Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hearty (and Easy!) Lasagna

I loved this recipe because it didn't require any boiling of the noodles, which is always a time-consuming and messy step. You also don't need any special noodles to do this-just use regular lasagna noodles from any grocery store. One thing I did change about this recipe was the meat. I don't really care for ground meats, so I will almost always sub in shredded chicken when a recipe calls for ground beef. Sometimes I'll use ground turkey, but even then . . . I'm iffy. What can I say, I'm a picky eater! This recipe originally comes from Sing for Your Supper. Check the link for her original recipe. The major changes from me: the meat and the amount of salt. One tablespoon was way too much for me!

Easy, Hearty Lasagna
Adapted from Sing for Your Supper

3 chicken breasts roasted and shredded (I used a little onion and garlic powder in addition to the usual salt and pepper-layers of flavor baby!)
32 ounces of spaghetti sauce (one and a half jars usually)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, plus more for the top
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 ounce package lasagna noodles, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you're using ground meat, brown it and drain off the fat. I just shredded up my chicken. Add to a large saucepan with spaghetti sauce and water. Simmer for 10 minutes and set aside. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. In a greased 9x13 pan pour approximately 1/2 cup of meat sauce (or enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish).

Top with a layer of lasagna noodles and then 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce; spread half of the cheese mixture over the sauce (don't worry about mixing the layers a little bit-it's bound to happen!).

Repeat layers and top it with the remaining meat sauce. Cover with foil and bake 55-60 minutes.

Remove the foil and top with additional mozzarella and parmesan; bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. This last step is important as it allows the juices to be soaked up a little bit more.

*I had some overflow issues with my casserole dish at the end of the covered baking time. To avoid a messy oven, put the casserole dish on top of a large baking sheet before putting it in the oven!

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