 460 per serving which isn’t bad at all considering you get to eat 1/4 of the dish pictured below. That’s a lot! I’ve made this a couple of times for my family and every time I do my husband asks suspiciously, “This is healthy?”
The best healthy dishes are the ones where you aren’t reminded how healthy it is every time you take a flavorless bite.
I know it may seem like I’m all over the map when it comes to eating healthy. I try really hard most of the time…and crash and burn miserably the other half. I wonder how many times I can use the word healthy in this post.
And NO I do not want to know how many calories I ate in the last post…
- 1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel cheese, cubed (you can substitute cream cheese)
- 1 cup shredded 2% milk mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 375ºF.
- Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute.
- Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in spaghetti sauce, garlic, and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in Neufchatel.
- Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and ½ cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish.
- Bake 20 min.; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.