Chicken Lasagna Casserole

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I hate when I misplace things!  It really, really aggravates me!  It’s like when you know that you put a pair of socks in the dryer, but when you take it out one sock is missing.  I figure the sock gnome came and took it out in the middle of the cycle.  So, maybe there’s a recipe gnome that comes and takes my recipes in the middle of the night.   Who knows?!? Everything I am saying is just speculation.

The reason why  I am telling you all this is because I had a recipe for chicken lasagna casserole and then I lost it.  I found it in my local paper and put it aside and the last time I saw the article was when I went to write down my shopping list.  When I went to cook the dish it mysteriously disappeared.

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Thank Google, that I was able to find the recipe online.  The internet is a wonderful place!

One thing that intrigued me about this dish is that it was a lasagna in the form of a casserole.  I love lasagna, but with me being lazy, the thought of making lasagna tires me.  You show me how to make a dish that resembles lasagna and doesn’t require too much assembly and I am all over it like white on rice sauce on pasta.

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Chicken Lasagna Casserole

adapted from: Joplin Globe (also found on cincinnati.com)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbl. olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese

cheese mixture:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

sauce:
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 lb. bulk italian sausage

Directions:

preheat the oven to 375 degrees. spray a 8x8 pan with cooking spray.

in a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, egg, lemon juice, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. set aside.

brown the italian sausage until no longer pink in a skillet and drain. place the sausage back in the skillet and add the jar of spaghetti sauce and let it heat through. keep warm.

heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. add all of the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. the chicken does not to be cooked all the way through. transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish and mix in the cheese mixture.

pour the sauce over the chicken and cheese mixture. sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and loosely cover with foil. place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

serve over buttered noodles.

note: if you like your sauce sweet, add 2 tbl. brown sugar to the sauce when you are heating it through.

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