There are times in life when the only thing you can do for someone is feed them. When no words can soothe, a warm favorite food meal may provide some measure of comfort. Packing a casserole with goodness and love because it’s all you can do is occasionally part of this thing called life. The sucky part of life. This lasagna is perfect for such a time. It is also great for a weekday dinner for your family. Who, you should hold close. And tell them you love them. Give your kids an extra hug today while you’re at it. Because life is precious.
Bread. Glorious bread. I blame my mother and my English heritage for my adoration of bread. Soft, doughy perfection. And butter. I think I love butter even more. Creamy delicious butter. Mmmmm. This Basil Butter Garlic Bread is out of this world amazing. It cranks up the awesome from your standard garlic bread with the addition of basil and parsley. Then it’s topped off with melted cheese. Oh baby.
I tried, but I can’t give up my noodles in lasagna. I just can’t do it. The idea for this recipe came from a zucchini lasagna I saw on Pinterest. When it came time to slice up the squash to replace the noodles, I chickened out. Tangent – why is it chickens get such a bad rap? Are they really cowardly? Anyone know? I saw some at the zoo the other day (yes, my kids love looking at the most boring of animals), they didn’t seem particularly afraid of us…I wonder when chickens became the scaredy cats of scapegoats? Anyway, I decided to use all veggies in place of meat instead.
Sometimes, it’s really awkward to be a food blogger. I always feel really silly when I’m at a party taking pictures of food. But, since some of the best things I make are taken elsewhere to be consumed, I really don’t have a choice. So, I whip out my trusty Canon and snap a couple quick pics so I at least have something to show you when recommending a recipe. Believe me when I tell you that this dinner is creamy, rich and delicious and will be loved by anyone you serve it to. I’ll never give up my red sauce lasagna (which, I just realized I have never posted the recipe for – must do that soon!) – but this was a nice change-up from my regular layered Italian meal.
The really great thing about this recipe is that you could easily change it to suit your preferences. I changed the original a little, including using diced tomatoes instead of sun-dried. You could make it vegetarian friendly by using sautéed zucchini, onions, spinach, mushrooms etc. instead of the chicken. Have fun. Make it your own.
Oh, a little tip – I always put my lasagna noodles in a casserole dish and cover them with boiling water for 30 minutes to cook them. While they soak away in the water, I prep the rest of the ingredients. The noodles turn out perfectly cooked and are much easier to handle than if you actually cook them according to the package directions before layering. Also, I love the golden cheese around the edges of lasagna. It’s pretty much the best food ever.
Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna
adapted from Tasty Tidbits
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked
HEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.