Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

by Shawnda on June 15, 2011

in Chicken & Poultry,Garden,Pasta, Rice, and Grains

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

One of the biggest lessons learned from our vegetable garden this year is that we are never going to be as big a fan of salad greens as I want us to be. Another big lesson? Squirrels are crafty little bastards that will get any tomato that they want, regardless of how hard you try to keep them away.

I pulled out three of the four arugula plants I planted. We just couldn’t keep up! I plucked every single leaf off of those three huge plants and made an extra large batch of arugula pesto. With 2 quart-sized freezer bags of arugula pesto ice cubes, I set out to make use of our early summer jackpot.

There’s almost nothing about lasagna that speaks to me during the months that have an average temperature of 98 – there’s lots of simmering, boiling, sauteing, and baking. Sounds… hot. But with four boxes of lasagna noodles in the pantry (do you see a pattern?), I was determined to at least start cleaning out some of the “inventory.”

I settled on lasagna rolls to use up some leftover shredded chicken and some of that arugula pesto. And half a box of lasagna noodles. A simple filling of arugula pesto, ricotta cheese, and chicken wrapped up in a lasagna noodle. Dinner!

If you’re interested, this is the recipe I used for the pesto – I simply replaced the basil with arugula. Normally, I would have used half basil and half arugula but, um, I kinda had a little bit of arugula I needed to use.

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

Fresh pesto and chicken make a lighter lasagna, perfect for summer.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese (I used low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce
  • 6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup of your favorite chunky marinara sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Melt butter over medium-high heat.
  3. Add flour and stir until mixed. Let cook for a minute.
  4. Stream in the milk, whisking until completely smooth.
  5. Add salt and pepper, and then cook until thickened.
  6. Place 1/4 cup of white sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 pan.
  7. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, ricotta, 1/4 cup mozzarella, pesto, salt, and pepper.
  8. Spread ~1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll up. Place the roll in the prepared pan.
  9. Repeat for the remaining noodles.
  10. Spoon the remaining white sauce over the lasagna rolls.
  11. Spoon the red sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  12. Bake for ~30 minutes, until hot, bubble, and the cheese begins to brown.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings

Adapted from Sargento

Estimated time: 45 minutes

This post was sponsored by Sargento Cheese. I was compensated for the ingredients used and my time. As always, all opinions are expressed are ours.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori @ Girl Meets Oven June 15, 2011 at 5:15 am

These lasagna rolls look delicious, and well worth the effort of keeping a vegetable garden. Fortunately, I don’t have a squirrel problem, but I can relate to your challenge of protecting your tomato plants. Last year, my tomatoes were first attacked by evil yellow beetles. Then once I found some spray to get the beetles under control, the tomato plants were hit with a ferocious wind storm that knocked over their cages and broke off a couple of major limbs on the plants. It was a miracle I had any tomatoes at all by the end of the season. Good luck with your garden.

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2 Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) June 15, 2011 at 5:42 am

I absolutely adore lasagna rolls. My family has a very wide variety of tastes, from absolutely plain lasagna without any meat and basically ricotta, to lasagna with roasted veggies inside (that’d be me!). So I love that you have the ability to make multiple lasagnas and everyone is satisfied! Now, this arugula pesto?! Can’t wait to put that on my next batch of these babies. It sounds amazing!

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3 Tracey June 15, 2011 at 5:49 am

I love everything about this dish – lasagna rolls are one of my favorite meals, but for whatever reason I make them so infrequently. Once I get my hands on some arugula (sadly no garden here, just a few potted herbs), it’s going on the menu!

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4 Blog is the New Black June 15, 2011 at 5:55 am

Love this idea! I’m a sucker for pesto. YUM!

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5 natalie June 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

I saw Giada making something v. similiar. What’s the benefit of rolling the lasagna? Seems like lots of work, and handling hot noodles. I stuffed shells before, and well never again.

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6 foodiebride June 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

It’s not terrible – smear the filling on the noodle and roll. I think it’s pretty comparable to layering a full box of noodles in a big baking dish with fillings. But I like that it’s an easier recipe to scale, already in individual servings, and that I don’t have to bake a big vat at once and then deal with 8+ leftover portions. Plus, it’s prettier :)

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7 Erin June 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

I wish I had a garden with vegetables and things growing in it. Maybe it would convince me to eat vegetables more consistently. This dish looks great too!

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8 Joanne June 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Let me give you a lasagna secret. All lasagna noodles are no-cook noodles! The moisture from the sauce and cheese will cook them so you don’t have to boil anything. Score.

I’ve been trying to figure out something to cook for some fellow marathon trainers on Friday before our first practice…I think this might have to be it!

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9 Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe June 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Looks delicious! I do this with Spinach Lasagna a lot. Never tried it with chicken, but this is definitely going on my To Try list!! :)

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10 foodiebride June 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

@Chris – Sounds great! I’m hoping that I have a spinach problem soon :)

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11 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride June 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

“Squirrels are crafty little bastards that will get any tomato that they want, regardless of how hard you try to keep them away.”

This made me LOL at my desk at work!

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12 Susie Heywood June 16, 2011 at 5:15 am

Oh my word – these look amazing!!!!

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13 Nicole, RD June 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I haaave to make these – yum!

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14 Jessica June 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

This sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

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15 Joelen June 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

This looks so good and loved that you used an arugula pesto!

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16 Hilary June 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I made this for dinner last night, probably the best lasagna I have ever had. It was super simple and quick to make. I will be making this dish again and I think next time I would skip the white sauce all together and just use all marinara sauce. My husband actually ate three whole rolls!
Thanks for sharing!

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17 Annie July 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hey Shawnda! I’m making these right now and I think there may be a typo here somewhere. I don’t see where the mozzarella is divided. I only see to add in at the end. I’m not sure if you mixed some into the filling or what but I just thought I would let you know.

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18 foodiebride July 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for letting me know, Annie. I did put half of the cheese in the filling.

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