I hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and beginning of the holiday season! Our Christmas tree is up and we’ve started enjoying some classic holiday recipes, like mulled wine and hot cocoa. There will be more holiday classics coming up in the next few weeks so stay tuned!
This isn’t one of our classic holiday recipes but it could be because it’s that delicious! Also, this is my first home-made lasagna ever!!! I’m pretty proud of it if you couldn’t tell from all the exclamation points. I know making a lasagna from scratch seems intimidating but it’s really quite easy. I’ll be honest and admit that it was a little time consuming but totally worth it because it easily serves a crowd (or two for several days). The recipe is also easily adaptable. If you want to make it vegetarian, leave out the chicken and add more mushrooms. You need to make this recipe. Sorry to be bossy but go make it now.
Chicken, Spinach, and Crimini Lasagna
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
- Salt and Pepper
For the bechamel:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- Lasagna sheets, parboiled just until soft
- 2 cups mozzerella cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a large pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook just until it’s pliable, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the filling:
Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Add olive oil the pan and sear the chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cut into bite-sized chunks when cool.
In the same pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the spinach until just wilted, 2-3 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. When you are sauteing the spinach, be sure to scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan left
from searing the chicken. Remove the spinach from the pan and set aside.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and olive oil in the pan. Add in the olive oil and add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are brown and most of their moisture has cooked off, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and garlic from the pan and set aside.
Make the bechamel:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Add in the warmed milk and continue to stir. Cook until think, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Assembling the lasagna:
Coat the bottom of a 8 by 12 inch casserole dish with a little olive oil. Arrange 3 to 4 of the noodles over the bottom of the dish, you may have to piece them together to cover the bottom. Spread some of the sauce over the noodles. Arrange 1/3 of the chicken, 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/3 of the spinach evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzerella cheese. Repeat this process 2 times, layering noodles, sauce, fillings, and cheeses. Finish the lasagna with a final layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and 1/4 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup of mozzerella cheese.
Bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes at room temperature before slicing.