When it comes to dinner party fare, pasta recipes are easy, being fairly forgiving to the host when mishaps arise and usually a welcome entree to guests. One of my favorites is lasagne, but sometimes I think, “Oh, that’s just too much work.”
I was recently at the International Food Bloggers Conference and got some coupons to try Isernio’s lean, premium ground chicken. Yum! Chicken is my favorite meat to cook with, and I thought, well, here is my push to try a new lasagna recipe.
It just so happened that we got a massive, oversized jar of pesto from Costco over the weekend. You see where this is going. Chicken… pesto… lasagne! That’s exactly the recipe you’ll find below. And I promise: while it does take a bit of prep time, you’ll love it.
Party Pesto Chicken Lasagne
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 2 cups asiago cheese, shredded
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup pesto (split into half)
- Approx. 12 lasagne noodles
- 1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
Brown the ground chicken in a large pan with garlic, sage, and thyme, then set aside and preheat your oven to 350F.
In one bowl, combine the asiago, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
In a second medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta and the egg. Once mixed evenly, add 1/4 cup of pesto and combine.
In a fresh pan, start a roux by melting the butter and then slowly mix in the flour, stirring vigorously. Once combined, slowly stir in the milk and broth. Once fully combined, bring mixture to a boil, allowing mixture to thicken up (approx. 10-15 minutes).
Once thick, remove sauce from heat and add 1/4 cup of pesto, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Take 1/4 cup of this pesto cream mix and add it to the chicken, combining evenly.
Boil a large pot of water and cook your lasagne noodles al dente according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Grease your pasta pan (recommend approx. 9 x 13). Layer your noodles from bottom to top:
- Bottom layer: a spoonful of pesto cream with 3 lasagne noodles on top
- Repeat twice: 1/3 of ricotta mix, 1/3 of the chicken, 1/4 of pesto cream, 1/4 of mixed cheese blend, a few pinches of chopped basil, topped with lasagne noodles
- Top layer: cover with what you have left of your cheese blend, then sprinkle sharp cheddar on top
Bake your glorious layered mix approximately 30 minutes — top should be golden and bubbly. Allow lasagne to cool 10-15 minutes to set before slicing and serving.
Pairs well with a spicy, bold red wine.
For another lasagne recipe, check out our fun easy “plum” wheel lasagne recipe.