Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Hey all, I wanted to share my recipe for pesto chicken lasagna that I made this weekend. I will try to break it down by each layer to make it pretty simple. It is chicken based so it is protein packed. I went easy on the cheeses and used some Greek yogurt to add moisture and flavor as well.

First: here is everything that I used in this picture. I had boiled and shredded the chicken the day before.

  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms & white onion with some EVOO
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 4 medium stem tomatoes sliced and salt & peppered
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 cups ricotta cheese & a blend of mozzarella, Gruyère & parmesan cheese….or whatever you have 😉 you don’t need that much
  • Homemade pesto or a small jar (about 8 or 10 oz.)
  • Lasagna noodles-I used 9/4 bottom then 3 and 3 for the next 2 layers
  • Seasonings like parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil, salt & pepper

pesto-lasagna-1

Second:  cook your mushrooms, onions and warm half of the already cooked chicken in a skillet for about 15 min on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Then add half of the pesto and season with parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to your liking. Meanwhile, boil your noodles according to package directions.

pesto-lasagna-2

Third: pre-heat your oven to 350 & begin your assembly line by having your tomatoes sliced and ready, your spinach close by, noodles, the other half of the shredded chicken mixed with the rest of the pesto and the 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Your can of fire roasted tomatoes ready with the liquid (don’t drain) and your 2 cups of ricotta cheese along with the shredded cheese options near by.

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To assemble:

  • Coat your pan with a spray or whatever non-stick option you like
  • Spread some fire roasted tomatoes and liquid on the bottom
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles overlapping each other’s edges just a bit
  • Place warm chicken & mushroom mixture on top
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese and shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Then add a layer of spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
  • Top that with 3 more noodles
  • Then the chicken, pesto and Greek yogurt mixture (this can be room temp)
  • The rest of the ricotta cheese and the shredded parmesan cheese
  • Another layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • Finish with 3 more noodles, the rest of the liquid and diced fire roasted tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese

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Cover with foil and bake for 30 min in 350 degree oven, then remove foil and bake for another 25 to 30 min. Let cool for 30 min before cutting.

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I hope you will try this and I really hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Adrienne

 

Pesto, Tuna & Ricotta Pita Pizza

pesto tuna ricotta pita pizza

What you will need:

5 oz. can of tuna

1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese (could sub with plain Greek yogurt)

1 tsp pesto

1/2 tsp basil

1 tsp ground blk pepper

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup total chopped cucumber and tomato

2 pita breads

What to do:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix ricotta cheese, tuna, lemon juice, olive oil, pesto, pepper and basil together in small bowl

3. Place pitas on baking pan in oven for about 7 to 10 min or until slightly crispy/toasted

4. Spread tuna mixture on warm pita and top with tomato and cucumber

5. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Makes 2 “pizzas” or 2 servings

Healthy Whole Grain Penne Pasta w/ ground lamb smothered in pesto garlic lemon sauce

penne with lamb and pesto
penne with lamb and pesto

What you will need:

8 oz Whole grain penne pasta

3/4 lb ground lamb-hard to find but so worth it!

1/2 c feta cheese

2 c spinach leaves

1/3 c pesto paste

1/4 lemon juice

1 cup pasta water

1/2 c skim ricotta cheese

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion (white or spanish)

salt, pepper to taste

pine nuts to garnish

Optional: 1 c beef stock-mine was homemade from left over short ribs (celery, carrots, onion, basil, oregano and burgundy wine) I am pretty sure this contributed to the awesomeness but you should be fine with low sodium store-bought beef stock or without it at all. Lamb has a very powerful taste all on its own!!

Cooking Directions:

Cook lamb in skillet over med heat and drain fat

Cook pasta and set aside to cool-saving one cup of the pasta water for sauce

Add beef stock, garlic, onion, ricotta, feta, seasonings, pesto paste and  lemon juice to the lamb and mix together well

Let cook for 8 o 10 min on low to med heat then add in pasta water and pasta giving it all a good mix again

Lastly,  add spinach and pine nuts until all melted down and in together then serve

Warning!!! This smells divine from the minute you start to cook the lamb and you will want to taste it several times throughout the cooking process….its just so good!

(p.s. great for kids too! My 3 year old had 2 helpings!!)

(p.p.s remember portion control-you can eat this and not feel guilty about being what feels like  indulgent but remember to save some for lunch the next day!! )

Makes about 5 total servings and I served it with a tomato and feta salad dressed in olive oil and red wine vinegar!

Enjoy!

xoxo-A