Chicken, bacon and spinach cheesy pasta bake – one for the regular recipe rotation! Getting the kids to eat plenty of veg can be a real struggle. Often left until the end, when they claim they’re too full to eat any more (yet they miraculously can fit in a bit of dessert!), it can make mealtimes go on seemingly forever.
Throwing plenty of veggies into a pasta bake however, seems to work some kind of magic – at least for my kids! Every time I make this the plates are cleared in no time and second helpings are requested.
No pushing veggies to the edge of the plate. No bribes or cajoling required, just happy, full kids, and even happier parents!
I used canned tomatoes, mixed bell peppers and spinach in this one, but throw in whatever you have at hand. Zucchini, peas, broccoli – it all works.
I bet you could even hide a sprout or two in there!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 1/2 cups dried pasta shapes (I used rigatoni)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 x 14oz cans chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 packed cups fresh baby spinach
- 8 rashers cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 packed cup strong cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 packed cup mozzarella, shredded
- Small bunch parsley, roughly torn
1. Preheat the oven to 375f. Boil a large pan of water and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than recommended on the pack. Drain.