Introduction: Healthy Chicken Lasagna
- 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 boxes of Brown Rice Pasta Sheets
- 2 cups Fat free cottage cheese or Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
- 1 bag Baby spinach
- 1-2 cans Whole Tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. Olive oil
- 1 head Garlic
- 1 yellow Onion
- optional: carrots and celery
Serving Size: 1/4 Pan (2x4 inch slice)
Sat Fat 2g
Step 1: The Meat Sauce
Chop your onion (and celery and carrots if you have them) and dice your garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and toss the garlic in once the oil gets hot. After a minute or so, throw in the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for several minutes until things start to stick. Now pour in your canned tomatoes and stir those around. Make sure to mash up the tomatoes into smaller chunks so they cook well. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Clean your chicken breasts and cut them into smaller chunks. A blender will suffice for this next step, but a food processor will work much better. Using the food processor or blender, puree your chicken chunks until you have a meat blob. In another frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and then dump in your meat blob. Mash it around so it spreads out, and as it cooks you will see that it does indeed turn into ground chicken! Break up larger chunks with your spoon to get that ground-meat texture.
Once the chicken is browned (and cooked too), and after the sauce has simmered for about an hour, dump the ground chicken into the sauce and add spices! I added a bunch of basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, but you can add whatever you like. Mix it all up and the meat sauce is done!
Step 2: Boil the Pasta Sheets
You will have to make different amounts of pasta depending on how many pans of lasagna you want. Each layer takes 2 pasta sheets, and each pan can hold about 3 layers of pasta and 2 layers of filling in between. I made three pans of lasagna, so thats 9 layers of pasta total, which is 18 pasta sheets!
Boil a large pot of water (enough so the hard sheets can be completely submerged), and boil the pasta according to the box instructions. Not much cooking happens in the oven so go ahead and cook the pasta to your desired consistency in this step.
Drain pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Step 3: Assemble and Bake
If you decide to use cottage cheese, you will want to drain out some of the water so your lasagna is not to runny. Get a fine sieve and pour the cottage cheese in. Then, over the sink, mix it around with a spoon for a minute to “foam out” some of the water (you will see what I mean about the foam when you do it). Dump the drained cottage cheese back into the original container for convenience.
Spray your baking pans with some cooking spray, and then lay down 2 pasta sheets at the bottom of each. Next, spoon in about ½ inch of meat sauce, then lay down a generous layer of spinach (it cooks down a ton so add a lot). Spoon on either the cottage or ricotta cheese, and then add more pasta! Repeat until you fill up the baking pan. I ended up having 3 layers of pasta and 2 layers of filling, so that there was pasta on the bottom and top.
If you want, you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the top layer of pasta to give it a nice finish (my brother did this while I had my back turned and it actually looked really good). Cover your pans with tin foil so the pasta does not dry out, and bake on 350º F for about 20 minutes. The baking just reheats everything, melts the cheese a little, and cooks the spinach down.
Step 4: Cut and Serve!
Once the lasagna has cooled a bit, cut each pan into 4 pieces and serve!