I’ve been wanting to make lasagna rollups using turkey or chicken and I got my opportunity recently. My P.S. brought home a deli roasted chicken to nibble on one night. He was on his own for supper and he’s a leg man. He left me two good-sized breasts to work with and a rollup looked like a good plan to use up the chicken. I hadn’t made rollups since the kids left home. We’d call it comfort food for the old folks. heh
I started by cooking the lasagna noodles in salted water according to directions. I eyeballed my deep baking dish and decided it would hold 9 rollups. So I made 12 lasagna noodles just in case any tore or got ragged. Good plan, several did actually kind of fall apart. I might have been too avid at stirring them to keep them separated in the beginning. Oops.
While the lasagna noodles cooked I put a drizzle of oil in my favorite large nonstick skillet and added the diced onions. I let them cook until they were beginning to brown, then added the butter.
When then butter was melted I added the flour and stirred well. There’s something so fascinating about making a roux, once you get the hang of them. When I first started making them I panicked that it wasn’t turning out right but really, roux is forgiving. Just stir constantly and don’t let it get too browned. Done.
I added 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet and stirred until I could see it was mixed and starting to thicken. I added a cup of heavy cream and stirred again until it was thickening.
I added the diced chicken to the sauce to heat it through and moved on to making my ricotta layer. In a bowl I added the ricotta, an egg, a pinch of garlic and a little salt and pepper. I stirred it well with a fork and was ready to drain my pasta and make my rolls.
I laid out 3 lasagna noodles at a time and layered the ricotta on first. I knew it would act as a sort of glue for the next layers to stick to the pasta. And indeed it did!
I used a spoon to layer on chicken next, then a sprinkling of frozen peas.
Lastly I sprinkled a heavy hand of shredded mozzarella over the tops.
Smearing a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of my baking dish, I was ready to roll. Pun intended. I rolled the pasta, which wasn’t totally easy but not as bad as I had thought it might be! I put each on end in my baking dish. If things fell out, I tucked them in the tops and moved on. It’s not going to be perfect, but close enough to be pretty.
I was right in that 9 rollups fit well into my baking dish. I’d started with a 9×9 baking pan that was way too short for the pasta. That first rollup was sticking out of the pan and I foresaw disaster. They’d probably have bubbled all over my oven! So I admit I started with one pan and switched to a different, deeper pan. You will want depth! Then you can bury them in the sauce and more cheese.
I slid the rollups into the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. It still wasn’t bubbling so I gave it another 20 minutes. Done! Bubbling away around the edges and smelling like a dream. I let them set for 10 minutes and dinner was served.
Yum! The rollups were just as I’d imagined, cheesy and delicious. Definitely comfort food and worth the extra steps to make. My P.S. gave the dish a thumbs up as well. We had plenty of leftovers for several meals later in the week. The flavors got better and better! I like when that happens.
I separated the rollups into a container, put a lid on it and refrigerated it. I was looking forward to a couple of lunches with my new favorite comfort food!
Deli Chicken Lasagna Rollups
12 lasagna noodles; cooked according to package directions in salted water
1/2 white onion; diced finely
2 tablespoons oil
sprinkle of salt
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of garlic powder
good sprinkling of black pepper (to taste)
1-2# roasted chicken; diced (I used only breast meat, you could use dark meat as well)
8 ounce tub of ricotta
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
pinch of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup of frozen peas
4 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cook pasta according to directions and drain in colander. Run cold water over it for a few minutes to cool and keep pieces separated.
While pasta cooks add oil to a large nonstick skillet and sauté onion with a sprinkle of salt until translucent and beginning to brown. Add butter and garlic powder. When butter is melted, stir in flour. Cook flour for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in chicken broth and stir until creamy, a minute or so is enough. Add cream and stir well. Let sauce bubble gently for 5 minutes or it is thickened. Add diced chicken and cook another minute or to until it is heated through.
In a deep baking dish spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom. On the counter, spread out three pieces of lasagna at a time. Place a good layer of ricotta down the middle, not worrying to spread it outward too much. It will spread itself as you roll it up later.
Using a slotted spoon, remove pieces of chicken and place over the layers of ricotta. You’re making 9 rollups, divide sauces and chicken between 9 pieces of lasagna. You could spread them all at once, I made 3 at a time just because my cutting board was that wide.
Over the chicken layer, place handfuls of frozen peas, then top with shredded lasagna. Carefully roll a piece of lasagna and place in the baking dish on end, placing the end slit against the side of the dish. Continue to layer and roll lasagna until you have 9 rollups.
Sprinkle more mozzarella over the tops of the rollups and cover with the remaining sauce. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish is bubbling around the edges and browning.