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Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna: A Delicious Twist on a Classic Dish

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Lasagna is a beloved dish that is often made with rich, savory flavors and hearty ingredients. This Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna puts a delightful twist on the classic recipe by incorporating tender chicken, nutritious broccoli, and creamy cheese. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a special occasion, this dish is sure to impress. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe, along with cooking notes, variations, and answers to frequently asked questions. Plus, we’ll explore keto and low-carb versions to accommodate different dietary needs.

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Ingredients

For the Lasagna

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 12 oz. bag of frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 teaspoons flour

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Cook the Lasagna Noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed chicken and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the thawed broccoli and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2: Make the White Sauce

  1. Melt the Butter: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the Flour: Gradually add the flour, whisking continuously to form a smooth paste.
  3. Add the Liquids: Slowly pour in the chicken broth and full-fat milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Season the Sauce: Stir in the dried basil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Assemble the Lasagna

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Layer the Ingredients: In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of the white sauce on the bottom. Place three lasagna noodles on top. Add a layer of the cooked chicken, followed by a layer of the broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with a layer of cheese on top.
  3. Cover and Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Rest Before Serving: Allow the lasagna to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. This will help the layers set and make it easier to serve.
  2. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cooking Notes

  • Chicken: You can use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken to save time. Simply shred or cube the cooked chicken and add it to the recipe.
  • Broccoli: Fresh broccoli can be used instead of frozen. Simply blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for a few minutes before adding them to the skillet.
  • Cheese: For a richer flavor, consider using a blend of cheeses such as mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterey Jack.
  • White Sauce: If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk or chicken broth to reach the desired consistency.

Variations

1. Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

  • Ingredients: Replace the broccoli with spinach and the white sauce with Alfredo sauce.
  • Instructions: Follow the same assembly and baking instructions, using Alfredo sauce instead of the homemade white sauce.

2. Spicy Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

  • Ingredients: Add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the white sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, incorporating the red pepper flakes into the white sauce.

3. Vegetarian Broccoli Lasagna

  • Ingredients: Omit the chicken and add more vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini.
  • Instructions: Follow the same steps, substituting the chicken with the additional vegetables.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

Keto Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

  • Ingredients:
    • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
    • 12 oz. bag of frozen broccoli, thawed
    • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 5 tablespoons butter
    • 5 teaspoons almond flour (for a low-carb alternative)
    • 1 package of low-carb lasagna noodles (or use zucchini slices as a substitute)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Low-Carb Lasagna Noodles: If using zucchini slices, slice them thinly lengthwise and lightly salt them. Let them sit for 10 minutes to draw out moisture, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Follow the Original Recipe: Prepare the chicken, vegetables, and white sauce as per the original recipe, using almond flour instead of regular flour.
  3. Assemble and Bake: Layer the lasagna as described in the original recipe, using the low-carb noodles or zucchini slices in place of traditional lasagna noodles. Bake and serve as instructed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make this lasagna ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the lasagna a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate it until ready to bake. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it’s cold from the fridge.

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2. Can I freeze Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna?

Absolutely! You can freeze the lasagna before or after baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

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3. What can I use instead of lasagna noodles?

For a low-carb option, use zucchini slices or low-carb lasagna noodles. You can also use eggplant slices or thinly sliced bell peppers for a different twist.

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4. How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or cover the entire dish with foil and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

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5. Can I use other types of cheese?

Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheese blends. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mix of Italian cheeses would all work well in this recipe.

6. What can I serve with Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna?

This lasagna pairs well with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables.

7. Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Yes, use gluten-free lasagna noodles and substitute the flour in the white sauce with a gluten-free alternative such as cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend.

Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna is a delicious and hearty dish that combines the classic flavors of lasagna with the nutritious goodness of chicken and broccoli. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or try one of the variations, this lasagna is sure to become a family favorite. With detailed instructions, cooking notes, and answers to common questions, you’ll be able to create a perfect lasagna every time. Enjoy this comforting and flavorful meal with your loved ones, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different ingredients to make it your own!

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