Creamy Spinach Chicken Dinner Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
For a quick and easy 30-minute meal that won't disappoint, look no further than this creamy chicken spinach pasta recipe.

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

With tender penne, juicy chicken, and a rich and creamy sauce, this simple chicken spinach pasta will quickly become a dinnertime hero, a recipe you turn to time and time again. Easy and quick pasta recipes like this one were made for busy nights when you need dinner on the table—and you need it now.

This simple recipe comes together in just 30 minutes. It leverages tried-and-true shortcuts like condensed soup to transform a short list of ingredients into a filling, crowd-pleasing pasta everyone will adore. You’ll only need two dishes to prepare this recipe, so there’s almost no cleanup.

It doesn’t get much easier (or tastier) than this!

Ingredients for Chicken Spinach Pasta

  • Pasta: The tubular shape and ridged texture of penne benefits this and other penne recipes with creamy, dreamy, cheesy sauces. If you don’t have penne on hand, other tubular pasta shapes, such as ziti, work just as well.
  • Chicken: Juicy chicken breasts cook quickly and serve as a lean, protein-rich addition to this easy spinach pasta recipe (and plenty of other easy chicken dinners).
  • Cream of mushroom soup: Condensed soup is a tried-and-true cooking hack when you want to quickly make a rich, creamy sauce full of flavor. This condensed soup recipe calls for cream of mushroom for a wonderfully savory flavor.
  • Heavy cream: The fat in heavy cream helps give the luscious pasta sauce richness and body.
  • Spinach: This recipe calls for chopped fresh spinach, but you can reach for a box of frozen spinach, too. Just make sure to thaw completely and drain to remove as much excess water as possible before adding it to the dish (just as you would for other frozen spinach recipes). Keep in mind that a package of frozen spinach yields about 1-1/2 cups after cooking. If you use fresh spinach, put any leftover leaves to use in other spinach recipes.
  • Cheese: When you’re at the store, keep our favorite store-bought mozzarella brands in mind. With shredded mozzarella stirred into the sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan to finish each serving, this chicken spinach pasta recipe will get rave reviews from the cheese lovers around the table.

Directions

Step 1: Boil the pasta

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Editor’s Tip: We recommend cooking noodles to al dente.

Step 2: Cook the chicken and onions

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir the chicken and onions in the oil for five minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.

Editor’s Tip: The internal temperature of chicken should read 165°F so you know it’s cooked through.

Step 3: Make it creamy

Next, stir in the cream of mushroom soup and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for two minutes.

Step 4: Add spinach and cheese

Stir in the spinach, mozzarella cheese and black pepper. Cook for one to two minutes or until the spinach is wilted, the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Editor’s Tip: While we love the convenience of pre-shredded cheese when making creamy sauces, we recommend taking the time to grate the cheese fresh from the block. Pre-shredded cheeses often contain additives like cellulose to prevent them from clumping in the package, which can, unfortunately, also inhibit the cheese from melting smoothly in sauces.

Step 5: Combine and serve

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Drain the pasta, add to the chicken mixture and toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Chicken Spinach Pasta Variations

  • Pack in extra veggies: With a creamy, cheesy homemade pasta sauce, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to sneak in an extra serving (or two) of vegetables. Chopped mushrooms, diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes are a few tasty options to consider. You could also swap the spinach for a different green of your choice, maybe kale or Swiss chard.
  • Add fresh flavor with herbs: Fresh or dried herbs are always a great way to boost flavor in any recipe. A bit of basil, oregano, parsley or thyme would all be great additions to this 30-minute pasta recipe.
  • Use alternative proteins: White meat chicken is a crowd-pleasing go-to, but you could swap out the chicken breast for chicken thighs, Italian sausage or shrimp.
  • Brighten with lemon: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice (or a fresh grating of zest) is a great way to balance and brighten the flavors.
  • Try a different noodle: You can choose any pasta shape your family enjoys. Short pasta shapes such as rigatoni, cavatappi and rotini would be great choices. You could also opt for long tendrils of spaghetti, fettuccine or bucatini if you prefer.

How to Store Chicken Spinach Pasta

Leftover pasta can be refrigerated in an airtight food storage container for up to four days. To reheat the pasta, warm gently in the microwave or stovetop until heated through. You can add a splash of milk or broth, if necessary, to rehydrate the pasta.

Can you freeze chicken spinach pasta?

No, you shouldn’t freeze this chicken spinach pasta since it has a dairy-based sauce. Dishes with dairy tend to curdle and separate when frozen and thawed, negatively impacting their texture once reheated. No worries. If you’re looking for make-ahead meals, we have plenty of freezer-friendly recipes to choose from.

Chicken Spinach Pasta Tips

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Can you make creamy chicken spinach pasta without canned soup?

Yes! If you’re not a fan of cooking with canned condensed soups, you can make this recipe using homemade cream of mushroom soup, too.

If you’re up for an experiment, you could also omit the condensed soup completely, and instead cook 1-1/2 cups chopped white or cremini mushrooms with the chicken and onions until softened. Then, whisk together an additional 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and add it to the Dutch oven in place of the condensed soup.

What can you serve with chicken spinach pasta?

Enjoy this quick and easy pasta recipe with a fresh garden salad or your favorite homemade bread. Easy focaccia, crusty Dutch oven bread, and copycat Olive Garden breadsticks are all worthy candidates.

Watch how to Make Creamy Spinach Chicken Dinner

Chicken Spinach Pasta

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 10 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir chicken and onion in oil for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Stir in soup and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cheese and pepper; cook for 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted.
  3. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Facts

1-3/4 cups: 698 calories, 42g fat (22g saturated fat), 170mg cholesterol, 1061mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 45g protein.

Cleanup is a breeze with this creamy spinach chicken. To make things even easier, tear the spinach with your hands instead of cutting it. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen