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White Cheese & Chicken Lasagna – Pinterest ADJUST

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Let me begin by telling you that this is not a weeknight meal, unless you prep some of it beforehand (chopping onions, cooking chicken & mixing with ricotta).  Then it could be done in a reasonable amount of time.  At my house, it took me about 2 hours from start to finish, back and forth from the recipe with kids around my ankles, hearing cries for food by the time it was done.  In one respect, that worked to my benefit because they ate ALL of it (they ate it because it’s good, too).  But please heed my advice: either plan ahead with your prep or save this one for a day that you have extra time to love on this dish.  However you choose to tackle it, this is an awesome lasagna.  The cheese sauce is A-MAZ-ING.  I really love it.  John said he was expecting a little more *zing* from lasagna, because, you know, normal lasagna has tomato sauce.  This does not.  BUT, if you want some extra flavor, I would suggest you saute 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes along with your onions and garlic.  Also, the original recipe suggests using rotisserie chicken.  For me, I’m not sure that this is a shortcut because I don’t enjoy cleaning chicken off the bone, but it is flavorful and it will save you from dirtying another dish.  That brings me to another point…I was really frustrated about the number of dishes it took to make this recipe.  I needed a cleaning service to come in behind me because my kitchen was a DISASTER.  If you have time to devote to a really delicious meal, go for it.  I’ll probably do it again, but not when I’m in a time crunch.

Okay, so I categorized this recipe as “ADJUST” for one reason: it’s too salty.  Especially if you get the rotisserie chicken – you will NOT want to use all the salt recommended in the sauce.  The original recipe from Tasty Kitchen calls for a whole teaspoon of salt.  That was a little shocking to me when I first read it, but I added it anyway.  If I were to do it again, I’d start with 1/2 tsp, taste, and then add more if needed.  Just remember when you’re tasting it that you have extra saltiness in the other cheeses as well.  With this one simple adjustment, I believe you will fall in love with this light and creamy lasagna (my taste testers – 5 adults and 4 picky toddlers ALL gobbled it up).  Enjoy!!

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THE RANKINGS (1 = TERRIBLE, 10 = OUTSTANDING)

  • Yum Factor – 9 – Try the red pepper & chicken suggestions listed above.
  • Time to Prep – 4 – I was grumbling by the end…but it was worth it.
  • Simplicity of Ingredients – 10 – nothing too tricky about this one.
  • Ease of Assembly – 7 – Don’t make yours in a roasting pan, as the author does in the original recipe.
  • Bang for Your Buck – 8 – Lots of cheese to buy, but the rest is pretty budget-friendly.
  • Overall Practicality – 7 – Totally delicious, but block out some time.

White Cheese and Chicken Lasagna Recipe:

9 whole lasagna noodles (not oven ready)
1/2 c. butter
1 whole onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt (more to taste)
2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. milk
4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided, plus extra 1/4 cup for topping
1 tsp each, dried basil and oregano
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 c. ricotta cheese
2 c. cooked, cubed chicken
1 package (10 oz. size) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cook lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes in lightly salted, boiling water.  Drain and rinse in cold water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the onion, garlic, (and optional 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes) in the butter until tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in flour and salt; simmer until bubbly.

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Mix in the broth and milk and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Stir in 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.  Season with basil, oregano, and black pepper.  Taste and gage whether you should add more salt.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix together your chicken and ricotta cheese.

Spread 1/3 of cheese sauce mixture on the bottom of your 9x13in baking dish.  Lay down your first 3 noodles and pile on your chicken & ricotta mixture.  Lay down 3 more noodles and add about 1/4 of the sauce mixture, the spinach, and the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup of parmesan.

Arrange the last 3 noodles over the cheese and spread the remaining sauce evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with parsley and, if you want, an additional 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving.