Fine Chicken Lasagna Recipe
- 1 package no-bake lasagna noodles or fresh noodles
- In a hurry sauce:
- 2 jars (26 oz. each) marinara sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar per jar
- Slow version sauce:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 C. (4 to 5 ounces) brown or baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 C. red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cans (14 ounces each) diced stewed tomatoes (preferably Italian-style)
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried cilantro leaves or parsley flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves or 1 Tbsp fresh minced
- 1-1/2 tsp dried basil leaves or 1-1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped
- Lasagna layers:
- 14 oz. small curd cottage cheese (low-fat works best)
- 2 C. cooked chicken, diced or shredded
- 2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (or similar favorite)
- 1 C. fresh or frozen chopped spinach
- 3/4 C. brown mushrooms, sliced or chopped (uncooked)
- 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese (top layer only)
Sauce (in a hurry version): No heating required. Simply stir in the sugar and proceed to Final Preparation below.
Sauce (slow version): Using a 3-quart saucepan or chef's pan, heat the oil to medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sea salt, sugar and spices. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and adjust heat to continue simmering. Loosely cover and stir occasionally until ready to use.
Final Preparation (both versions): Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a few spoonfuls of sauce in bottom of baking dish to coat bottom. Begin layering noodles (uncooked), sauce, cottage cheese, spinach, mushrooms, chicken (if not already in sauce) and shredded cheese to create the lasagna. Be careful to distribute ingredients evenly, including corners. Frozen spinach need not be thawed if it can be separated. Otherwise, thaw in microwave. At final layer, top only with sauce (leave no pasta exposed) and garnish with shredded Parmesan. Reserve some sauce, if desired, to spoon over lasagna when serving. Cover loosely with foil.
Bake 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until lasagna is thoroughly heated and bubbly. Remove pan from oven and let stand at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to slicing to help keep lasagna layers intact when serving. Spoon reserved sauce over lasagna pieces, if desired. Note: Any lasagna noodles will work fine. "No-bake" noodles are a bit thinner and lighter, but are not a requirement. A deep loaf pan that can accommodate at least three layers is ideal, or make two small pans and freeze one.