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 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp 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
- Combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic and seasonings in a bowl and stir until mixed.
- 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.
- Add the cream cheese and spinach. Continue cooking using preferred method for another hour.
- 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.