December 01, 2014

baked pasta with chicken and swiss chard

 Since I grew up eating my fair share of casseroles I purposefully make very few one pot dishes that bake in the oven.  I feel like I must have eaten them 2-3 times a week for the 18 years while living at home, and now have this "aversion" to them.  HOWEVER, this dish is amazing.  Even my husband said "this is one of my absolute favorites" and as a plus you could make it earlier in the day, refrigerate it, then top it with bread crumbs and bake it for dinner.   

Servings 4-6
Total Time 55 minutes

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat penne
  • 3 bunches swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (red chard or rainbow chard may also be used)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup good-quality ricotta cheese
  • Splash dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • course salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

 Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente.  Strain and set aside (toss with a bit of olive oil if you'd like).

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the swiss chard to the pot and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir a few times to wilt the greens. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the cooked noodles, chicken, ricotta, and a generous splash of white wine to the greens, and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a 2-3 quart baking dish. Combine parmesan, panko, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the top of the casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the top is golden.


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