This delicious chicken lasagna recipe is a simple spin on your classic lasagna – & it is SUPER good! My mother-in-law introduced this dish to me – she is from Brazil and they make many different types of lasagna, even one with ham & cheese that I’ll have to try sometime. This chicken lasagna differs from the traditional recipe since it incorporates a white bechamel sauce and a red sauce. You could also easily improvise by adding any veggies you like such as mushrooms or spinach. My mother-in-law usually makes her own tomato sauce for this recipe, but I took the easy route and used my favorite jarred variety. You could simply this dish even further by using a rotisserie chicken. As with any lasagna, this freezes very well.
1 1/2 jars tomato pasta sauce (or use your own homemade: about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tblsp butter
1 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for about 9 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Reserve 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the side.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat; add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken breasts. Add Italian seasoning and salt & pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, then deglaze with white wine, if using, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan, shred with two forks, and return to pan. (If using a rotisserie chicken, saute the onions & garlic, add cooked shredded chicken & deglaze with wine, if using.) Add remaining tomato sauce to chicken and stir.
Meanwhile, prepare the white sauce: Melt the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes until it is very light brown. Then slowly stir in the milk and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the milk is bubbling, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the Parmesan until fully incorporated into the sauce.
Prepare the lasagna: Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with olive oil. Spread reserved 1/2 cup of tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Layer 3 noodles, then top with chicken mixture, and pour 1/3 of the white sauce over the chicken. Repeat with another layer of 3 noodles, chicken mixture and 1/3 of the white sauce. Finish with the remaining noodles, top with remaining white sauce and top with mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
Freezer Instructions: Prepare lasagna, cover with foil and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then bake at 375 as instructed above. If the lasagna is not defrosted, bake for an additional hour or until fully heated.