Delight your taste buds with this easy-to-follow recipe for Bacon and Spinach Smothered Chicken. Perfectly seasoned chicken breasts are oven-baked to perfection and then adorned with a rich creamed spinach, savory mushrooms, crispy bacon, and gooey pepper jack cheese. Let’s embark on this culinary journey.
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom of a baking dish, choosing one that comfortably accommodates your chicken. Season the chicken breasts generously with salt, lemon pepper seasoning, and a touch of paprika. Place them in the baking dish, flat side down, and bake for 15-20 minutes until they’re cooked through.
While the chicken bakes, prepare the creamed spinach. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet, add fresh spinach, and cook briefly until wilted. Introduce minced garlic and half and half, bringing the mixture to a boil. Stir in shredded mozzarella until melted, creating a smooth, creamy spinach. Season to taste with salt and set aside. In a separate pan, caramelize sliced mushrooms in vegetable oil over high-medium heat, ensuring a rich flavor without adding salt.
Once the chicken has baked, it’s time to assemble this savory masterpiece. Top each chicken breast with a generous portion of the creamed spinach, followed by chopped cooked bacon, caramelized mushrooms, and slices of pepper jack cheese. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. For an extra touch, broil for 2-4 minutes, ensuring the cheese achieves a golden, bubbly perfection without burning.
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1.5 lb chicken breast, skinless, boneless (4 small chicken breasts or 2 large chicken breasts, halved)
– Salt, to taste
– ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
– ¼ teaspoon paprika
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 10 oz fresh spinach
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– ⅔ cup half and half
– ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
– Four slices bacon, cooked, chopped
– 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Butter the bottom of the baking dish (an oval casserole dish measuring 13 inches x 9 inches x 4 inches deep was used).
3. Generously season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, lemon pepper seasoning, and a small amount of paprika. Place the chicken breasts, flat side down, into the greased baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375°F.
How to Make Creamed Spinach:
4. In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes, covered, until the spinach is thoroughly heated through and starts to wilt. Remove from heat.
5. Add minced garlic and half and half. Bring to a boil. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and stir on high heat until the mozzarella cheese starts to melt (about 30 seconds). Reduce heat to simmer and keep stirring until you have a nice, smooth creamed spinach (about 30 seconds to 1 more minute). Season with salt to your taste. Remove from heat.
6. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook on high-medium heat for 1-2 minutes until mushrooms caramelize. Do not salt the mushrooms as it will prevent caramelization.
**Smothered Chicken Assembly:**
7. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven after baking for 15-20 minutes. Top each chicken breast with creamed spinach, chopped cooked bacon, cooked mushrooms, and broken slices of pepper jack cheese.
8. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. Broil for the last 2-4 minutes if desired, being careful not to burn the cheese on top.
The result? A Bacon and Spinach Smothered Chicken that’s not only visually appealing but a symphony of flavors—tender chicken, creamy spinach, smoky bacon, and the kick of pepper jack cheese. Serve this delightful dish to impress your guests or simply savor the satisfaction of a homemade, restaurant-quality meal.