All the flavor of Spinach Artichoke dip that you love but lightened up and made healthy on top of a lean protein packed chicken breast. This Spinach Artichoke Chicken Bake is made with fresh spinach low-fat yogurt making it the perfect healthy weeknight option for the entire family!
Spinach and Artichoke Chicken
This recipe is based off of everyone’s favorite Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Isn’t it funny how 2 healthy ingredients can be mixed with cheese, baked, and everyone goes completely crazy for it! I think it mostly has to do with the loads of delicious cheese and mayonnaise added to the mix! So because I wanted to keep this meal on the lighter heathy side I subbed out most of the cheese and left out the mayo to make a delicious and easy to make chicken dinner!
What do I need make this healthy Chicken Bake?
Let’s start with Chicken Breasts! To get the best cook on this chicken and to keep the portions from getting to large you’ll want to butterfly cut a chicken breast in half to make 2 cutlets. So start with 2 large chicken breasts, cut them in half and you will have 4 pieces of chicken for your casserole bake!
Now to the good stuff, the spinach and artichokes!
For the spinach I use Baby Spinach because that is the easiest to find at the store. You will want to pack 2 cups full and then roughly chop the spinach up, that way it cooks faster and is easier to eat! (I find that 2 cups worth is a little less than a 5 oz bag).
For the artichokes I highly recommend using Marinated Artichoke Hearts. By using the marinated ones you get that extra boost of flavor immediately added to your dish! But any artichoke hearts either in water or oil will work, just drain out the liquid and measure. Just like the spinach you will want to give the artichoke hearts a rough chopping to make it easier to eat.
Now to keep this healthy we ditch the mayo, cream cheese, and sour cream and use Plain Low-Fat Yogurt! I am a big fan of just using plain yogurt because its is incredibly smooth and creamy. Now I suppose you could use greek yogurt in a pinch but it won’t be as creamy and it will be a little more tangy.
For the flavor! I use Dijon Mustard and Garlic Powder. Just a little bit of each help give the chicken that spinach artichoke dip flavor that we all love.
Lastly we cannot forget the cheese! After all the cheese is ever so important for spinach artichoke dip and equally important for spinach artichoke chicken bake! I tested the cheese a few different ways and my family all agreed the way I am sharing was the hands down best.
I use Sliced Mozzarella Cheese on top of the chicken bake. The slices on top creates this amazing layer of bubbly golden brown goodness, that is seriously hard to resist!
How do I make Spinach Artichoke Chicken?
Start by preheating the oven to 400ºF. You will then want to make sure your chicken breasts are prepped. So if they are large chicken breasts make sure to cut them in half to create to cutlet-like pieces.
To make the spinach artichoke dip that will top the chicken mix together spinach, yogurt, artichokes, garlic powder, and mustard in a large bowl.
Lay chicken breasts down in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
Evenly distribute spinach mixture overtop the chicken breasts. Make sure to keep the yogurt mixture on top of the chicken breasts.
Lay 2 slices of the mozzarella cheese on top of each chicken breast, overlapping to fit is okay.
Transfer to the oven and bake 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked (reached a temperature of 165ºF). Time will vary slightly based on the size of your chicken breasts. Let rest 3-5 minutes before serving.
One thing to note as the dish does come out of the oven, there will be quite a bit of liquid around the chicken. Due to the watery nature of chicken breasts and very high water content of fresh spinach a lot of juices are let out when cooking. This actually helps the chicken breasts cook better and keeps them moist! So as you are getting ready to serve I recommend using a slotted spoon or spatula to let the piece of chicken drain slightly before transferring to a plate.
Side Dishes for Spinach Artichoke Chicken
Lastly just served over a bed of grains like brown rice or quinoa would also be delicious! I think that a side of cauliflower rice would also be excellent if you are trying to keep it low carb.
TIPS & TRICKS
• After some feedback I want to note, this is a ‘healthy’/’low-carb’ recipe, it will not taste exactly like typical spinach artichoke dip because of substitutions made and ‘heavy’ ingredients left out. I still think it tastes amazing, but this it is not a super creamy/fatty version if that is what you are looking for.
• There will be quite a bit of liquid around the chicken when it’s done, I recommend using a slotted spoon or spatula to let the chicken drain slightly before transferring to a plate
• I love the crust of melty cheese on top and I found that sliced cheese worked best for this, but if you are looking to use a little less cheese you can use one slice or shedded mozzarella would work just as well
- 4 (6-8oz) chicken breasts*
- 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a large bowl mix together spinach, yogurt, artichokes, garlic powder, and mustard.
- Lay chicken breasts down in a single layer in a 9x13 baking dish. Evenly distribute spinach mixture overtop the chicken breasts. Lay 2 slices of the mozzarella cheese on top of each chicken breast, overlapping to fit is okay.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked (cooking time will vary due to size of the chicken breast, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºF). Let rest 3-5 minutes before serving.
- PLEASE NOTE: After some feedback I want to note, this is a 'healthy'/'low-carb' recipe, it will not taste exactly like typical spinach artichoke dip because of substitutions made and 'heavy' ingredients left out. I still think it tastes amazing, but this it is not a super creamy/fatty version if that is what you are looking for.
- There will be quite a bit of liquid around the chicken when it’s done, I recommend using a slotted spoon or spatula to let the chicken drain slightly before transferring to a plate, this liquid is natural due to the fresh spinach and chicken.
*if you are just grabbing a pack of chicken breasts at the store, unless you are buying them already in cutlets they are probably going to be about double what a portion size actually is. So a portion of chicken in 6-8 ounces which is roughly half a pound. Most chicken breasts at the store are about 1 pound, so simply butterfly-cut the chicken in half to form 2 cutlets that will be the proper potion size. OR if this is confusing look for chicken breasts already cut into cutlets at the store. If you use a whole large chicken breast those are going to need longer a lot longer to bake then the recipe calls for.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 150mg Sodium: 854mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 12g Protein: 53g
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Peace & Love
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife
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