Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe was born out of an accident. I was racing around one day and grabbed some mince out of the freezer to defrost for dinner, as some friends were coming over and I wanted to make a lasagna. When I got home… I had defrosted Chicken mince instead. So, I just went with it!

I have a tendency to do this a lot… what about you? I think a few of my favourite recipes have come from me forgetting ingredients and using something else or, taking the wrong thing out of the freezer like this time. I’m sure that I’m not the only one to make these sorts of mistakes?

I love this lasagna! The chicken, tomato and white sauce mixture go so well together. In this recipe, I have included Zucchini, Sweet Potato, mushrooms and spinach to use in-between the slices, but you can substitute any vegetables that you like… probably don’t use normal potato as it is a bit starchy. My favourite is always spinach and mushrooms. I now make this recipe on purpose. The best thing is, you can make this at the end of the week, using up all your left over vegetables, which is resourceful and tastes great!

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

Ok, here is the biggest debate…fresh pasta or dried pasta?  I use fresh. Now I hear you, “I’m not making fresh pasta dough, what a pain, it makes so much mess”.  Well, if you don’t want to make your own that’s fine, it will just cost you a little more to buy the ‘fresh made’ in the cold section of your supermarket. It really is so much better than the dried versions and worth the extra bucks. Having said all that, I didn’t make the pasta, and in fact used the fresh Latino pasta sheets from Woolworths!

This make A LOT! It should feed between 10 – 12 people. I use two large BBQ dishes that have lids. Bake one and put the other in the freezer.  Lets face it, if you are going to go to the trouble of making lasagna, you might as well make a huge batch and freeze it for later. It is cost effective and time effective.  After all, it takes just as much time to make two as it does one.

Makes 2 large lasagna, 10 – 12 people!

Ingredients – Red Sauce

1.5 kg of Chicken Breast/Thigh or Chicken Mince

2 Onions

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Tablespoon (20g) Olive Oil

20g Butter

Fresh Herbs or Dried Mixed Herbs

200g Zucchini (approximately)

700g Passata

400g Tin Tomatoes

100g Water

2 Teaspoons Salt

2 Teaspoons Sugar

Pepper to taste

2 large Packets, Fresh Lasagna Sheets

Various vegetables sliced thinly, I used mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potato and spinach

500g Mozzarella cheese, grated

250 Parmesan cheese,  grated

For a better flavour, combine in a large bowl both the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

Ingredients – White Sauce

150g Butter

80g Plain Flour

1000ml (1L) (g) Full Cream Milk

This is quite a runnyish white sauce, but it thickens on cooling.  You will cook it again in the lasagna, so it will help keep the lasagna soft and squishy.

Method – Red Sauce

1. Place oil and butter into a large pot, add in finely chopped onions and garlic and sauté until tender.

2. Add in chicken mince and grated zucchini, and stir until almost cooked.

3. Add herbs, passata (rinse out the pasta bottle with the water you are going to use), tin tomatoes, water, sugar, salt and pepper.   Gently simmer until tomato sauce reduces.

4. Use as required.

Method – White Sauce

1.Making the Rue (butter/flour mixture). Melt butter on low heat in a saucepan and add flour. Mix until there are no lumps and the flour has cooked (approximately 2 – 3 minutes).

2. In another pan, warm the milk so it will be the same temperature when adding to the rue (butter/flour mixture).

3. Add about 200ml of the warmed milk and whisk so that no lumps form, then add the rest of the warmed milk stirring as you go, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This is not a really thick white sauce, as it doesn’t need to be for lasagna.

Go to MAKING UP THE LASAGNA, after the Thermomix method.

THERMOMIX METHOD

Thermomix

This recipe was made in the TM5 and exact quantities can be made in the TM31, you will just need to put less chicken in the basket and more in the Varoma.

Method – Red Sauce

Before you start making the lasagna, cut and grate Cheeses… combine both cheeses in a large bowl.

Also, if using chicken breast cut into chunks and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Mince in batches at 30 seconds/speed 5.

1. Place onions and garlic into mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds/speed 6, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Add butter and oil and sauté, 4 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.

3. Place roughly chopped zucchini into the mixing bowl and chop 5 seconds/speed 5, then scrap down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add in passata, tin tomatoes, salt sugar, herbs and spices and water (rinse out the passata bottle with water) and gently place the mixing basket into the mixing bowl.

5. Place about 500g – 750g of chicken mince into the basket and the rest into the bottom of the Varoma.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

6. Place the Varoma on top of the mixing bowl lid, with lid on and cook 30 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.

7. Using the spatula lift the mixing basket out of mixing bowl and allow to drain a little. Tip the contents of the basket into a ThermoServer or large bowl and using a spatula or fork,  break up the chicken mince. Place the cooked chicken mince from the Varoma also into the ThermoServer or large bowl, as well and break up as much as you can.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

Make sure you break up the chicken before adding the rest of the sauce!

8. While you are doing this, cook the red sauce for another 10 minutes/Varoma/speed 2 with the dirty mixing basket on top of the lid instead of the MC.

9. Pour the rest of the sauce into the ThermoServer or large bowl and set aside ready to make up the lasagna.

Method – White Sauce

*you don’t need to clean out the bowl if you don’t want to as it is all going in together 🙂

1. Place butter into the mixing bowl and melt 3 minutes/100/speed 1.

2. Add in flour and cook 3 minutes/100/speed 1.

3. Add in milk and cook 15 minutes/100/speed 4, with the measuring cup on.

Remember this is not a very thick white sauce as it doesn’t need to be for lasagna, just creamy!

MAKING UP THE LASAGNA 

1. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the dish. (This stops the bottom layer from sticking).

2. Cover the dish with the lasagna sheets then a layer of the red sauce.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

3. Layer with a vegetable of your choice, pour on the white sauce, then sprinkle some grated cheese over the top.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

4. Cover the dish with Lasagna, then repeat steps 2 and 3 until all ingredients are used.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

5. Finish with white sauce and cheese.

Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna

6. Bake in a preheated 200º oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Serve and eat!

I hope you enjoy my version of Chicken and Veggie Lasagna.  If you don’t have any chicken, just make the red sauce and do a plain vegetable lasagna…it’s still really yummy!

Don’t forget this makes 2 large lasagna’s, one for cooking and one to freeze for later. As I’ve said earlier, it takes just as much time to make one as it does two, and then you will have a bonus, trouble free meal in the freezer!

Enjoy Irresponsibly!

Liz xx

 

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