Healthy Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

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 bipolar 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

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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…

Healthy Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 460 calories per serving;

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 1 cup shredded 2% milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute.
  3. 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.
  4. Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish.
  5. Bake 20 min.; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

Notes

Source: adapted from Kraft

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Comments

  1. Ooh, this one sounds yummy!! I’ll have to add this to our menu for next week.

  2. Sounds and looks great! Pasta that is low in calories and tastes great too, I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Also this is something that diabetics can enjoy! Low in fat, lots of protein from the chicken and cheese, and fiber from the whole grain pasta. I’m adding this to my recipe list! Thank you so much!

  4. I am loving your site. I am also a mom of 3 boys who loves to cook and take pictures. Awesome food blog!!

  5. I love your blog! LOVE it!

  6. Healthy! Yes please! Sign me up! This looks divine and has been bookmarked!!!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  7. I am horrible at making really healthy dinners….I eat good all day and then have a totally bad dinner. So I need all of these I can get.

  8. Ive made many recipes from it and I love love them. My sisters, mom, and I just recently started a blog and you should check it out for new recipes. Its http://addictiveallens.blogspot.com/

  9. This looks perfect! My family loves pasta dishes, and I also am always trying to use that “healthy” word frequently. I think this will be a family hit… Nicely done!

  10. Made this last night, it was DE-lish :) We had some of my husband’s friends over for dinner and they all scarfed it down! Definitely a hit. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I stumbled upon your blog through tastespotting and saw BYU mint brownies. Since I’m an alum of BYU, I was even more excited about your blog. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  12. loving all of these recipes. I can’t wait to try the orange creamsicle cookies!!!

  13. Dig in! I am now feeling hungry with this dish! Very lovely and it really looks so delicious.

  14. Now, this dish just made me hungry! This is really nice. I can’t wait to try this at home.

  15. on my menu for this weekend…my mouth is watering.

  16. I made this recipe tonight, but subbed in Philadelphia “savory garlic” Cooking Creme instead of using the Neufchatel cheese. It worked great! Gave the sauce a creamy taste and since I didn’t have any garlic on hand, added some of that flavor.

  17. I made this last night and loved it!! I am so glad to have found a creamy pasta dish that is healthy!

  18. Not gonna lie, I was wary of this being healthy also. But after I read the ingredients, it is definitely a great healthy find! Gonna keep this one for future use!

  19. Made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Have got to try this!

  21. Mmm! Looks sooo delicious! I host book club tomorrow night and I’m making this! I had featured U in the article of Top 7 Simple and Nutritional Noodles on Mother’s Day on AllFreshRecipes. Looking forward to ur renewing Eats!

  22. Courtney Davis says:

    I added black olives… mmmmm :)

  23. Loved this! It was a big hit!