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Someone ask me the other day if I ever had bad days in the kitchen. I just laughed as they ( my many bad days) all came flooding back to me. So to answer, I tucked the most embarrassing ones back in the dark corners of my mind for another time and confessed some of the others. Hey, I need to keep some mystery about me don’t I ? Of course!
Looking back several of those memories cause me to giggle but there are some that make me CRINGE when I think about look and taste of them. I won’t subject you guys to all of my recipe bloopers yet (maybe in the future) but to get a glimpse just imagine my waffle maker that took my husband
days okay a whole week to get clean! Yep, bless his heart he is my biggest supporter and he graciously tackles dish detail in our home. Trust me, taking on a food bloggers kitchen is no easy feat. Some weeks there is a bottomless sink of dishes at all times during the day! Poor guy, but he enjoys when I pay him with the finished treat.
Thankfully, my latest botched recipe turned into a nice surprise instead of an embarrassing moment that I would like to forget. This casserole destine for something TOTALLY different but when I got half way into making it I realized that I had somehow forgotten to buy some of the main ingredients. So that recipe just didn’t work out that night but “tada” a nice new family style meal that is so satisfying and super easy to make.
This casserole won’t win any trophies in the “oh so fancy” awards but it does score a major gold medal for the “no special ingredients” and “freezer meal” categories. I don’t know about you, but those trump the fancy card any day of the week!
Remember earlier when I said it was super easy? Well, here is a look into how easy it is. You simply add all the sauce ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth. After you have blended and set aside your sauce you can then work on the “Florentine” part of the dish but don’t let that fancy word fool you for a second. In this recipe it just means that it is made with spinach. I used 10 ounces of fresh cooked spinach that has been sautéed and drained very well. I then added it to the casserole mix. See, nothing fancy about spinach. I prefer cooking my spinach from fresh because I think it has a milder flavor. However, you can use frozen if it is easier for you. If you don’t like spinach you can use kale or even broccoli.
Oh and word to the wise if you cook your own spinach instead of frozen, wait until it cools completely before squeezing the water out. OUCH! Yes, I may be speaking from experience. In my defense I was in a hurry to get the casserole done to feed my hungry family and my tired brain was lacking the energy to think clearly. It was a long day! You know about that, right?
Once you have your spinach cooked and drained you can toss it in a big mixing bowl with your shredded chicken, bacon, 4 oz of your shredded cheese and half (1/3 cup) of Parmesan. Next pour your sauce mixture into the big bowl and add in the spices. Once it is all added just stir the mixture well. Lastly, pour your casserole into a 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses before baking. You can find the full recipe and baking temperature below in the recipe section of this post.
If you are making this as a freezer meal you would add it to your pan and top with the remaining cheese. Cover it tightly and put it into the freezer. When you are ready for your meal just thaw it in the fridge the day before and bake it for dinner the next evening. You could bake it straight from frozen but that would add about an hour or more to the cook time, so I highly recommend thawing first. I also love using disposable pans for my freezer meals for faster cleanup later and my hubby thanks me for that each time I do, haha! I hope you enjoy this casserole around your table as much as we do!
Cheesy Chicken Florentine (Low Carb, THM)
Oven Temp: 350 Serves: 6-8
- 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup of Duke’s Real Mayo
- 2/3 c Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided equally
- 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided in half
- 1/4 cup of chopped bacon (or real bacon bits)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (14.5 oz) jar of Prego Artisan Three Cheese Sauce*
- 12 oz. Thawed Spinach (drained and squeezed dry)
- 2 lb. shredded chicken
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
*Note: When buying your cream cheese, mayo and jarred sauce try to look for the brands that have 1-2 carbs per serving or LESS to avoid over doing it on carbs. The brand I suggest in the recipe are the lowest I have found.
Directions: Add your cream cheese, Prego Sauce, mayo and eggs. Blend until it is smooth. In a large mixing bowl add in your shredded chicken, bacon, spices, the drained spinach , 4 oz of the Mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Pour your sauce mixture into the bowl over these ingredients and stir until it is all completely mix. Next pour your casserole into into a 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake the casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes and serve with a lite salad or non-starchy veggies like green beans.