Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lazy Lasagna

Once while dining out I remember ordering something on the menu called "free form lasagna". I didn't know when I was making this dish that this is where I was headed, but my finished product was very similar in appearance to that dish. I haven't used no-cook lasagna noodles before and was very impressed with the results. The only characteristic the no-cook lasagna noodles are lacking is the pretty ruffled edge of the traditional lasagna noodle. The absence of this ruffled edge turned out to be a good thing and the loose nature of the noodle assembly lent to the creation of a very casual yet elegant dish.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Free-Form Lasagna
Adapted from Cooking Light January 2006


8 servings

  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (Emeril's Essence)
  • 1 pound thin cut skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 no-cook lasagna noodles (8 ounces), divided
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced 96% fat-free deli ham, chopped, divided
  • Parsley Flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place broth, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from pan with tongs; set aside. Once chicken has cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces.

Take three lasagna noodles and soak them in the broth for 2 minutes. Remove the noodles and place in a single layer on a plate coated with cookie spray. Save these three noodles for the top noodles of the lasagna. The other noodles will not need to be cooked.

Combine milk, flour, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; stir well with a whisk until smooth. Add milk mixture to broth in pan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

Cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup cheese and parsley, stirring until cheese melts.

Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce. Spoon 3/4 cup sauce evenly over noodles.

Top evenly with one-third ham and one-third chicken.

Sprinkle the layer with one third of mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layers twice, ending with noodles. Be sure to end with the three noodles that soaked earlier in the broth. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesean cheese.

Cover with foil very lightly coated with cooking spray; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove and discard foil; bake 10 minutes or until the cheese lightly browns. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.


Gabriela said...

You're right! Very elegant and oh so mouthwatering. I adore the lack of structure and don't miss the curly edges on the packaged stuff one bit. Touché.

Colin's Mom said...

This looks and sounds really good! I discovered no-bake noodles a while ago and now I hardly ever use the regular ones anymore! I can't wait to try it!

Maryanna said...

I've never used the no-bake noodles, but I'm definitely going to make this using them!!! I love chicken cordon bleu.

teresa said...

oh so delicious! it looks so creamy and cheesy.

Woody said...

It was like a chicken cordon bleu lasagna. I loved this dish.

Krista said...

Oh yeah! Love this dish and I know that my family would "dig it" too! Thanks for another wonderful recipe. Yum!