I initially thought my friend Jen was attending my dinner party, so I decided to make a main dish tailored to her. Whenever we go out to lunch at Houston's, she always orders the spinach and artichoke dip. Without fail. I want to make some sort of dish that mimicked that dip and lasagna seemed like a natural way to do it. One of my biggest complaints about lasagna is that I don't love the texture of ricotta. Here, I halved the ricotta, replacing it with cream cheese, more in line with the spinach and artichoke dip everyone loves. The result was a perfect dinner party dish, I love things that can just bake while I socialize. Unfortunately, Jen had to cancel at the last minute, which means I will have to have her over soon and serve this again. The recipe looks long, but it is really quite easy, especially if you use the Instant Pot and Fasta Pasta shortcuts.
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup water
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound lasagna noodles
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan
10 ounces chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
16 ounces ricotta
16 ounces cream cheese. softened
4 cups shredded mozzarella
Instant Pot instructions:
Place the chicken, water, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in the Instant Pot. Place on “Poultry” setting for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Shred the chicken and set aside.
Place the chicken, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Heat over high heat until the water boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Shred the chicken and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Fasta Pasta instructions:
Place 9 of the lasagna noodles in the Fasta Pasta and fill to level 4. Microwave for 13 minutes. Drain and allow the noodles to cool. Repeat with remaining lasagna noodles.
Cook lasagna noodles in boiling salted water until al dente per package instructions. Drain and allow the noodles to cool.
In large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Whisk in the flour, until fully incorporated. Add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture thickens after about 5 minutes, remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan, spinach, artichokes and shredded chicken.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta and cream cheese.
Layer ¼ of the chicken mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with 6 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta and cream cheese mixture over top. Layer ¼ of the chicken mixture over the ricotta and top with 1 1/3 cups mozzarella cheese. Layer with 6 more lasagna noodles, then 1/3 of the ricotta, ¼ of the chicken and 1 1/3 cups mozzarella cheese, twice more, ending with the mozzarella cheese. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray, cover the lasagna spray side down. Bake for 45 minutes covered, remove the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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