White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

white-lasagna1                                                         //Photo from original recipe on Mel’s Kitchen Café//

This lasagna is SO GOOD. So delicious that I was actually wondering how it tasted so good while I was eating it.
And since I’ve said ‘so good’ too many times already (Food Network tells you not to do that) I’ll describe how it tasted when I was eating it: creamy, cheesy, and like chicken. Clearly I will never be hired by Food Network.

Original recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Lasagna:
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2-3 cups cooked chicken
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
3 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups), reserve 1/4 cup for the top of the lasagna
2 (9-ounces each) packages baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2.In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the flour and let it cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
3.Gradually add the chicken broth and milk while whisking vigorously. Continue cooking and stirring for 4-5 minutes until the mixture simmers and thickens. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
4.To assemble, spread about 1 to 1 1/2 cups sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place 3 no-boil noodles on top and dollop with 1/2 of the ricotta. No need to spread the ricotta out into an even layer, although you can press it down a bit, just spoon it across. Add half of the chicken on top of the ricotta.
5.Layer on 1/2 of the chopped spinach. It will seem like a lot but just spread it evenly – it will cook down while baking. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese (don’t forget to take out 1/4 cup of the Parmesan for sprinkling across the top!).
6.Place 3 noodles over the top, gently pressing down to compress the layers below. Spread 1/2 of the remaining sauce over the top. Repeat the layers again (remaining ricotta, chicken, spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan).
7.Place the last 3 noodles over the top, pressing down again. Spread the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with reserved Parmesan cheese.
8.Cover the baking dish with lightly greased aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before serving.

**Modifications I made:
-I cut the recipe in 1/4 and used a tiny, little pan
-I used normal lasagna noodles and had to boil them in advance
-I didn’t use ricotta cheese (because I have bought it before and it is a pain to try to use up the whole thing without feeling like you’re eating cheese in every meal.)

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