I think I’ve mentioned before that I often devour leftovers for dinner because I tend to get home pretty late and I’m always starving when I walk in the door. So, when I do manage to find time to cook during the week, I’m usually whipping up a meal to enjoy the next day, and I’m often just getting started in the kitchen around 10 or 11pm!
The other night I made this lasagna and instructed Apolinaras to stick it in the fridge before he hit the sack since it needed to cool down a bit more and I was heading off to bed. You can imagine my surprise when I was suddenly jolted awake by a grinning Apolinaras who had eaten a piece and came in to gush that it was the best lasagna I’d ever made! It was pretty cute that he couldn’t wait until morning to proclaim his lasagna love, and I fell right back asleep and almost thought the whole conversation was a dream until I asked him about the next day.
I stuffed my whole wheat lasagna with layers of creamy ricotta, chicken, summer veggies, and a luscious goat cheese sauce. I was very excited to recently find that the goat cheese at Costco now comes in two 10.5-ounce contains instead of one large package. Now there’s much less pressure to use it up before it goes bad – yay!
Summer Veggie and Chicken Lasagna with Goat Cheese Sauce
Chicken and Veggie Layer:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
32 ounces part-skim ricotta
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
10.5 ounces goat cheese (1 log from costco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
To make the chicken and veggie layer, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook chicken for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Place chicken in a large bowl and add zucchini to the same hot pan; sauté 5 minutes and add the leeks; sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Stir zucchini mixture and roasted red peppers in with the chicken.
To make the ricotta layer, place ricotta, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and egg in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one more minute or until mixture starts to brown. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in pecorino romano, goat cheese, and salt. Heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package. To assemble the lasagna, place a layer of 4 noodles in a 13×9-inch pan and top it with half the ricotta mixture, half the chicken and veggie mix, half the sauce, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer. Then place the remaining 4 noodles on top and sprinkle evenly with the 2 remaining cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes or until cheesy is light brown and bubbly. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition: 501 calories, 23.4g fat, 4.1g fiber, 41.6g protein per serving
Cost: $1.93 per serving