Tag Archives: spinach

Chicken and Spinach Pesto Lasagna

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Chicken and Spinach Pesto Lasagna

Chicken Spinach Pesto Lasagna 2

 

A few people have asked about this recipe so here it is!  Even my 1 year old likes it, and that’s saying something.  The original recipe is from a mozzarella cheese wrapper and the first time I made it, I followed the recipe exactly.  It was a bit boring- not incredibly flavorful or special.  The pesto flavor got lost in the noodles and cheese and was never found….  So I tried the recipe again recently and made a few key changes. The difference was astounding!  My changes are in red….

Chicken Spinach Pesto Lasagna 

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat noodles)

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 packages (12oz each) frozen chopped spinach (I used one package spinach and a bunch of kale I had on hand)

1/2 c prepared pesto sauce plus 2 tbsp (you can find my easy pesto recipe here)

3/4 c grated parmesan cheese (I excluded this- I just didn’t have any!)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3 cups cooked diced chicken (I used canned chicken…. it’s just easier!)

1/2 tsp salt (or a bit more- I try to season at every step)

1/2 tsp pepper

(2 cups ricotta cheese I used a package of soft herbed goat cheese- this was the game changer!)

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray 13×9 in casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Partially cook lasagna noodles according to the package.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir onions and garlic until transparent.  Add spinach (and kale); cook and stir about 5 min. Add chicken and stir about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese (goat cheese), egg, pesto, and parmesan cheese until thoroughly blended.  Add chicken and spinach mixture to bowl and stir to combine.  Spread extra 2 tbsp of pesto in bottom of pan.  Layer 4 noodles, slightly overlapping.  Top with 1/3 of spinach/ricotta mixture and 1/3 mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers twice.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

 

The goat cheese really is the star in my version- so if you don’t have pesto on hand just chop up some basil leaves or your favorite italian spices.  If you don’t have goat cheese- maybe add more pesto- and season every step! 

Master Chef

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Often times, during the summer, there’s a week or two when most of my family is in one place, visiting my parents.  Occasionally, someone (Jessie) will be proactive enough to put together a family game of sorts.  One year we did “The Newlywed Game” with each couple competing against the others.  We’ve also done a supermarket relay with the wives describing items over the phone to their husbands, who were dashing madly around the store trying to find all their items first.  This year, my sister Jessie came up with the idea to do a Family Master Chef competition.  It required some work, but it was a lot of fun.

The husbands opted out (party poopers!) so the sisters, inlaws, and our mother were the participants.  Even our sister, who was on the other side of the country, helped out as our lifeline (She’s the real gourmet in the family). Each round, we were put in teams of two, making three teams total.  The first round, we drew a key ingredient out of a hat and we had to make something from scratch without any recipes using the ingredient, which happened to be Choke Cherries.  Picked fresh from my parent’s yard.  The difficult thing about choke cherries is that they are mostly pit, hence the name.

Lindsey and Danica made chicken and beans with a choke cherry sauce, served over pasta. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann Marie and Jessie and my mom and I had the same idea- choke cherry bars- but when we realized that we were making the same thing, Ann Marie and Jessie took a slightly different route and ended up with fritters topped with a choke cherry strawberry sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom and I did choke cherry lemon bars that didn’t quite set up the way we had hoped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we did round two. We switched up the teams and each team had to draw a gourmet recipe out of the hat and make it.

Danica and I made a spinach souffle.

Jessie and Mom did chili crusted flank steak with mango salsa.

Lindsey and Ann Marie made an almond chocolate torte.

The third day was a little less formal.  Each family brought their favorite pizza toppings and we all made our own gourmet pizzas.  Mmmmm…..

The menfolk served as film crew and food critics.  If I can figure out how, I’ll upload the film version of our little competition.

What does your family do when they get together?   What game do you think we should play next year?