Easy Chicken Florentine Casserole Recipe

When it comes to cooking with spinach, dishes "a la Florentine" are the gold standard. "Florentine" refers to "in the style of Florence, Italy," but you may recognize "Florentine" as a word synonymous with spinach. In other words, when you see "Florentine" in the name of a dish, you'll know it contains spinach. So, what's the connection between spinach and Florence? Supposedly, the Queen consort of France during the mid-16th century, Catherine de Medici, who'd been born and raised in Florence, was a huge fan of this leafy green, which grows abundantly in Italy (via National Geographic). As a young bride, Catherine may or may not have made certain it was available in abundance at her wedding to the French king (via Toscana Divino). Catherine's love for spinach was so well-known by her adopted French subjects that dishes containing spinach came to be referred to as "Florentine" — perhaps in the belief that a love for spinach was synonymous with Florence, as opposed to the Queen, herself.

As for Scottsdale, Arizona-based recipe developer and private practice dietitian Kristen Carli, who brings this hearty, healthy, and casual family-style chicken Florentine casserole recipe to life, it is the spinach that helps make this a "complete meal" in one dish. "I love this dish because it is a complete dish on its own. It contains veggies, protein, and starches." Not only is it packed with all those macronutrients, but it will take a mere 10 minutes for prep and 23 minutes for cook time. Quite the deal, no? Let's delve in. 

Gather your ingredients

Carli's recipe for chicken Florentine casserole begins with 2 pounds of raw chicken tenders, which you can purchase pre-cut and pre-packaged at your grocery store. You'll also need 1 pound of curly egg noodles (one package), which will form the literal foundation of your casserole and absorb all the flavors from the rest of the ingredients. For those flavors, in addition to the chicken, you'll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil (in which to cook the chicken tenders), 2 10.5-ounce cans of cream of mushroom soup, 4 loosely packed cups of baby spinach, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Start by preheating the oven and pre-cooking your egg noodles

First thing you'll want to do is preheat your oven to the standard baking temperature of 350 F. While you wait for your oven to heat up, spritz a 9x13-inch baking dish or other casserole-friendly dish with nonstick spray, and fill a large pot three-quarters of the way with water. Set it on the stove to boil. When the water is boiling, add the noodles, and cook according to the package directions. Then drain and set them aside while you move onto the next step.

Brown your chicken tenders in a skillet

Grab a large skillet — the more surface space the better so that you can brown the chicken tenders without crowding them (which tends to undermine the browning process). Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add your olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, and cook on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (this is the minimum temperature at which the USDA points out is safe for consuming chicken), which should take no more than 8 to 10 minutes since the chicken will be sliced fairly thin. Set aside to cool while you move onto the next step.

Assemble your casserole and bake

All that is left to do now is to assemble your chicken Florentine casserole and get it in the oven! Grab a large bowl, and use it to combine the pasta and the spinach. Then add the cream of mushroom soup. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and fold the pieces into the bowl until the soup is coating all the ingredients. Transfer the mixture into your prepared 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with the cheese, and bake for 15 minutes. 

While this casserole serves as a meal in and of itself, you can up the nutrition factor by serving it with a side salad if you prefer.

Serve the casserole hot, and enjoy!

Easy Chicken Florentine Casserole Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
Perfect for a weeknight meal, this hearty dish is on the table in just 30 minutes -- plus, it's so delicious and tasty, even your kids will want seconds!
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
chicken Florentine casserole
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 (10.5-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 loosely packed cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. Add the egg noodles, and cook for the time specified on the package.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Cook the chicken tenders on each side until internal temperature reaches at least 165 F (around 8 to 10 minutes total).
  8. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta and spinach.
  9. Add the soup to the bowl.
  10. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and fold the pieces into the mixture thoroughly.
  11. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  12. Top with the cheese.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes, and serve hot.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 711
Total Fat 35.8 g
Saturated Fat 10.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 123.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 2.2 g
Sodium 1,280.1 mg
Protein 33.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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