Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

I can't tell you how amazing this smelled while it was cooking.
It turned out really good.

I've started making all my lasagna recipes with uncooked noodles. 
I just give them a little soak as I prepare the filling and sauce. As long as you have 
them completely covered with sauce while they cook, they turn out perfect, 
and you don't even need to buy the no-boil noodles. Just the regular ones will 
work fine. Seems to me they end up with more integrity as far as texture 
goes, that I like better. Plus, it saves you a step and one less pot to clean.

I know it's a little on the rich side, but I think it could be easily lightened up. I bet a 
person could even use fat free half and half, which I'll probably try next time I make it.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

9 dried lasagna noodles, plus 2 extra for filling in spaces if desired
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
15 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and rough chop
1 15 oz carton ricotta cheese
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
1/2 cup snipped fresh basil, divided use
1 egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
Fresh nutmeg
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place lasagna noodles in the same 9x13 baking dish you will use to bake the lasagna and cover with very hot/boiling water. Let sit while you put together the filling and sauce.

Stir together chicken, artichokes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup basil, egg, salt, and pepper.

For sauce, in a small bowl or glass measure, whisk together broth and flour. In a large saucepan, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir until garlic is tender but not brown. Stir in flour mixture, half-and-half and a pinch of fresh nutmeg and salt. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup basil.

In a small bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Remove lasagna noodles from water, empty and dry the dish.

To assemble, spread a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom (make sure to cover bottom) of an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Layer three of the noodles in the dish, breaking apart an additional noodle to fill in empty space, if desired. Spread with 1/2 of the artichoke mixture and one-third of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, remaining artichoke mixture, 1/3 of remaining mozzarella mixture and another 1/3 of sauce. Top with remaining noodles and the rest of the sauce and remaining cheese. Make sure the noodles are completely covered with the sauce so they cook evenly.

Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes or until edges are bubbly and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.

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