Rich, Creamy, and Healthy Chicken Florentine Casserole

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Ahhh, creamy pasta dishes. Not exactly a recipe you’d think could be included in a healthy-eating plan. And yet, here we are! This garlicky Chicken Florentine Casserole uses warming nutmeg, oregano, rich chicken broth, and Parmesan cheese to create a healthy version of a favorite creamy, bubbly casserole. This simple casserole will please the whole family, and you may even get your kids to eat spinach (and like it!). You’ll never guess that this dish clocks in at only 8 grams of fat and 315 calories per serving.

Chicken Florentine Casserole is Great For Kids

This creamy pasta casserole will please the whole family, and you may even get your kids to eat spinach (and like it!)

When I was a kid, there was no way — and I mean no way — I would willingly eat anything as green as spinach. No matter how my mother tempted me, I had this childhood logic that, if I ate spinach, she would see my resolve weaken. As a result, she might try and dupe me into eating other more nefarious food items like broccoli. Yuck!

Unknown to me, my mother had been slipping vast quantities of the stuff into my favorite soups and pasta dishes. This Chicken Florentine Casserole operates using the same trickery. With baked pasta recipes, it’s easy to use the indulgent creaminess to disguise any healthy additions you want to make. If you wanted to increase  the nutrition content even more, you could probably puree cauliflower or white beans to make an extra-creamy, extra-duplicitous pasta bake.

The Key Players In This Creamy Chicken Florentine Casserole

This irresistible creamy, chicken casserole spotlights chicken and spinach, along with a few other nutritious ingredients that add flavor

Our irresistible casserole spotlights chicken and spinach, along with a few other nutritious ingredients that add flavor. Chicken acts as a lean source of meat that packs a powerful protein punch in this yummy dish. We love using chicken for dishes like this because of its juicy, tender consistency. In addition, it also has a low-fat profile, which makes it perfect for a creamy dish like this!

I’m sure you’re well aware of the nutritious reputation of spinach, offering a seemingly endless list of health benefits. The superfood is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, along with folate, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Thanks to its spinach content, this casserole dish provides a delicious opportunity to sneak in some feel-good vitamins and minerals!

Other key players in our crave-worthy casserole include garlic, olive oil, and powerful spices like nutmeg and oregano. Low fat cottage cheese teams up with fresh Parmesan, bringing you a creamy cheesiness that seals the deal. Finally, we use whole grain pasta in this recipe. This healthier alternative to regular pasta carries more fiber and nutrients without skimping on flavor.

In the end, we have created a perfect, healthy dish that will satisfy both parents and kids. More importantly, it’s healthy and filled with nutritious ingredients.

What to Serve with Chicken Florentine Casserole?

Paired with a nice salad or a warm vegetable side, this Chicken Florentine Casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

With this Chicken Florentine Casserole, I love the idea of serving it with salads. For example, this Tuscan Salad is a perfect pairing. Take out the salmon, and you’re left with the perfect combination of radicchio and arugula dressed with capers and lemon. I also like serving casseroles with a colorful salad like Connie and Ted’s Celebrity Salad, our take on a celebrity-inspired green onion and basil salad. One more idea for the road: What about a sliced Green Bean and Zucchini Salad with almonds, oregano and lots of garlic.

Paired with a nice salad or a warm vegetable side, this Chicken Florentine Casserole is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! It’s the definition of comfort food, minus the guilt. Most importantly, this rich and gooey casserole dish is simple to throw together. It makes the perfect main course for dinner parties or date nights!

Chicken Florentine Casserole

This garlicky Chicken Florentine Casserole uses warming nutmeg, oregano, rich chicken broth, and Parmesan to make a creamy, bubbly mid-week dinner.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 315kcal


  • 4 (3 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pre-cooked, cut into cubes (rotisserie chicken works too)
  • 1/2 box frozen spinach thawed & squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth fat free
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese blended to make smooth consistency
  • 2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated (use small holes on grater)
  • 1/2 pound whole grain pasta (such as farfalla, penne, or spirals)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Mist a 9 x 11 baking dish with oil. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium-low and saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, oregano & pepper. Bring to simmer.
  • Remove from heat and add blended cottage cheese, spinach, chicken, Parmesan cheese & pasta. Stir to combine. Place in casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden & bubbly.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 396mg | Fiber: 2g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8

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91 Comments on "Rich, Creamy, and Healthy Chicken Florentine Casserole"

  1. Skinny Ms.  January 27, 2012

    Kim – I would briefly sauté' it in the olive oil right before adding the flour.

  2. Skinny Ms.  January 27, 2012

    Deb – I will try to find out about the spinach, but I would go with a cup or 2, depending on how much spinach you enjoy. The garlic I would sauté' briefly just prior to whisking in the flour.

  3. Laurie  February 2, 2012

    OMG! This recipe is awesome! I made this last night and the whole family ate it up! There was only a little left over for my husband's lunch today. The only issue I had was trying to figure out when to add the garlic (I see now after reading the posts) but it still turned out excellent! Thanks for yet another yummy meal!

    • Skinny Ms.  February 2, 2012

      Laurie, GREAT…so happy your family enjoy! 🙂

  4. Leesa D  March 21, 2012

    Looks delicious! I will be putting this on my menu this week!

  5. skinnyms  March 21, 2012

    Great! Keep us posted…

  6. Iyaka98  April 5, 2012

    can i substitue the cottage cheese with sour cream?  I don't like cottage cheese?

    • skinnyms  April 6, 2012

      Should work fine or Greek yogurt would work as well.

  7. Iyaka98  April 9, 2012

    I made it this weekend…it is delicious. Thanks! I get tired of trying healthy receipes that taste like crap.  This was great!

    • skinnyms  April 10, 2012

      Well, thank-you so much! And, I agree by the way. 😉

  8. Sandy  April 16, 2012

    I made this over the weekend, and my whole family LOVED it!  I almost had none leftover for lunch today!  I did want to make a comment though, I didn't know when to use the garlic, so I put it in the sauce after I added the broth.  Thanks for the awesome recipre!!  

    • skinnyms  April 20, 2012

      Sandy, Thank you!

  9. Betsy  April 17, 2012

    Can you freeze this?

    • skinnyms  April 20, 2012

      Betsy, Hmmmm…I've never frozen this recipe, so can't say for sure. If you freeze it let us know how it turns out.

      • JLyn  October 9, 2016

        Betsy, did you freeze this?

  10. Ingrid  April 18, 2012

    How about Ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese? 

    • skinnyms  April 20, 2012

      Ingrid, That would work great!

  11. Jenn  April 18, 2012

    My family loves this! It has been added to my box of "keeper" recipes and put in the menu rotation. Last time I doubled the spinach and they all ate it up! Thans so much

    • skinnyms  April 20, 2012

      Jenn, You are so welcome.

    • Katie  February 2, 2016

      Oh good because this is my first time making it and I accidentally doubled the spinach!!!

  12. Jane  July 11, 2012

    Very good! I would omit the nutmeg next time around. Pretty pungent flavor that didn't seem to mix with garlic. I also added mushrooms after sauteeing them first.

  13. Nancy  July 29, 2012

    YUM.  Do you think silken tofu would work for a GF/DF option?

  14. Cyndie  July 29, 2012

    I love love this recipe, and can't wait to try it.  Question though:  why frozen spinach?  Why not fresh, chopped up?  So many recipes I find have frozen spinach as an ingredient.  I prefer to use fresh, but will this compromise the recipe in some way?  Thanks for your advice, and fantastic recipes!

    • Mama Schquigs  July 29, 2012

      Frozen spinach has the same nutritional value as fresh, but most recipes I find call for frozen spinach because it's cheaper and already cooked.  You should have no problem using fresh spinach in place, you'll just need to wilt it down and you'll need A LOT.  I've substituted fresh for frozen in recipes when I haven't had any in the freezer and it worked fine.  I hope that helps!

  15. ann  July 29, 2012

    This is baking in the oven and I just realized I forgot the garlic!  Please add it to your directions.  I hope it will still be OK! 

  16. Corgi1411  July 30, 2012

    I am on a low sodium diet, so I can't wait to try this! Thanks!

  17. Catpt98  July 30, 2012

    Is there any nutritional info available? Thanks!!

    • Linda  October 16, 2013

      it is in the shaded area just above the recipe.

  18. Abuckminster  July 30, 2012

    This recipe caught my eye and I thought maybe I can make this gluten free. And then I read the recipe and it already was! I will definitely be making this =)

  19. Danielle  July 30, 2012

    Can't wait to try this recipe. Weight Watchers points plus value is an 8. For 1 1/2 cups of a creamy pasta dish that is awesome. Always looking for quick and easy or slow cooker recipes, especially this time of year with the kids being in sports. This recipe will definitely be tried within the next couple of weeks.

  20. flowersandchocolates  July 30, 2012

    This was delicious.  My fiance and I both loved it.  I doubled the spinach because we both like spinach.  I am definitely adding it to my meal rotation.  Thanks!

  21. Skinny Ms.  July 30, 2012

    Love hearing that!

  22. Pyromama  August 13, 2012

    Made this last night and we loved it! My DD's, 6 & 9, were skeptical, but immediately asked me to make it again!

  23. Joy  August 20, 2012

    I would love if this site could sync up nicely with Peppeplate. Such a great app when you are at the grocery store and want to make a recipe.

    • Joy  August 20, 2012

      and this site has great recipes that I want to add. 🙂 oops..forgot the R in my first post. pepperplate

    • Skinny Ms.  August 21, 2012

      Joy, Thanks so much. That’s a great idea about the app…it’s on our list of ‘to dos’. 🙂

  24. NJScubaDiva  August 22, 2012

    OH YUM!!! Had this for dinner tonight – it was excellent!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • Skinny Ms.  August 23, 2012

      Great! Thanks so much for the feedback.

  25. April  August 23, 2012

    If im using a rotisserie chicken, how much chicken would I use? Thanks!

  26. Rachel Brown  September 11, 2012

    can you substitute fat free cream cheese instead of the cottage cheese?

    • Skinny Ms.  September 12, 2012

      Rachel, I haven't tried it, but should be fine.

  27. Pam  October 28, 2012

    This may seem like a crazy question -but do you cook the pasta first? I'm hoping to make this tonight, but can't figure that out!

  28. Pam  October 28, 2012

    oops.. just reread the instructions.. ignore my question! Will let you know how it is.

  29. Skinny Ms.  October 29, 2012

    Pam, Yes, cook the pasta first…just until it's al dente as it will continue to cook when in the oven. I aways like to slightly undercook the pasta when adding to a casserole. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  30. Melissa  November 4, 2012

    Can you put instead of chicken broth like cream of chicken soup? Also instead of cottage cheese? Any suggestons

    • Skinny Ms.  November 4, 2012

      We don't recommend using canned soups because they contain so many unhealthy ingredients, including corn syrup. You could probably sub low-fat Greek yogurt for the cottage cheese. I have tried it, but it should work fine.

  31. amanda  February 18, 2013

    Can you modify the print settings to include a picture with the recipes?

    • Skinny Ms.  February 20, 2013

      Amanda, Thought they were included in the recipe. We’ll look into this. Thanks for letting us know. 🙂

  32. DJH  April 22, 2013

    Wow. Closest ingredient I had on hand to cottage cheese was coconut milk and half and half (lol not a big deal for a casserole right!) . Subbed that in and added green Thai curry. Also used fresh spinach. Can I say yummy!?. Next time I will try the original recipe but if you want to switch it up, this was great!!

  33. christina  June 20, 2013

    What brand of broth has no salt added. On salt restiction and have not been able to find any.

    • SkinnyMs  March 4, 2014

      You can make the broth. It freezes well. One method is to freeze it in ice cube trays so whenever you need broth just empty the ice cube trays into the recipe. Low-sodium broth or stock should be available at most stores.

  34. Erica  August 3, 2013

    I made this a few weeks ago and my family loved it. My kids keep on begging me to make it again. They have no idea how good it is for them.

  35. Meredith  August 6, 2013

    This is one of the best things I have ever made….I think the creamy secret is blending the cottage cheese, and I'll definitely use that trick for other cream sauces. Thank you for the recipe!

  36. Teri  October 17, 2013

    Made this last night and thought it was super tasty. I highly recommend using the whole box of spinach — I did and it was delicious — and besides, what are you going to do with half a box of (defrosted) frozen spinach? Just toss it in, you won't regret it. Other than that I made no significant changes. Next time, I'll cover it with foil for the first 20 minutes as the top was a little dry. Other than that, we loved it. THANKS!

    • Skinny Ms.  October 18, 2013

      Teri, Good suggestion! Thanks.

    • HalifaxKD  November 12, 2013

      Tasted good, but I too found it to be kind of dry. For the leftovers, I added a bit more chicken broth and threw in some sauteed mushrooms and onions. Much better!

      • HalifaxKD  November 18, 2013

        Turns out, the problem was my reading! I used double the pasta because I didn't read it properly. Made it again, much better now! I added mushrooms and onions.

        • Teri  December 28, 2013

          Made it tonight using fresh chopped broccoli instead of spinach. Added the broccoli to the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking to blanch it. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as usual. WINNER! Wish I'd read the suggestion about mushrooms earlier, I think sauteed mushrooms would be an awesome addition. Pondering a chopped red bell pepper next time. This recipe really satisfies when I have a craving for rich, high-fat pasta, such as mac & cheese or fettuccine alfredo. This is SO much healthier. Definitely a keeper.

          • GaleCompton  December 30, 2013

            Teri, Great, happy you enjoyed. 🙂

  37. Erin  December 3, 2013

    I made this last night and it was AMAZING! used fresh spinach and leftover turkey. Definitely will make again!!

    • autumn  September 22, 2014

      How much fresh spinach did you use?

      • SkinnyMs  September 23, 2014

        Autumn, One bag of prewashed baby spinach or one bunch spinach leaves, bottom stems removed (triple-washed to remove any grit).

  38. Kecia  September 27, 2015

    Should I cover it while baking?

    • SkinnyMs  September 29, 2015

      Kecia, I would recommend loosely covering with foil. 🙂

  39. Shanta  January 18, 2016

    How many points is just the sauce? 🙂

    • SkinnyMs.  January 20, 2016

      The sauce, minus the chicken and pasta, is 4 SmartPoints.

  40. Bev  February 21, 2016

    I feel silly asking this question, but what is the total weight or amount of chicken in this recipe. I was confused with the 4×3 amount. Is it 4..3oz pieces for a total of 12 ozs? Thank you.

    • Gale Compton  February 21, 2016

      Bev, No problem! I decided it was too confusing and removed the 4 x 3 oz. Now, it states 4 (3 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I hope it’s now clear. 🙂

  41. AuntKarkar  February 27, 2016

    I would like to make a request/suggestion. If possible, in the future, could/would you, please, also list the cholesterol count in the nutritional information? Thanks for your time & all the wonderful healthy recipes you share with us!!

    • Gale Compton  February 27, 2016

      Sure will! Most all of our recipes include cholesterol data, this one was somehow overlooked. We’ll get it added over the weekend. 🙂

  42. TJ  March 2, 2016

    KEEPER!! My 4 year old declared it “yummy” even before cooking it. So good, I kept going back. Served it with roasted carrots. Detonator plan to make again!

    • SkinnyMs.  March 3, 2016

      Thanks for sharing, TJ! We’re so happy your family enjoyed it. 🙂

  43. Wendy  September 18, 2016

    I don’t know what I did but I screwed this up. It tastes ok, just a little dry. Maybe I’ll double the sauce next time?

    • Gale Compton  September 19, 2016

      Wendy, Hmmmm…try increasing the broth by 1/2 cup and see how that works. 🙂

  44. Sara  December 27, 2016

    Is this a freezer friendly recipe? I like to make double and eat one, freeze one. Makes life easier for busy nights.

    • Gale Compton  December 27, 2016

      Sara, Just like lasagna, this recipe is freezer friendly. Just be sure to allow the one going in the freezer to cool before freezing. 🙂

      • Liz  January 22, 2017

        What would be the reheating instructions if it were frozen?

        • Gale Compton  January 23, 2017

          Liz, Defrost in the fridge before reheating at 375 until hot. I would probably losely cover with foil too. 🙂

  45. Zara  April 6, 2017

    Do u add salt and pepper?

    • Gale Compton  April 7, 2017

      Zara, Add salt and pepper to your taste preference.

  46. Mary  May 27, 2017

    This sounds great. Have literally NEVER tried cottage cheese before, ever. When you say ‘blended’, do you actually mean blended in a blender?

  47. Lori  July 19, 2017

    So yummy I doubled the recipe to have during the week. The family, even my 6 year old grandson raved about it!

  48. ronnie  January 28, 2018

    i didnt cube the chicken small enough! mines been in the over for over 40 minutes and i know the chicken isnt done yet. my bad! i also added a tbsp of pesto and a tsp of crushed red pepper. smells great

  49. Sarah K  March 23, 2018

    Could I premake this and then put it in the fridge for a day or two before I bake it? Or would you recommend I bake it and then refridgerate?

    • Gale Compton  March 24, 2018

      Sarah, I would recommend either freezing until you’re ready to bake or baking then serving leftovers. If you freeze, be sure to
      to defrost in the fridge before baking. 🙂

  50. Kim  March 5, 2019

    This is delicious!! My family loved it. I will definitely make it again with maybe adding mushrooms. I used a rotisserie chicken and also doubled the recipe.

    • Chef Sallie  March 6, 2019

      I love using rotisserie chicken when I’m in a rush. Glad you enjoyed it!


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