Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 package no-bake lasagna noodles or fresh noodles (see Note)
- In a hurry sauce:
- 2 jars (26 ounces each) marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar per jar
- Slow version sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup (4 to 5 ounces) brown or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cans (14 ounces each) diced stewed tomatoes (preferably Italian-style)
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves or parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or 1 Tablespoon fresh minced
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves or 1-1/2 Tablespoon fresh chopped
- Lasagna layers:
- 14 ounces small curd cottage cheese (low-fat works best)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or similar favorite)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup brown mushrooms, sliced or chopped (uncooked)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (top layer only)
No heating required. Simply stir in the sugar and proceed to Final Preparation below.
Sauce (slow version):
Using a 3-quart saucepan or chef's pan, heat the oil to medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sea salt, sugar, cilantro or parsley, oregano, and basil. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and adjust heat to continue simmering. Loosely cover and stir occasionally until ready to use.
Final Preparation (both versions):
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a few spoonfuls of sauce in bottom of baking dish to coat bottom. Begin layering noodles (uncooked), sauce, cottage cheese, spinach, mushrooms, chicken (if not already in sauce) and shredded mozzarella cheese to create the lasagna. Be careful to distribute ingredients evenly, including corners. Frozen spinach need not be thawed if it can be separated. Otherwise, thaw in microwave.
At final layer, top only with sauce (leave no pasta exposed) and garnish with shredded Parmesan. Reserve some sauce, if desired, to spoon over lasagna when serving. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until lasagna is thoroughly heated and bubbly.
Remove pan from oven and let stand at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to slicing to help keep lasagna layers intact when serving. Spoon reserved sauce over lasagna pieces, if desired.
Note: Any lasagna noodles will work fine. "No-bake" noodles are a bit thinner and lighter, but are not a requirement. A deep loaf pan that can accomodate at least three layers is ideal, or make two small pans and freeze one.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Recipe Source: Your Chicken Is Cooked by Lauren Rae Brimmer (Fallbrook Press)
Reprinted with permission.