Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

IMG_1560When I first saw this recipe I thought that it would be awesome but since it had the potential to be spicy, I knew I might be the only one eating it.  So, I had to figure out what to do since I didn’t think there was any way I would be able to eat an entire pan of lasagna before it went bad (unless I ate three meals a day and for snack).  So, I decided to make it but split it between two square pans, rather than one 13×9 pan.  It worked but not that well.  Since I didn’t use pans that were half the size of a 13×9 I really wound up making two lasagna with half the stuff.  Each pan had three layers of three noodles each, not too far off of the regular pan size.  It called for a sauce on the bottom before the first layer of noodles and sauce on the top and I really didn’t have a lot to go around.  So, I froze one, made the other.  Turned out to be fantastic.  Not as spicy as it could have been which was good.  The only things I did differently was to use an “Italian” blend of shredded cheese rather than plain mozzarella and for the white cheddar I couldn’t find some already shredded so I bought a small rectangle of a Vermont Sharp White Cheddar and shredded it myself.  BEWARE – this recipe takes awhile.  Granted I was doing a few others things at the same time but I was in the kitchen for about 3 hours the night I made this.

(recipe from the February/March 2013 issue of Taste of Home)

1 TBSP canola oil (or vegetable)
1 1/2 lbs ground chicken (I used two pounds – it comes in one pound packages)
1 small onion chopped
1 large carrot, grated (I did a really fine grating)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bottle (12 oz) buffalo wing sauce (I think I used Franks)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 TSP Italian seasoning
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
9 lasagna noodles (or as much as you need to fill the pan)
1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided (1 cup and 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
3 cups (12 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded white cheddar cheese

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken, onion, celery and carrot; cook and stir until the meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.  Add garlic; cook 2 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, wing sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour (stir occasionally).

Meanwhile, cook noodles as directed on the package.  In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup blue cheese, parsley and egg.

Spread 1 1/2 cups sauce into a greased 13×9 baking dish.  Layer with three noodles, 1 1/2 cups sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup white cheddar and 1/3 cup blue cheese.  Repeat layers twice.

Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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