Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Chicken Bake

I'm posting the following picture as proof that I screw up recipes all the time and usually, it is when I am entertaining.
Earlier this week, I was preparing a favorite salad recipe, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken.  The salad portion was all prepped and had the chicken on the grill.  At the same time, I was also trying to get the kids in their swimsuits and sun screened so we could hit the pool.  I got everyone ready and we jumped in the van, completely forgetting about the chicken on the grill.  We returned home 2 hours later.  Luckily, the grill ran out of gas or these charcoal chicken briquets would have ignited and I would have had another fire disaster on my hands.
After the grilled chicken disaster, everyone was a bit hesitant when I pulled more chicken out of the freezer the next day, but the result was a landmark recipe in the Jones household.  Oh my was this delicious.  My 13 year old son turned up his nose when he saw it come out of the oven but immediately admitted how amazing it was once he tasted it.
I've posted quite a few chicken bakes over the years (Parmesan Chicken Bake, Chorizo Chicken Bake, Basil Artichoke Chicken Bake, Spinach and Tomato Chicken Bake, Pesto Chicken Bake) but without offending my previous bakes, this is easily my new favorite.  Yes, it does take a bit more effort than some of my other bakes, but you will not be disappointed.  This one immediately made it's way into the meal rotation, especially since I successfully made it without turning it into charcoal.

Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Chicken Bake
adapted from Bacon Butter Cheese & Garlic
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic powder
onion powder
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 Tb butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C water mixed with 1 Tb white wine vinegar (or 1/2 C white wine)
salt and pepper to taste

10 - 12 ounce bag of spinach leaves
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Tb oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 casserole with nonstick spray.  Generously season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.  Place in the casserole, skin side down and bake for 16 minutes.
2.  While the bakes, prepare the mushrooms and spinach.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter then add the mushrooms.  Cook until the mushrooms are browned all over.  Don't add the salt before they brown, or they won't brown at all!  Add the garlic once the mushrooms are browned and cook for 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with the water/vinegar mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste then allow it to reduce until most, but not all of the liquid is gone.  Remove mixture from the pan into a bowl and set aside until the spinach is finished.
3.  Using the same skillet, add the oil and onion over medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute then add the spinach in batches.  It will shrink down as it cooks.  Once all the spinach has been added and cooked down, stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper until they melt and mix together.  Add in the set aside mushrooms and stir.
4.  Remove chicken from the oven and flip over so the skin side is now up.  Slather on the spinach/mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the chicken.  Lay the sliced mozzarella cheese evenly over the top and return to the oven for 12-14 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through.


Anonymous said...

I would totally do this and have for the most part. I would not add cream cheese to this.. It does not need the extra calories maybe a little bit of lemon. I have substituted red wine in place of white only because I'd don't have white. This is a very good dish!

Jensine Kinser said...

See? This is why we are friends. I fantasize about food--and you supply new fantasies. :)

Anonymous said...

If we are using boneless, skinless chicken, why does your recipe say there is a skin side?

Carole said...

Great question! It means the side where the skin used to be. The smooth side of the chicken breast.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so delicious and not very hard at all!

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight minus the cream cheese (didn't have it on hand) and it was immediately added to the rotation. Picky fiancée loved it. Thanks!

Whitney Fletcher said...

What would be a complimentary side dish to this?

Carole said...

Whitney- how about some rice? This makes a nice sauce in the pan and you can drizzle the the rice with some sauce. Or a simple salad or steamed fresh green beans would also be wonderful!

Denise said...

Sooo...I like to make a new recipe every day, and googled the things I have on hand. This recipe came up and I AM SO GLAD IT DID! This was a-fricking-mazing!! SOOOOO good! Very flavorful and super fun to make, thanks for posting this so Google could find it for me. YUM!

Carole said...

So glad you loved it Denise! I make this about once a month and it is one of my favorites!

Teaya said...

Can this be made without mushrooms? Not a mushroom fan but love spinach!

Carole said...

Teaya- I have to be honest and say no. Mushrooms add the depth of flavor for this dish that will not be found without them. I still think you should try this amazing dish. Chop the mushrooms small and just try it! I used to despise mushrooms myself :)