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Friday, March 11, 2011

Recipe Friday: Cheesy Penne Floretine

Wednesday started the Lenten season which means for the next few Fridays, I can't have meat. Last year I ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Don't get me wrong, I love them both but I really need to eat more healthy.

Anyway, I found a terrific recipe that I wanted to try only to find out one of the ingredients was chicken. So, last night I got into my kitchen with recipe in hand and tweaked it a bit so that it can be enjoyed with or without meat and also healthified it a bit with more veggies and lower fat cheeses.

Here is the modified recipe:


Olive oil cooking spray
4 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion diced
1 medium red pepper chopped
3 cups fresh spinach, lightly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16 oz) carton of low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups cooked whole-wheat penne pasta
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced fat blend of cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack), divided
1/4 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup, undiluted


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Spray a large non-stick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and turn on heat to medium high.
  3. Add mushrooms, onion, and pepper. Saute until tender; about 4 minute.
  4. Add spinach, oregano, and pepper. Saute another 3 minutes or until spinach wilts.
  5. In a food processor or blender, add cottage cheese and process until smooth.
  6. In a large bowl, combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, 3/4 cup cheese blend, milk, and soup.
  7. Spoon mixture into 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  8. Sprinkle the top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese blend and Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly brown and bubbly
*** if you are making this recipe with meat, use cream of chicken soup in place of cream of mushroom and add 2 cups shredded chicken breast in step 6. ***

I suggest serving with a large veggie filled side salad dressed with a low-cal balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Creativity Bug ~ Sue