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Who doesn’t love hot spinach artichoke dip? Here it is as a main dish made with chicken breast!
Lately I’ve been wanting to see if I could take some of my favorite hot dips and build a real meal out of them.
Next up was to figure out something for my favorite hot spinach artichoke dip. This one kept pretty much to my main recipe for that dip. The exception here is I used no mayonnaise. Instead, I substituted cream soup so the “dip” wouldn’t separate because of the fat in the cheeses.
I used cream of chicken, but cream of mushroom would work equally well if not better. When I use cream soups in things that have lots of cheese, I will more often than not choose the low-sodium variety of soup. As my mother always used to say, “You can put salt in but you can’t take it out.” Those are words to live by when using these soups!
Since the dip part cooks pretty fast in the oven and I wanted the chicken to be done at the same time, I sliced the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so I’d have 2 pieces. I do this like I am going to butterfly them but cut all the way through. Then I pound them down with a meat mallet so the breasts are uniform thickness–for even cooking. Then the breasts are browned in a bit of olive oil so they look more appetizing.
You just mix up the “dip” ingredients, but make sure you squeeze and drain as much liquid out of the spinach as you can so the “sauce” doesn’t get watery.
I had a bit of asiago cheese left over–maybe 2 tablespoons–so I put that in the mix for added flavor but it is not necessary.
This one can also be done in the slow cooker–but the top won’t brown.
Hot Spinach Dip Chicken Casserole
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts halves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into small pieces
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 10.75 oz can undiluted cream of chicken -OR- cream of mushroom soup (low sodium preferred)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach defrosted and very well drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 11 x 7-inch baking pan.
- Slice each breast portion in half lengthwise--do this as if you are going to butterfly it but cut all the way through. Pound each piece with a meat mallet between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until they are uniform thickness--about 1/4-inch thick.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken well on both sides; remove from pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the artichokes, cream cheese, soup, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and very well drained spinach.
- Spread HALF the dip in the bottom of the prepared pan. Place browned chicken on top, then top chicken with remaining dip. Sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until dip is bubbling and cheese topping is browned.