Sunday, April 29, 2012

A different-yet-delicious take on lasagna

While grocery shopping the other night I passed by some rotisserie chickens that smelled particularly good. Before I knew it, I had tossed one in my shopping cart and started formulating a plan to make the following dish using meat from the ready-to-eat bird. Pesto makes everything taste better, including the jars of alfredo sauce that also ended up in my cart. The pesto and alfredo tasted so good together that I found myself sampling the sauce a few times (quality control, right?) while assembling what turned out to be quite a winner of a midweek meal.

Creamy Pesto Chicken Lasagna
2 15-ounce jars alfredo sauce
 ½ cup prepared pesto
 12 oz. bag frozen artichokes, thawed
3 cups cooked chicken meat, diced
9 lasagna noodles
1 bunch spinach, rinsed and chopped
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup grated mozzarella (optional)

 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Whisk alfredo and pesto together in a bowl. Pour ¼ cup sauce into 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. begin layering remaining ingredients, starting with three lasagna noodles and continuing with chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and sauce. Ingredients should be enough for two layers, topped with three final noodles and sauce. I noted that cheese is optional with this recipe because I think the lasagna has plenty going for it already without the cheese. If you want cheese, sprinkle it on top of the lasagna before covering the dish loosely with aluminum foil. Cheese or no cheese, you’re going to want to bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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