Dec 14 08
by cara
at 3:58 PM
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Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

One of my long-term goals is to develop more original recipes and submit them to cooking contests.  Ultimately I’d like to actually win a prize of some sort (lifetime supply of chocolate, a fancy oven, maybe the Pillsbury Million Dollars….any of those would be just dandy), but for now I’m just going to work on actually entering a cooking contest, probably a small local one at first.  I’m starting to get comfortable throwing ingredients together for a dinner, but I’m not quite there yet with my baking.  I can easily change things to add pecans or take out the blueberries and substitute cranberries, but I’m not very good at saying “hmmm, for these muffins, I’ll use 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of sugar…”  I guess I need to learn a little more about the science behind baking and do LOTS more hands-on experimenting in the kitchen.

For now, I enjoy reading about other contest winners and trying out their recipes.  This is one such recipe from Carol McLaughlin of Plattsmouth, NE.  She won $400 from Better Homes and Gardens with this recipe for Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake, and it caught my eye with the artichokes, pasta, spinach, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.  We definitely enjoyed this recipe, though I would make a few changes next time.  The Picky Apple isn’t a fan of artichokes, so I’d probably cut back on the artichokes next time.  I’d also throw in more sun-dried tomatoes so they don’t get overpowered by all the other flavors.

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

Better Homes and Gardens, $400 Prize Winner

Carol McLaughlin, Plattsmouth, NE

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz dried bow tie pasta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  In medium skillet cook onion in 1 tbsp butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; set aside.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning. 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir in chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half of the Parmesan, cooked pasta, and onion.  Transfer to 3-quart rectangular baking dish.

Bake, covered, 20 minutes.  In small bowl combine remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, and melted butter.  Sprinkle mixture over pasta.  Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until golden.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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  • I’m glad to hear you liked this. I saw it in my new BHG cookbook (I think, either that or on their website) and immediately knew I had to try it! Yum!

  • Can you make this the day before and still come out a winner at the dinner table?

  • Amy

    I made this for my family last night and they loved it! Everyone had seconds! Thanks for sharing.

  • Carol McLaughlin

    Glad you liked my recipe, it’s fun to hear what others say, and how they changed it to suit their tastes. Good luck with your contesting goals, I have been to the Pillsbury Bake Off once, in 2006, and to the National Chicken Cooking Contest in 2007. It is a thrill to go to these mega-competitions, but it’s also fun to just enter and occasionally win, the smaller recipe contests, and there are hundreds of these to try. Often you can take a tried and true recipe and “make it your own” by changing & adding ingredients, that’s how I did this one. It was just an ordinary, but good, chicken and noodle casserole before I changed it into this. Anyway, once you start contesting you’ll be hooked, especially after a couple successes! Good luck!

  • Amy

    Loved this dish. Bookmarked to make again.

  • Erin

    How do you make this a frozen meal? do you cook it all first and then freeze it or prep it all and freeze before cooking?

  • Cara

    Erin, you could do it either way, but I prefer to prep it and freeze before cooking so it tastes fresh!

  • Nicole P

    This is SO delicious, I keep ‘re-pinning’ it on Pinterestet so friends that missed it can maybe try it. LOVE it!

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