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White Chicken Caprese Lasagna Recipe

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White Chicken Caprese Lasagna Recipe

Introduction to White Chicken Caprese Lasagna

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna is a delightful twist on the classic lasagna, combining tender chicken, fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and a rich white sauce. This dish is perfect for special occasions or a comforting family dinner. With layers of creamy goodness and vibrant flavors, it’s sure to impress your guests and become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

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Ingredients Needed

Before diving into the preparation, gather all the necessary ingredients to ensure a smooth cooking process.

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Main Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Seasonings and Spices

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional Additions

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze for serving

Preparing the Ingredients

Cooking the Chicken

If you don’t have pre-cooked chicken, you can poach or bake chicken breasts until fully cooked and shred them using two forks. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper for added flavor.

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Prepping the Tomatoes and Basil

Slice the tomatoes into thin rounds and set them aside. Wash the basil leaves thoroughly and pat them dry.

Shredding the Cheese

Shred the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and mix them together in a bowl. This will make layering easier and ensure an even distribution of cheese.

Assembling the Lasagna

Preparing the White Sauce

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute to create a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, continuing to stir until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Once the sauce is smooth and well-seasoned, remove it from the heat.

Layering the Ingredients

  1. First Layer: Spread a thin layer of white sauce at the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish to prevent sticking.
  2. Second Layer: Place three lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, slightly overlapping.
  3. Third Layer: Add a layer of shredded chicken, followed by a layer of sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
  4. Fourth Layer: Spoon a generous amount of white sauce over the chicken and vegetables.
  5. Fifth Layer: Sprinkle a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
  6. Repeat: Continue layering the noodles, chicken, tomatoes, basil, white sauce, and cheese until you have used all the ingredients, ending with a layer of sauce and cheese on top.

Baking the Lasagna

Oven Temperature and Baking Time

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Checking for Doneness

To ensure the lasagna is cooked through, insert a knife into the center. If it slides in easily and the cheese is melted and bubbly, it’s ready to come out of the oven.

Serving Suggestions

Garnishing Ideas

For a burst of color and flavor, garnish the lasagna with chopped fresh parsley and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The glaze adds a tangy sweetness that complements the savory flavors of the dish.

Side Dishes

Serve the lasagna with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables. A crisp white wine or a light red wine pairs beautifully with this dish.

Variations and Customizations

Vegetarian Options

To make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and add more vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach. You can also use tofu or a meat substitute.

Gluten-Free Alternatives

Use gluten-free lasagna noodles and substitute the all-purpose flour in the white sauce with a gluten-free flour blend.

Tips for Success

Ensuring Even Cooking

Make sure to spread the ingredients evenly in each layer to ensure the lasagna cooks uniformly. Use a large, deep baking dish to accommodate all the layers.

Avoiding a Soggy Lasagna

To prevent the lasagna from becoming too watery, pat the tomato slices dry with paper towels before layering. If using frozen spinach or other vegetables, make sure to drain and squeeze out any excess moisture.

Health Benefits of Ingredients

This lasagna features ingredients that offer various health benefits. Chicken provides lean protein, tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, and basil has anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of these ingredients makes for a nutritious and delicious meal.

Conclusion

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna is a delightful and impressive dish that brings together the comforting elements of traditional lasagna with the fresh flavors of a Caprese salad. The creamy white sauce, tender chicken, and vibrant tomatoes and basil create a harmonious and delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion. By following this detailed guide, you can create a lasagna that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

FAQs

1. Can I use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

Yes, using store-bought rotisserie chicken is a convenient option that can save time and add extra flavor to the dish.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store leftover lasagna in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

3. Can I make this lasagna ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the lasagna a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature and then bake as directed.

4. Is it possible to freeze this lasagna?

Absolutely! You can freeze the assembled but unbaked lasagna. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as instructed.

5. What can I use instead of ricotta cheese?

If you’re not a fan of ricotta cheese, you can use cottage cheese or mascarpone as a substitute. Both options will provide a creamy texture and rich flavor.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to create a delicious and impressive White Chicken Caprese Lasagna that will delight your taste buds and those of your guests. Enjoy!

Source: yammiesnoshery.com

Yield: 8

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna Recipe

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna Recipe

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna is a delightful twist on the classic lasagna, combining tender chicken, fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and a rich white sauce. This dish is perfect for special occasions or a comforting family dinner. With layers of creamy goodness and vibrant flavors, it’s sure to impress your guests and become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for Ricotta Layer:
  • 2 lbs ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Ingredients for Sauce:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or all-purpose gluten free flour mix like this one)
  • 4 cups milk (I used whole)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Ingredients for Layering:
  • 1 1/2 cups more mozzarella
  • 1 box of oven ready lasagna noodles (you can use these gluten free ones)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Halved cherry tomatoes (about 20)
  • More fresh basil for garnish
  • Balsamic glaze (buy here, or you can make your own by simmering balsamic vinegar until it has reduced thickened)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the ricotta layer and set aside.
  2. For the sauce, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add the milk, a little at a time, whisking well as you add it. Add the heavy cream. Bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the mozzarella, spinach, salt, pepper, and basil. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted. Set aside.
To Assemble:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place a couple ladles of sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with a layer of noodles followed by 1/3 of the ricotta mixture followed by 1/3 of the chopped chicken followed by 1/3 of the remaining sauce mixture. Continue layering in this pattern, ending with sauce (you should have sauce, noodles, ricotta, chicken, sauce, noodles, ricotta, chicken, sauce, noodles, ricotta, chicken, sauce). Top with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and then scatter on the halved cherry tomatoes.
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes (I like to put the 9x13 pan on a cookie sheet in the oven, just in case it overflows at all). If the top browns before the 45 minutes are up, just cover it with a sheet of tin foil for the rest of the time.
  4. Allow to cool about 10-20 minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil and balsamic glaze.
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