Garlic Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Last night I made a Garlic Chicken Alfredo Lasagna, my first lasagna ever. It seemed straight forward enough but there were some rookie mistakes. First, I tried to make it convenient by purchasing oven-ready lasagna noodles. You buy them in the regular pasta section. The dry noodles are scored in such a way that they manage to absorb liquid from the lasagna ingredients. They seem easy enough, because you just lay them down like a brick mason, layering ingredients and sauce in between. However its a little unclear how much liquid is enough to get them to cook all the way through. So you might build your lasagna in 15 minutes, but you spend 45 minutes wondering if its going to be crunchy. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened to the top layer of noodles. They didn't quite cook all the way through. I don't know if that was because of the cheese on top or because liquid drained toward the bottom, but I have an idea of what it was.

My second mistake was in layering the lasagna. It had occurred to me that I should probably stack the noodles perpendicularly by layer but abandoned the idea quickly when I saw the size of the noodles. My pan was 13 x 9, but the noodles were about 10 inches long. So the noodles wouldn't fit across the pan without cutting them first, and when you cut dry pasta it cracks like glass. Yet another reason to take the time to get regular lasagna noodles and boil them before you lay them down. Much easier to manage odd lengths at that point. So I stacked the lasagna in the same fashion in all three layers. In retrospect I think what may have happened was that the liquid that should have remained at the top layer probably drained straight down the seam to the bottom. Or perhaps it was the order that I chose to layer my ingredients. Just for the sake of safety, I'm going to recommend that you use regular lasagna noodles if you attempt to follow this recipe just because I can't pinpoint exactly what I did wrong.

On to the recipe:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs) diced, cooked
1 box no boil lasagna noodles (or regular lasagna noodles)
2 15 oz containers ricotta cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, squeezed dry)
4 roma tomatoes, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 jars alfredo sauce
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and spinach in a large mixing bowl and set aside. As far as the garlic goes you can either add it to the chicken or add it to the sauce. Whisk milk and alfredo sauce together until smooth. Spoon a thin layer of the alfredo mixture on to the bottom of your pan. Put your first layer of lasagna noodles on top of it. Then spread your ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles, followed by your tomatoes and pepper. Cover with alfredo sauce. Add second layer of noodles. Repeat ricotta cheese, followed by chicken and mushrooms, covered with alfredo. Add third layer of noodles, cover with remaining ricotta and alfredo, top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes.


Rach said...

That looks really good, but loaded with lactose...which makes me sad. I'm not a huge fan of those dry noodles, but if I do use them I bake a smaller lasagna in a square pan...and lay them perpendicular. I always bake mine for at least 45 minutes, but my recipe doesn't have I don't know if the chicken would get chewy. I hate making lasagna for only 2 people so sometimes I'll make it with the regular noodles in two small pans, cook 1, & freeze the other. sounds delightful. I wish I could eat it.