Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Everyone is always looking for new things to do with chicken.  To me chicken is a blank canvas, it is so versatile and there are so many things that can be done with this type of meat.  If I'm ever in a cooking rut I know I can always pull out some chicken and come up with some dish that will be a crowd pleaser.  This meal was definitely a crowd pleaser; it combined a classic favorite, lasagna, but then changed up a little by adding chicken and spinach rather than the traditional beef and red sauce.

These roll-ups were so delicious and packed with so much flavor.  The creamy chicken filling with the sauce of cheesy goodness was absolute perfection!  Everything is packed in this one little roll; it's a great spin on a traditional dish and it's also a fun dish for kids to eat since it's all packaged in one lasagna noodle.  This is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies since they are combined with the cheese and chicken; this meal would satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Another bonus of this dish is that it could be made ahead of time and then add the sauce and bake when you're ready to serve.  I, like a lot of people, have a limited amount of time to get supper on the table in the evenings so I'm alway looking for great make ahead, fast or crockpot meals.  This one definitely fits the bill for a make ahead meal and if you use a rotisserie chicken it would also be a quick meal!  Whether you're looking for a meal that can be made in advance or one that would be perfect for Sunday lunch, this definitely won't let you down.

Chicken and Spinach Roll-Ups

Yields 8 roll-ups



Ingredients:

For the roll-ups-

Lasagna noodles
1-10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 Cups chicken, cooked and chopped (you can also use a rotisserie chicken)
2 Cups Ricotta
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 Cup mozzarella

For the sauce-
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 Medium onion, diced
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup milk
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup cheddar
1 Cup mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

For the roll-ups-

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil  Salt the water and add the pasta, cook until nooldes are soft enough to bend and roll, about 3-4 minutes (since they will continue to cook in the oven).

While the pasta is cooking mix the spinach, chicken, ricotta, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mozzarella.

To assemble, place a lasagna noodle on a flat surface and spoon 1/8 of the mixture down the center of the noodle, leaving 1/4 inch of space at each end.  Roll the noodle up, secure with a toothpick , and place in a 9x13 pan.  Repeat the process until all of the rolls are assembled.

For the sauce-

Saute the diced onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until the onions become translucent.  Remove onions from the pan and place the remaining butter in the pan to melt, over low-medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and stir continuously to form a rue.  Once the rue is formed, slowly add the milk and broth and stir until mixture is smooth.  Keep the mixture over a low heat and continue to stir until thickened and add onions and cheese, stir until cheese has melted.  Season with salt and pepper and pour over the roll-ups.

 Place the roll-ups into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until warmed throughout.

Recipe Source: A Lynsey original

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