For some reason, any time I’m trying to come up with a quick dinner idea my mind always instantly goes to something that involves tomato sauce. Maybe it’s because I know that’s one flavor that will always be a hit with the kids. Who knows? But whatever the reason, one thing I know for sure is that tomato sauce and diced tomatoes are probably two of the most common ingredients on this blog.
This dish evolved as it cooked. I originally was just planning to slow cook some chicken in a basic marinara sauce to serve over spaghetti. That’s a stand-by in our house on busy days. As dinner time was getting closer though, I knew I wanted to mix things up a little bit. So I improvised and tossed in a few extra ingredients that sounded good and ended up with something much better than the original. I just love it when that happens!
Creamy Chicken Marinara
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 t. Italian seasoning
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 12 oz. bag frozen spinach
- Spaghetti, cooked and drained
- Garnish: Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. Combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic and seasonings in a bowl and stir until mixed.
2. Place the chicken breasts in a crockpot or casserole dish. Pour sauce on top. Cook on high for 3 hours in a crockpot or bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours.
3. Add the cream cheese and spinach. Continue cooking using preferred method for another hour.
4. Remove chicken and bay leaf. Stir sauce until creamy. Shred chicken and add back into the sauce. Serve over spaghetti. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.