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Recipe Swap: White Cheese Chicken Lasagna

I went through a phase as a child where I hated red sauce. I wouldn't eat spaghetti if it had been touched by red sauce (I had my spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese on one plate, and my meatballs with a smidge of red sauce on a different plate). No lasagna. I wouldn't even eat pizza. When my mother got takeout from Pizza Hut, my dinner was their breadsticks. 

Before I outgrew that phase, I discovered white pizza (with spinach, yum!), and veggie Alfredo lasagna (broccoli, carrots, and spinach with Alfredo sauce instead of red sauce). They are both still some of my favorite foods. So, I was really interested in the white cheese chicken lasagna recipe that I received from the Cooking for Fun blog for the latest pasta-themed recipe swap. 

Like most lasagna recipes, it is labor-intensive, but the end result is worth the work. This dish is fattening, cheesey, gooey, and delicious — my definition of true comfort food. It also made a ton more than the Mister and I can eat by ourselves. You could possibly make the sauce as written, and divide it among two or three loaf pans, then bake one, and freeze the rest. 

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Adapted from Cooking for Fun

Ingredients

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to salted water to boil, add lasagna noodles, and cook according to package directions, erring on the side of al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Lay flat on paper towels to prevent sticking. 
  2. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter of medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer and stir for one minute. Mix in the broth, milk and cream, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute while stirring. Add in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan and stir until melted. Stir in 1 tbsp fresh basil, oregano and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  3. Coat 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray, and spread ⅓ of the cheese sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay three lasagna noodles over the cheese. Then layer the ricotta, then the chicken. Arrange 3 more lasagna noodles over the chicken, then another ⅓ of the cheese sauce, then the spinach, then the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella and ½ cup of the Parmesan. Arrange the remaining 3 lasagna noodles, then spread the remainder of the cheese sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the ¼ cup of fresh basil, and the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. 
  4. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. 

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CRS

Friday 9th of March 2012

My 4 year old is going through that phase right now. He will devour meatballs in sauce, but pasta cannot have it. He will eat pizza, though, but not with any topping but cheese.

This sounds like such a delicious recipe, maybe I'll have to add it to the meal plan this week before spring hits and it's too heavy.

The Home Cook

Friday 9th of March 2012

Yum! This looks incredible. And how appropriate that you got a white sauce dish after not being a fan of red sauce for so long.

Thanks for being part of the recipe swap!

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