Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lasagna is a favorite in our family but I was kind of getting sick of plain old meat and tomato sauce lasagna so I thought I'd spice things up a bit... This creamy white lasagna hit the spot! It's super rich, cheesy and delicious, and it's a great way to sneak in some extra veggies!

Creamy White Lasagna

9 Lasagna Noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon Basil
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
large handful of baby spinach (chopped)
1 1/2 cups broccoli (broken into smaller florlets and steamed covered in microwave for two minutes)
Sundried Tomatoes (optional)
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley

I used oven-ready lasagna noodles but I still set them to soak in water as I prepared everything else (if you don't let them soak they will absorb more of your sauce). 

In a large sauce pan melt the butter while you chop your onions/garlic.  Brown the onions and garlic in the butter, and then add the flour to form a roux. Stir until mixed well (will be thick).  Add a teaspoon of salt.  While continuing to stir over medium high heat, slowly add in your chicken broth and milk.  Pour slowly so that the mixture does not get lumpy, and continue to stir until the mixture thickens again.  Add in about half of the Mozzarella cheese (I just eyeball things like cheese...I put in a couple handfuls) and half a cup of the grated Parmesan (save the rest for later).  Once the cheese has melted and the mixture is consistent, season with basil, oregano, and pepper.

Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a thin layer of the sauce, and then layer three lasagna noodles. Mix the chicken and the Ricotta cheese together.  I prepared my chicken following my Chicken Tacos recipe to give it some flavor, but you could probably just use chunk chicken from a can if you wanted to make it super easy.  Spread ALL of the chicken/Ricotta mixture over the noodles and then spread a big spoonful of the sauce over it.  Sprinkle with some cheese.  My husband isn't a huge fan of cheese and found this recipe to be too cheesy (he mainly didn't care for the Ricotta--which could have been omitted if you just slathered a little extra of the cheese sauce over the chicken)-follow your own cheese instincts here. Top with three lasagna noodles.  Spread your spinach and broccoli. I wish I would have had Sun-dried Tomatoes because it would have been super yummy to throw some of those in there too.  Cover with half of the remaining sauce.  Add final three noodles, cover with the rest of the sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella/Parmesan as you please.

Bake covered at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  Soooo yummy! Even my baby loved this lasagna :-)

Creamy White Lasagna

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