This easy chicken and spinach casserole is perfect for a quick weeknight meal in just 30 minutes and feeds a large family. It has a delicious creamy sauce flavored with garlic and parmesan cheese and topped with melty mozzarella cheese for an irresistible comforting dinner!
🌟 Why this recipe works
The spinach chicken casserole recipe is a delightful dish packed with delicious flavors and healthy goodness from spinach and shredded chicken.
What makes this recipe work is the creamy sauce mixture of cream, spices, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese, which gets incorporated with the chicken and baked in the oven until golden brown.
It's sure to be a crowd-pleaser that everyone will love!
The creamy chicken casserole is made with staple pantry ingredients, making it affordable and quick. You can also customize the recipe with your favorite spices and cheese. Pretty similar to my chicken brussel sprouts casserole recipe.
The texture of the shredded chicken cream mixture and the soft spinach are comforting and irresistible, perfect for cold evenings.
This cheesy chicken spinach bake is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or feeding a large crowd. The spinach chicken casserole is creamy, cheesy, and packed with flavor - making it a winner in my book!
The ingredients are easy to find, and the recipe is simple to follow, using just one skillet, which means less washing up. And the creamy sauce makes this dish a favorite for kids and adults alike.
🍽 Key Ingredients
You'll be surprised how easy it is to put this chicken and spinach casserole together with some sauteed spinach, leftover chicken breast, and a cream sauce.
Chicken - To reduce the prep time, use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breasts from last night's chicken dinner and shred it.
Cheese - Use a mixture of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Spinach - Use fresh spinach leaves for better flavor and less water.
Herbs & spices - Dried basil and garlic give this dish great flavor - and fresh parsley for decoration before serving.
Cream - For extra creaminess, buy heavy whipping cream. It's much thicker than single cream and thickens nicely with the butter.
If you don't have heavy whipping cream on hand, you can substitute it for sour cream as an equal replacement.
You want to choose a cheese with good melting qualities for this recipe - and a good substitution for mozzarella is cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Colby cheese.
Instead of spinach, you could use kale as it has a similar taste, color, and texture.
- Upgrade the chicken casserole with a cream cheese mixture by adding one package of full-fat softened cream cheese to the chicken mixture.
- If you have some Italian seasoning on hand, feel free to mix a teaspoon with the shredded chicken for a lift in herb flavor.
🔪 How to make
Chicken and spinach casserole is an easy recipe with minimal ingredients and only 30 minutes of your time. It's all prepared in a single skillet for speed and baked in a dish to brown off in the oven.
If you're using fresh spinach leaves, wash and dry them.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the spinach to the hot skillet little by little to reduce in size, and cook until the leaves have wilted and the juice starts to evaporate.
Drain the sautéed spinach, and spread it on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add in the heavy whipping cream until it starts to boil.
Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and basil.
Stir in ½ cup of mozzarella and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the shredded chicken and continue stirring until well combined.
Remove the skillet from the heat and spread the creamy chicken mixture evenly over the spinach in the baking dish.
Top with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream.
💭 Cooking tips for chicken and spinach casserole
If the creamy sauce is too thick, you can adjust it by mixing in a small amount of chicken broth until it becomes a smooth consistency.
If your cheesy chicken spinach bake isn't browning enough for your liking, you can place it under the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes.
Drain the spinach
Draining the cooked spinach is an important step. Otherwise, you will be left with a pool of spinach juices at the bottom of the casserole dish.
If you're looking for a different flavor profile, there are plenty of variations you can do to spinach chicken casserole. Try some of these tasty options!
Spicy cream spinach and chicken casserole
To make a spicy cream spinach and chicken casserole, add 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce and mix 1 tablespoon of my authentic taco seasoning with the shredded chicken.
Chicken, chorizo, and spinach casserole
Add 1 cup of cooked Spanish chorizo sausage to the chicken mixture and spread it over the spinach for a Mexican twist.
Macaroni creamy spinach chicken casserole
Mix ½ cup of cooked macaroni pasta with the chicken and spinach mixture for a heartier meal.
🥗 What to serve with
This cheesy chicken spinach bake pairs well with a simple side salad or steamed broccoli. You could also serve it with garlic bread, dinner rolls, or for a complete meal, try serving it with mashed potatoes or rice.
If you're looking for an absolutely delicious side dish to serve with this casserole, this creamy mashed potatoes recipe with cream cheese is a great option. They're easy to make and pair well with chicken dinner.
Another great side to try with this casserole is cauliflower rice. It's a healthy and low-carb option that takes only minutes to make that's flavored with cilantro and lime.
If you're looking for a healthier side option, steamed vegetables are a great choice. They're simple to make with whatever you have in your pantry.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I use frozen spinach?
Yes, you can use frozen spinach in this recipe. Just thaw it out and squeeze out any excess water before cooking.
Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
You can make this casserole ahead of time. Just cover it with foil and bake it when you're ready to eat. It will take 10 minutes longer to bake if it's been prepped ahead of time.
🧊 Storage and ♨️ Reheating
You can easily store any leftover chicken and spinach casserole and reheat it the following day.
Fridge - Transfer the cooled leftovers from the casserole dish into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer - Wrap the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe container and place it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours before reheating.
Reheating - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes until it's heated through. You can also microwave it on high for 3-4 minutes until it's hot.
👪 Serving size
This chicken and spinach casserole recipe will easily give you 5 to 6 generous servings, or you could scale it to cater to more people.
So, there you have it! A delicious and easy chicken and spinach casserole recipe that is perfect for a family dinner any time of the week and affordable. Give it a try tonight!
Creamy Chicken Spinach Casserole
- 10 oz Fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- 1-½ cup Heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese - grated
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried basil
- 1 lb Shredded chicken
- ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese - divided
- Fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the spinach to the heated skillet a little at a time, and cook until wilted.
- Drain the spinach, and spread it on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add in the heavy whipping cream.
- Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and basil.
- Stir in ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in the shredded chicken and continue stirring until combined. Remove from heat.
- Spread the chicken mixture evenly over the spinach in the baking dish.
- Top with the remainder of Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.