Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole, can be made with chicken, fish, or shrimp. Chicken breasts lie on a bed of fresh sautéed spinach and mushrooms, has a creamy white sauce with hints of garlic, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings, is topped off with crumbled bacon and mozzarella cheese! 

Is there any thing better than rich creamy sauces loaded with flavor? (Well… maybe donuts? Cheesecake! An Ice cold Dr Pepper!) Okay, sure, maybe there are things better than creamy white sauces loaded with Italian seasoning and garlic. However, I double dog dare ya to find one in a casserole dish better than this one!

I stumbled upon this recipe years ago and began tweaking it fit our tastes.  The original recipe calls for canned spinach…I prefer fresh. Don’t like spinach? You can use broccoli! Don’t like either…well you got a problem! lol No I’m just kidding. You can just forego any greens…but trust me this dish will make a spinach lover out of ya.

Let’s Make Chicken Florentine

The prep for this casserole starts with bacon! Any great main dish recipe…has bacon! (The only reason God made pigs! Let’s hear it for Wilbur!) The flavor a little bacon brings to a dish is astounding! 

A half pound of Hickory Smoked Bacon from the meat counter is perfect in this dish. Meat counter bacon is thicker and has a perfect smoked flavor.

Cut thick bacon into 1/2 inch wide strips and set aside.

Bacon cut into pieces

Making the Chicken Florentine Sauce

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat.

Butter melting in sauce pan

Add minced garlic. Allow the flavors to release in the butter for about 30 seconds before adding the next set of ingredients.

Melted Butter with minced garlic

Up next…Italian Seasonings. I use a combination of a blend of Italian Seasonings and a Tablespoon of Dry Italian Dressing. 

Tip: Dry Italian Dressing is great to have on hand and is a fantastic seasoning for a lot of dishes and bread crumbs.

melted butter adding seasonings

Mix seasonings in with butter and garlic. Add one can cream of mushroom soup.

Adding cream of mushroom soup to sauce

Stir until well combined. Add half and half. Continue to stir until well blended.  It’s not looking super appetizing at this point…but stick with me…we’re creating magic!

Florentine Sauce adding cream

Add fresh lemon juice…(How’s that stirring going… or as I like to think of it…Chunky Chick Cardio!)

Adding lemon juice to sauce

Add fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Guess what ya do next? Count it out with me…stir 1, stir 2, take a breath, and again…stir 3, stir 4…get that heart rate going…stir 5, stir 6…flap them wings, flap them wings!

Adding parmesan cheese to sauce

Seriously…stir until creamy and smooth. You may need to add a little more half and half to get the consistency you desire. 

Take a little taste.. be careful…this could lead to a serious addiction. 

Florentine Sauce

Preparing Chicken for Chicken Florentine Casserole

Next up…my favorite form of Therapy! Tenderizing the chicken! Every kitchen should be equipped with a heavy-duty meat tenderizer. It’s a “She hammer”…”A mommy mood mender”! However…if mom is in a bad mood…wide birth my friends….WIDE!

Fillet two boneless skinless chicken breast. Using your handy-dandy tenderizer…pound the ever-living crap out of that chicken! I’m kidding. Don’t go at it that hard…if raw chicken is flying every where, and the kids have taken cover…ya may need to make a phone call to a professional. Just sayin’…

Chicken Tenderized

Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a medium size skillet, over medium-high heat. Add chicken fillets seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, turn and cook the other side. Juices should run clear.

TIP: Always preheat your skillet just like you do your oven. It will allow a beautiful golden sear on your meat.

Chicken Breast cooking in skillet

Place cooked chicken on a plate and set aside…right next to that bacon! Let’em get chummy for a minute.

Times Up! (We don’t want them getting that chummy! This is a family blog!) Add cut bacon directly into the skillet and fry it up. Once done place bacon on a paper towel to drain, set aside. It can go back and visit the chicken.

cooking bacon

Drain the bacon grease off the skillet. Add 1 bag of fresh spinach to the skillet over medium heat…

Fresh Spinach

Sautè until slightly wilted…remove from skillet. 

cooking spinach

 

Assembling Chicken Florentine Casserole

In a 9 x 9 baking dish arrange the spinach. I like a thin layer of spinach, but you can cook 2 bags of spinach if you want a thicker layer of the vitamin laden green leaves.  You can also use canned spinach if you prefer.

Layering casserole with spinach

Add one package of fresh sliced mushrooms over the spinach.

Fresh mushrooms

Pour half the sauce over the top of the mushrooms and spinach. Spread to cover.

Adding layer of sauce

Lay cooked chicken over the top of the mushrooms and spinach.

Adding cooked chicken to casserole

Add remaining sauce…

Adding layer of sauce on top of chicken

Top with bacon crumbles… (it’s lookin’ good now! Is your mouth watering?)

Layer of bacon

Cover everything with mozzarella cheese and a few leftover bacon crumbles.

Topped with bacon

Baking Chicken Florentine Casserole

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 20-25 minutes. To brown cheese place casserole under broiler for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Full Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Tender fillets of chicken breast are encased in a rich creamy flavor filled sauce.

The mushrooms add another layer of flavor that can’t be replicated any other way. Not to mention the hints of that Hickory smoked thick bits of bacon. It’s all about flavor my friends…it’s ALL about flavor!

Chicken Florentine Casserole

This casserole is loaded with texture, taste, and simplicity! It’s truly an amazing dish!

Serving of Chicken Florentine Casserole

Helpful Tips about Chicken Florentine Casserole

  • This casserole can be made a day ahead of time, refrigerated and cooked the following day.  I’m not sure about freezing and honestly wouldn’t do it myself because of the fresh mushrooms. 
  • You can trade the spinach for broccoli. (Spinach haters are gonna hate! lol)
  • Chicken can be substituted for fish or shrimp.
  • If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with additional half-and-half. Just remember the mushrooms will release a lot of liquid as they are cooking.
  • This casserole is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party or casual enough to serve at Sunday dinner.
  • This dish can be served over rice, pasta, or just on its own. (On a plate! It’s really messy if you don’t at least serve it on a plate! Just a suggestion!)

Serving of Chicken Florentine

This is not your typical family casserole! It has so many fantastic elements that come together to create a truly spectacular dish! Mr. Nest and I can’t get enough of this one. We loved every splendid fork full and we hope you love it too!

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Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Chicken Florentine Casserole
Chicken Florentine Casserole is tender juicy chicken fillets on a bed of freshly wilted spinach greens and fresh mushrooms covered in a creamy white sauce mixed with garlic, Parmesan Cheese, and Italian seasonings. Sprinkled with hickory bacon bits and a layer of melted mozzarella cheese.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into fillets
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon mixed Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 Tablespoons dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6- 8 cups fresh spinach (see notes)
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup bacon bits
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch strips. Set aside.
  2. Fillet Chicken breast and tenderize with meat tenderizer until 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, dry Italian salad dressing mix, half-and-half, and Parmesan Cheese. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken fillets. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on both sides until golden brown and juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.
  5. Add bacon to skillet. Cook until done. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel. Drain bacon from skillet.
  6. Add spinach to skillet that bacon was cooked in, sautee until lightly wilted.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  8. Arrange spinach over the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover spinach with fresh sliced mushrooms. Pour half the sauce mixture from the sauce pan over the mushrooms. Arrange chicken breasts in the dish, cover with remaining sauce mixture. Sprinkle with bacon bits, and top with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes in the 350° oven, until bubbly and lightly brown. You can place it under the broiler for an additional 3-4 minutes until brown.

Notes

  1. You can substitute broccoli for spinach
  2. Chicken can be substituted with fish or shrimp.
  3. If sauce is too thick thin with additional half-and-half.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 chicken breast

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 785 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 185mg Sodium: 2090mg Carbohydrates: 35g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 5g Protein: 71g
Norine’s Nest in no way provides any warranty, express or implied, towards the content of recipes in this website. It is the reader’s responsibility to determine the value and quality of any recipe or instructions provided for food preparation and to determine the nutritional value, if any, and safety of the preparation instructions.

 

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Debby | 31st Mar 19

    Can’t wait to make this! Thank you so much! I found you on “Foodie Friday” at Back to My Southern Roots.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 1st Apr 19

      Hi Debby!
      Thank you so much for sharing with me. I stopped by your site and took a look around. Your chicken salad sandwich looks amazing! I’m hungry now! Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It’s loaded with lots of yummy flavor. I love “Foodie Friday”! Such a great recipe sharing party!
      Happy Nesting
      ~Norine

  2. Amy | 2nd Apr 19

    MMMMMM this looks so yummy! I will be making this for dinner! Thank you for sharing your talents with so many! 🙂

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