3 Cheese Penne Florentine

Throughout my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot.  But, I have come to one overwhelming conclusion.  I don’t cut carbs.  It’s just not gonna happen ya’ll.  I love pasta, and potatoes.  I enjoy eating my burgers between 2 halves of a bun.  I have done the low carb thing in the past and it just didn’t work for me.  I felt deprived and I felt hungry.  I’m not saying it wont work for other people, but less carbs was not the answer for me.  So, know that you CAN lose weight while still eating carbs.

Sometimes you just want a bowl of pasta.  I refuse to let go of my pasta desires and this dish combines not only pasta, but CHEESE!  I mean hello?  Winner winner right there people!  It’s a comfort food-topia!  I got this recipe from Cooking Light and it did not disappoint.  It is gooey, carby, deliciousness!  Plus, it has veggies in it too.  Booyah!  I am a sucker for a composed dish or casserole.  So this was just fantastic all around.  If you have picky kids who won’t eat green stuff, you could add cauliflower instead of spinach and still get some veggies in there!

The recipe has chicken in it but you could easily leave it out or substitute with tofu, shrimp, tempeh, sausage or heck, even ground beef, turkey or chicken.  So what I’m saying is, its very versatile so you do you!

As written, it serves 8 people and is only 345 calories per cup 🙂

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or just until spinach wilts.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

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3 thoughts on “3 Cheese Penne Florentine

  1. Oh this looks delicious! I struggle with the carbs myself. When I cut them entirely of course the weight just melts away. But as you said, sometimes you just want a bowl of pasta…!!

    Liked by 1 person

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