Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chicken Lasagna Rolls

Italian....yummy!!!!! This dish satisfied two things I was hoping for. One, my craving for Italian without going out and paying the bill at a nice restaurant. And two, my efforts to use up random things in the pantry (in this case, half a box of lasagna noodles, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and some chicken breasts).

This was fun too make-the mixing and assembling, and I was totally in a cooking/kitchen mood, so that helped. Seriously, I even cleared out the dishwasher BEFORE I started, so I could promptly place the things I dirtied up into the dishwasher as soon as I popped these in the oven. I may have a fever...haha! Usually I either ask Brett to clear dishes out before I start cooking or to be prepared to do it after, so he can then clean up the kitchen when we are done eating! He better appreciate and like this meal!!!

I've never had lasagna (or spaghetti for that matter) with chicken in it, but it sounded pretty good, and really simple. To me, any recipe that's variation of lasagna looks like it takes a lot of effort. It's a fancy looking meal to me, and before I ever made any type of lasagna, I always wondered what the special, unique concoction was in the middle of the layers. Then I realized that it's not so hard! The thing that makes or breaks it to me is the sauce...I don't like too much, and I don't like it chunky. I also go with a very simply flavored sauce-sometimes sauce overpowers all the goodies in the middle!

On to the recipe...this came from

6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
6-8 oz. chicken breast strips (cooked; I then shredded/picked mine apart with my fingers)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less if you like-I like more!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook noodles as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Mix chicken, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and seasoning; spread 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto each noodles. Roll up tightly. Place seams sides down in a baking dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over roll-ups; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

My notes...
1) Make sure your noodles are not only cool, but dry when you start to fill them. I made a second batch for leftovers and got in a hurry and my last three noodles sort of made a goo of the filling because they were wet/warm. That and they also slip out of place/unrolled a little.
2) I don't know the exact measurement of the pan I used, seems an 8x4 or something odd like that-anyway, make sure to use a dish where the rolls fit next to each other and are snug. This holds them in place and allows the sauce and mozzarella cheese to sit in all the perfect places without falling into empty space in the dish. Mine happened to be a perfect fit. As I was putting them in I was glad it worked out that well. All the sauce would have just run off had I used a 9x13.

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