Lasagna is a true comfort food with tons of decadent flavor and I have made it on many occasions like; parties, family gatherings, dinner time at home, private chef gigs and holidays. What makes lasagna so spectacular is the layers and layers of cheese, tangy sauce and pasta. However, sometimes it’s nice to change up the traditional marinara and meat combination and give it a springy touch.
Pesto is a delicious combination of basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan, pureed until chunky, but slightly smooth. I have a couple of pesto recipes on my blog made either the traditional way with basil, pine nuts and Parmesan, or made with beet greens and basil for a fun twist. As far as cheese, a good Parmesan is always nice and I like to use whole milk ricotta, not part-skim for an extra creamy consistency.
The prep for this recipe is fairly straight forward and if you want a real time-saver, use no-boil lasagna noodles, so you can skip the whole water-bath process. If you are really pressed for time, use store-bought pesto, but for me, there is nothing like the fresh stuff. This lasagna makes a full pan, so invite some friends or you’ll have excellent leftovers for days to come.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or one rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh herbs, basil, parsley or thyme
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 ounces pesto, homemade or store-bought
12 ounces mozzarella, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup half & half
1. Preheat oven to 375. In a skillet, add chicken breasts, sliced lemon and fresh herbs. Add enough water to pan to come up half-way and place over medium heat. When simmering, turn heat to low, and cover with lid. Cook for 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and cool. When ready to handle, shred chicken (you can skip this step and substitute a cooked rotisserie chicken, if desired).
2. In a 4-quart casserole dish, layer 3 no-boil noodles. Dollop with pesto and ricotta and sprinkle chicken and mozzarella. Repeat this step and top entire lasagna with Parmesan. Pour half & half over lasagna.
3. Cover lasagna with foil and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 8 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown.
4. Remove from oven and let stand for 8 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately, Enjoy!