recipes

This is a staple in our house! My kids loved it and devoured leftovers the next morning!

Written by Imad
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Lasagna is a beloved classic that originates from Italy, with many regions boasting their own unique take on this layered delight. Traditionally made with layers of pasta, ragù (a meat sauce), and béchamel, variations have traversed the globe, adopting the local flair of their new homes, including the United States. Creamy Chicken Lasagna, an American twist on the classic, features a marriage of creamy sauce and tender chicken, offering a comforting and satisfying meal. It’s perfect for those seeking a variation of the rich and savory beef or pork version. As a filling and warming dish, it makes an excellent choice for a family dinner or a gathering where you’re looking to impress with a satiating, yet slightly unconventional, comfort food.

This Creamy Chicken Lasagna pairs wonderfully with a crisp green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette or a steamed vegetable medley to balance the creaminess of the dish. Garlic bread or a crusty baguette can also be served on the side for those who’d like to indulge in an extra bit of carb delight to soak up the rich sauce.

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

– 9 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

– 1 medium onion, diced

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, cooked and shredded

– 2 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese

– 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

– 1 large egg

– 3 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded

– 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped

– 1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves, chopped

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 3 cups of béchamel sauce or Alfredo sauce (if you prefer a shortcut)

– 1 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until they are translucent.

3. Add your pre-cooked shredded chicken to the skillet, mixing it in with the onions and garlic. Warm through, then set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, the egg, fresh basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste, mixing well.

5. Spread a thin layer of béchamel or Alfredo sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

6. Lay 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce, then spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with half of the chicken mixture, 1 cup of mozzarella, and a third of the remaining béchamel sauce.

7. Repeat layers, starting with the noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining chicken mixture, another cup of mozzarella, and another third of the béchamel sauce.

8. Top the second layer of béchamel sauce with the final 3 noodles, the last third of the béchamel sauce, remaining mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. If using, sprinkle nutmeg over the top.

9. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden.

10. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before cutting to allow the layers to set.

Variations & Tips:

– Experiment with different types of cheese for variations in flavor; smoked provolone can add a rich depth, while Gruyère can bring a nutty warmth to the dish.

– For a vegetarian option, roasted vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and spinach can replace the chicken.

– The béchamel sauce could be homemade for those who enjoy the practice of traditional techniques, infusing with a bay leaf and clove for added depth, or substituted with a quality store-bought Alfredo sauce for convenience without much compromise on taste.

– Don’t shy away from the fresh herbs – they bring a brightness to the creamy layers, elevating the entire dish.

 

About the author

Imad