Thursday, December 8, 2011

3 Cheese Chicken Lasagna

Oh friends, do I have a recipe to share with you! My boys love just about anything with pasta and sauce, including lasagna. Now, I've never made lasagna before, but I felt inspired and decided to give it a go. I used a recipe from The Eat Clean Diet 2 as a guide line, but did it a little differently and so I feel like I can call this my own.

First, you take your chicken breast (I used skinless bone-in chicken breast because it had been reduced for quick sale at my grocery store and so it was super cheap, but you could totally use bone-less too) and you throw it in a baking dish.
Salt and pepper those little beauties and cook them in the oven until they're done (mine took about 45 minutes).
Get yourself a big old pot of water boiling (you want to start this process while the chicken is cooking because it takes forever for that much water to come to a boil).  You'll  cook some healthy whole wheat lasagna noodles in this mammoth amount of water until they're almost done, but not completely (I cooked mine for 6 minutes). 
Once your chicken is done shred or cut it into bite sized pieces and put in a bowl.
Get a jar of yummy marinara sauce (I use Newman's own because it's fairly cheap and there's no crazy stuff in it).
Spread about 1/4 of the marinara on the bottom of your greased 13x9 baking dish.
Oh, at some point you should have cooked up a whole bunch of spinach.  It will start out looking like this... the end it will look like this...realize you have no garlic (how did I not have garlic?  I always have garlic!) and use some garlic powder on the spinach instead.
Once the spinach is cooked (it takes about 3 minutes), remove it from the pan and ring all the water out using a cheese cloth.  Then chop that green goodness up!
Mix the chopped spinach in with the chopped chicken.  You'll have a big bowl of chopped goodness.
Back to the dish with the marinara sitting patiently on the counter....layer some lasagna noodles on top of the marinara.
Then spread some low fat ricotta cheese on the there and sprinkle some low fat mozzarella cheese on top of that.  Mmmm....cheesey!  But wait, I said this was a three cheese lasagna!  Just hold your horses.  It's coming!
After the two cheese sprinkle some chicken/spinach combo on top of the cheese.
Then add some more marinara.
Then more noodles, then more cheese, then more chicken, then more marinara, then more noodles, then more cheese, then more marinara and you have a layered chicken, cheesey, noodley, marinara heaven.
Cover it and cook it in the oven for 60 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and uncover it.  Now you'll add the third cheese!  Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on the top and cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and enjoy!  My family devoured this.  It took a while to put together, but it was really very good.  So go ahead and give it a try and let me know what you think.  To be honest I have no idea exactly how healthy, or not, this is.  I used healthy options; whole wheat pasta, chicken breasts, low fat cheeses, spinach, etc, so I feel good about eating a portion of it.

Three Cheese Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

3 Skinless Chicken Breasts (they can also be boneless)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
8 ounces Fresh Spinach
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Box Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
1 Jar Marinara
16 ounces Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Trim fat from chicken and place in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until done, approximately 45 minutes.  Remove from dish and shred chicken.  While chicken is cooking bring a very large pot of water to boil.  Cook lasagna noodles until just under done, approximately 5-6 minutes.  Once noodles are cooked, remove from water and place in a single layer on paper towels to remove excess water.  In a large pan saute spinach and garlic powder in olive oil over medium heat until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.  Once spinach is cooked remove from pan and ring in a cheese cloth or paper towels to remove all water.  Chop spinach into small pieces and combine with shredded chicken.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Spread 1/4 of the marinara sauce all over the bottom of the dish.  Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles on the sauce.  Spread 1/3 of the ricotta on the noodles and sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella on top of that.  Top the cheese with 1/2 of the chicken/spinach mixture.  Spread 1/4 of the marinara on top of the chicken and repeat the layers, noodles, cheeses, chicken, marinara.  Top the marinara with last 1/3 of the noodles and then the last of the ricotta and mozzarella and then the last of the marinara.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  Remove from oven and uncover.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and place back in the oven for 20 more minutes.  Remove from oven and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Good Lord! Sounds like you can't go wrong with this recipe.

    3 cheeses + chicken in a lasagna. Who wouldn't enjoy eating that?


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