This recipe has been buried in my folder of recipes that I want to try "someday" for over a year now. I consider it occasionally but something else always tends to edge it out of the running. I was struggling for something to fix that would result in leftovers for lunch (I do that a lot) and pulled this out and gave it a try. I did a little planning ahead and cooked and chopped the chicken breasts and also shredded the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese ahead of time and stored them in baggies in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the lasagna.
For those of you who have made homemade lasagna, you know that there is an assembly process and you end up with a lot of dirty dishes. Thank goodness for the invention of dishwashers!
The recipe makes quite a bit, so if you have a smaller family, you may want to consider making half a recipe in a 9x9 pan or make the full recipe, split it into two pans and freeze one. Or, if you are like me and like to have leftovers for lunches during the week, you will find that this dish reheats nicely in the microwave for single servings. Trust me, you will enjoy your lunch and you will make your co-workers envious of your plate!
If you are a diehard spinach hater, don't be put off by the spinach that is in the recipe, just make it without and it will be equally as good.
Here is the recipe, so ladies and gents, tie on those aprons and start your ovens! This is a great recipe and I'm sorry that I have ignored it for so long!
Cheesy Chicken Lasagna
Yield: 12 servings
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
9 lasagna noodles (8 oz.) cooked and drained (I cook a few more because I always manage to have one or two that ends up in pieces)
2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen spinach, thawed and well drained (squeezed dry)
3 cooked and chopped chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan (non-stick will make cleanup easier), melt the butter over medium heat.
Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Stir in the flour and salt; cook until bubbly.
Gradually stir in the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.
Stir in 2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, and pepper; set aside.
Start building the dish by spreading one fourth of the cheese sauce into a greased 13x9x2 baking dish; cover with 3 of the cooked lasagna noodles.
Top the noodles with half of the ricotta mixtures and half of the spinach and half of the chicken.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. (I had additional mozzarella and added it to the top also.)
Serve this dish with a nice side of green veggies or a big crisp salad. I served mine with a side of dry fried green beans with pancetta. I think I'll head to the fridge now for some leftovers!