"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Sunday, February 19, 2012

White Chicken & Artichoke Lasagna

Another Pinterest find. Thanks to the fact that i use my crock pot (on low for 6 hours) to cook 1-1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast every other week or so & then shred it with my KitchenAid & store it in the fridge/freezer- this came together quickly & at the last minute (even with a little...helper on hand as you'll see below)
I did make some changes & if/when I make this again I'll tweak a bit more- but I'll go over that at the end of this post.
Needless to say- artichoke? chicken? cheese? This was delicious!

White Chicken & Artichoke Lasagna (adapted from Kraft recipes)
You Need:
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 package (8 oz) Kraft shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia, divided*
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomato pesto*
2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened*
1 cup milk (i used whipping cream because i needed to get rid of it)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tblsp dried basil*
12 lasagna noodles, prepared (you can cook them in advance, or- place them in a baking dish & cover with hot water for at least 10 minutes- this softens them up nicely & prevents overcooking them)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350°
Combine the chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan & tomato pesto in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese, milk & garlic powder with mixer until well blended & 1/2 the basil. Mix 1/2 of this mixture with the chicken mixture.

In a 9x13 baking dish (or 2 smaller baking dishes- this freezes well!) spread 1/2 of the remaining cream cheese mixture onto the bottom.

Top with 3 noodles & 1/2 of the chicken mixture. Add another layer of 3 boodles. Then another layer of 1/3 chicken mixture. 1 more layer of 3 noodles & the rest of the chicken mixture.

Top with the remaining 3 noodles & spread the other 1/2 of the remaining cream cheese mixture over the top.

Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella & the remaining basil on top.

Spray a piece of foil with non-stick cookie spray & cover the lasagna. Bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes (I like to remove the foil 1/2 way through) Remove from the oven & let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

*Things to be noted OR things I did/will do differently
* the Kraft Mozzarella Cheese sugested? get it! it's awesome- like regular Mozzarella but creamier. i used a little extra mozzarella- so i used 1 package of Kraft + regular mozzarella.
*i used Sun Dried Tomato Pesto because the original recipe called for "oil packed sun dried tomatoes" & i couldn't find them to save my life. plus, i'm not a fan of chunks of cooked tomatoes- so the pesto worked well for me.
*i think 2 packages of creem cheese made this stuff really creamy & rich. like, too much. so next time i'm going to use 1 package of cream cheese + 8 oz of ricotta cheese.
*the original recipe called for 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped. my local grocery store was fresh out & my basil plant didn't have nearly enough. so dried it was.

So, my verdict? Awesome. But I'll definately keep my changes & tweak some more next time. I might toss in a few more lasagna noodles too. I like a more pasta to filling ratio.
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