ARTICHOKE CHICKEN AND SPINACH LASAGNA – Classic lasagna gets a modern twist in this delectable artichoke, chicken and spinach lasagna. You’ll find some of the usual suspects like ricotta and mozzarella but a creamy Parmesan sauce takes the place of tomato sauce.
It all adds up to layer upon layer of decadence. Tasty, tender pieces of chicken with the bite of tangy artichokes and fresh baby spinach surrounded by oodles of cheese all held together by a rich sauce and layers of fresh pasta noodles.
I can’t tell you how fast this disappeared. I ate leftovers for breakfast the next day and the vegetable hater in my house ate more than his fair share.
To save time use fresh pasta noodles you can find in the refrigerated pasta section of your market or use the no-bake kind so you can skip that step of boiling the noodles. My Mom swears by the Barila brand – she uses them without fail all the time.
Anyone who’s made a lasagna before knows there’s two things to worry about most. One is that it holds together and second that it isn’t dry. There’s a fine line between too much sauce and just the right amount.
I pulled it off.
This has the perfect amount of sauce so as not to be dry but not so much that the layers slide off each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of the most delicious lasagna I’ve ever eaten was one hot mess that just collapsed into a saucy pile when served.
This is not that but something other worldly delicious.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- 2 14 ounce cans (or frozen) artichoke hearts, well-drained
- 2 cups ricotta Cheese
- 2 cups fresh shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
- 1 pound lasagna noodles, preferably fresh
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, chicken, Italian seasoning and season well with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring often until chicken is cooked through. Cut the artichokes in half and then in half again, dry off any moisture with paper towels. Stir them into the chicken and cook 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, 1 + 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, the egg and parsley.
- Make stacks out of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips (chiffonade). Mix them into the ricotta mixture - it will be thick.
Make the sauce:
- In a large, heavy duty saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 3 - 4 minutes, whisking often. Slowly whisk in milk, turn heat up and bring to a simmer.
- Maintain a simmer for 4 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat down to low and stir in nutmeg, Parmesan cheese and a pinch or two each of salt and pepper, continue stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- If using dried noodles cook according to package directions.
Assemble the lasagna:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan.
- Add a very thin layer of sauce over bottom of the pan, then a layer of noodles covering the bottom completely from edge to edge. Spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture evenly from edge to edge then top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture followed by 1/3 of the sauce.
- Cover the filling with another layer of noodles followed with the remaining 1/2 of ricotta, 1/3 of the chicken and 1/3 of the sauce.
- Cover with another layer of noodles followed by the remaining sauce, the remaining chicken mixture and the 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 45 - 50 minutes until bubbly and hot in the middle. If the top starts to get too brown tent with aluminum foil. Allow to set 5 - 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g