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by on January 20th, 2015

Zucchini White Chicken Lasagna

I love anything with a creamy béchamel sauce.

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Fifteen Spatulas gets all the credit for this recipe and if it weren’t for all the hours I spend looking around on the computer I would have never come across this blog. This is a blog that I bookmarked a couple of years ago because I liked her recipes and food pictures.

No pasta noodles in this lasagna; it’s full of grilled zucchini strips. I upped the garlic (of course) and added some nutmeg to the sauce.

I have to say it seems like it took me a long time to make this dish but in reality probably not. I had just come in from the store with a car full of groceries and my greens and fresh carrots I had bought at the farmer’s market. I didn’t even get the groceries put away before I started cleaning the carrots, then the beet greens and then I made the sautéed beet greens and at the same time started the sauce for this recipe, and trying to grill the zucchini at the same time. Sometimes, I do cause my own problems.

I would say if you want to try this recipe, start with a clean kitchen, maybe slice and grill the zucchini the day before; I did have my chicken already baked and thawing from when I froze it last month. The recipe seems to be quick to throw together if you have everything done in stages.

I served a salad with this made with my dandelion greens, home grown radishes and anything else I could find in the refrigerator.

And, if you want to lighten this dish up a little try this — make just one cup of béchamel sauce and then add it to a large jar of pasta sauce. It won’t be “white” lasagna, of course, but you will cut out much of the cream sauce. My husband had thirds of the white lasagna so he must have liked it.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Chicken in Phyllo (Kotopita) is one of my all-time favorite recipes I have made over the years. I have been making it well over 20 years and haven’t really changed anything about the recipe. I think it is a very impressive dish to be as easy as it is to throw together. Please give it a try and if you like it, leave a comment.

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Mix the ricotta, egg and cheese together.

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Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the zucchini lengthwise 1/4″ thick.

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Salt the zucchini strips and let set for about 5-6 minutes, then grill on stovetop grill.

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After you have grilled all your zucchini noodles, set aside until you have finished the sauce.

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Melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic until it starts to turn translucent.

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Whisk in the flour and continue to stir for a few minutes to cook out the “raw” flour taste.

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Stir in the milk and cream and add a couple dashes of nutmeg. Stir until thickened.

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Stir in one cup of the cheese until melted.

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Put thin later of sauce on bottom of pan then add a layer of zucchini.

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Continue layering sauce, zucchini, ricotta mixture, chicken, sauce, zucchini, etc until you have ended with layer of zucchini, chicken, sauce then add a extra sprinkling of cheese.

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Bake for about 40-45 minutes in 350° oven. Let set 15 minutes after removing from oven to firm up.

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Zucchini White Chicken Lasagna

3 lbs. zucchini
1 stick salted butter
1 c. chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. milk (I used 1 cup cream and 2 cups 1% milk)
3 c. mozzarella cheese, divided
2 c. white milk ricotta cheese
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
salt
black pepper
3 c. finely chopped cooked chicken
fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the zucchini into long thin “noodles” about 1/4″ thick. Season the zucchini with salt on both sides and grill over high heat for 90 seconds on each side to cook the zucchini slightly and cook out some of the moisture. Remove zucchini from the grill and set aside for later. (I used a stovetop grill/griddle.)

Melt the butter in large and add the onions and garlic; cook for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften slightly. Whisk in the flour until a thick paste forms, then whisk in the milk (or milk/cream). Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in a couple dashes of nutmeg. Remove pan from heat and whisk in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

In a bowl, stir to combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg and remaining 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble (she said she had 5 layers of each — I did not and it might have been because my zucchini was cut 1/4″) ladle 3/4 cup of the sauce into an 8 x 11 pan*, which should just cover the bottom of the pan. Add a single layer of zucchini noodles side-by-side, then spread 1 cup of the ricotta mixture evenly over the zucchini noodles. Sprinkle on a layer of chicken (about 3/4 cup), then add more sauce, and repeat until you have done 4 to 5 layers of everything. Finish the top with chicken, sauce, and an extra sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.

Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, until it bubbles and the cheese on top has browned slightly. let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes after baking for a firmer texture. Garnish with basil and enjoy!

*Note — I think you could use a normal size lasagna pan because I had ricotta, and zucchini left over. What I ended up doing was rolling the zucchini up with some of the ricotta filling, picked it and plan on making a tomato sauce to pour over it and using it for another meal.

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