Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicken-Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Name the #1 most irritating thing about otherwise divine lasagna:
(I'll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with ingredients)


If you're like me, you said "Keeping all the layers together when you cut and serve it!" While I am not an expert on solutions to that problem, I did recently find a recipe that took ALL the work out of slicing up an inviting pan of lasagna. In fact, there's no slicing required at all! This "lasagna" comes in individual servings! What I'm talking about is a lasagna "roll-up"- all the deliciousness of lasagna rolled into a convenient and beautiful little package. I recently discovered Pinterest (which, by the way, is incredibly addicting!) and that is where I first spied this idea (by the way, you can follow me on Pinterest by clicking that red button over there...just sayin'). They looked so intriguing, I had to give it a try! I'm so glad I did.
This recipe is a little different than traditional lasagna because it uses chicken instead of a traditional meat sauce, but now that I've tried this once I can't stop thinking of other ideas- definitely more traditional, vegetarian, Alfredo, you name it! You could wrap all sorts of tasty things up in these gorgeous noodles!
The first step if you don't have any pre-cooked chicken on hand is to bake some chicken breasts. While the chicken is baking, go ahead and boil the lasagna noodles according to the box directions for "al dente".
Once the chicken is done, dice it up and combine with the cheeses, milk and pepper. Yes, three yummy cheeses. ricotta, feta, and Parmesan.

Can you have too much cheese? I think not.

Can't have too much cheese! However, I found this particular blend of cheeses to be a little dry, even with the addition of milk. I think I might swap the Parmesan or feta out for mozzarella next time to add a little more moisture and gooeyness.
Spread some spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a pan (I found an 11x7 was about perfect, but if you don't want them so cozy, a 9x13 would work well also).

Lay the lasagna noodles out flat, working one at a time. Put about 1/2 cup of the mixture (or just divide it into eighths) onto each noodle and spread it down the length of the noodle, leaving about 1 inch at the end empty (this helps with sealing).

Then roll the noodle loosely toward the empty end. If your noodles are still warm, they will seal easily.

Aren't they pretty?
Place the roll seam side down on top of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat with the remaining noodles and cover with more sauce. Cover and bake!

I served ours with a green salad and it was a delicious meal. I loved how the rolls were so easy to remove from the pan, no mess, no slicing. And it tasted a lot like traditional lasagna, just in a more convenient form!

Chicken-Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups
(printable version)
serves 4-8 (depending on your appetite!)

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp white pepper
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine chicken, cheeses, pepper and milk. 
Spread 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in bottom of pan.
Spread 1/2 cup chicken mixture on each noodle; roll jelly roll fashion.
Arrange rolls, seam side down, on top of sauce in pan.
Cover and bake 30 min. or until hot.
Serve, if desired, with additional Parmesan cheese.

Sources: iVillage, Pinterest

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