I started making this recipe in Kansas about seven years ago. It’s kind of a pain to prepare, but it is high on the favorites list for almost everyone who has ever eaten at our house. Even my children have come around. At first they were offended by the presence of spinach, and red bell peppers and artichoke parts, but even our toughest critic, Si, has begun to turn in clean plates.
It was back by popular demand last Tuesday night for the college students, and happened to coincide with a happy surprise visit from my cousin Corinn and her two amazing kiddos. That’s about 25 people who eat hearty portions, so the regular recipe had to be quadrupled. (Keep that in mind as you look at the photos.)
Here’s the recipe for one 9×13 pan full of this creamy goodness.
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1/3 cup of milk
Lasagna Noodles – You’ll need about 8
Fresh baby spinach – one small bag from the grocery with stems pulled off
Chicken and Veggies Layer
3 cups chopped cooked chicken – I love rotisserie chicken for this
1 can of artichoke hearts – preferably not in oil marinade
1 or 2 chopped and seeded Roma tomatoes
½ -1 cup finely chopped onion – any kind will do or as I did on this occasion, use a mixture
1 TBSP minced garlic
½ of a red bell pepper finely chopped (optional)
12 oz Mozzarella
6 oz crumbled Feta
The first step is to start chopping. No particular order.
Here’s what you have to do when you go to the grocery store late in the evening and the rotisserie chicken case is empty. The house sure smelled good while I was roasting my own though!
I can’t stand chicken gunk under my nails, thus the gloves.
On to the artichokes…
Next up: the tomatoes. They need to be seeded so that they don’t spew their juice into the mixture. And then they need to be chopped.
Scrape seeds out with a knife after cutting them into halves.
Rinse that cutting board one more time and go for the onions.
Those are shallots and green onions by the way. No “real” onions in these pictures.
Now, doesn’t that look nice!
Pull the stems off of the spinach leaves so that you don’t have spinach floss going on at your dinner gathering.
Mix the Alfredo sauce with the milk. I usually pour the sauce out into a bowl and put the milk into the empty jar, reseal it, and shake it to get the last of the Alfredo out of the jar. This is the first step in the process of prepping for the recycle bin.
Now it’s time to start layering. Start by spreading a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan and laying down the first layer of pasta.
Noodle Note: I used “no-boil” pasta straight out of the box once in this recipe and it was terrible. This time, I followed some advice from America’s Test Kitchen (more about that in a future post) and soaked the no-boil noodles for 5 minutes in water before using them. I also had to use some regular “boil ’em first noodles” because we were making an awful lot of lasagna and I’m cleaning out cabinets these days to get ready for our upcoming move.
Next: half of the spinach.
Then: half of the vegetable and chicken mixture
Followed by: half the cheese…
…and half of the remaining sauce spread evenly around on the cheese layer.
, because repetition is the theme of lasagna, here we go again…
And finally, Sauce again. Spread it around.
A big thank you to my cousin Corinn for her help with food and photos!
Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. The first 45 minutes covered in foil, then for another 15 minutes uncovered. When it comes out of the oven give it a few minutes to get its layers coagulated before you try to cut it.
Stay tuned for the post on the Strawberry Pretzel dessert we had the same night which will explain why we had to use foil pans for the lasagna.