Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna


Welcome from Pinterest! I've got lots to share with you on my blog.
Oh Pinterest! Thank you for your dinner ideas. This was pretty good, everyone liked it. It's a Cheesy Chicken Lasagna, but really it's Chicken Ranch Lasagna because it's got a ranch sauce in it. Next time I make this I'll used cooked penne pasta (not the full box) and do a casserole with it. I served this with Garlic Knots (Pinterest also, and with those next time I'd use my own roll dough recipe, and for the topping use melted butter, garlic and parsley) and green beans.

*Recipe updated 2/3/12 to include it GF and as a casserole.


Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna
Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Hidden Valley dry Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix (not the dip blend)
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I used 9 noodles)
1 1/2 to 2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to 2 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.  Layer half of lasagna noodles, chicken, sauce, and cheese in well-greased 9×13 pan. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

This sauce may curdle on you when heating it, it's OK. Mine did not, because I kept it at a low heat after I let it come to just a boil, and stirred, stirred, stirred. You may not need the full 25 minutes, so when you can tell it's starting to thicken, it's OK to add to the dish. It may curdle after it's baked, but again, it's OK.

 
FOR A GLUTEN FREE CASSEROLE STYLE:
(for non GF, use regular pasta)

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Any Gluten Free Dry Ranch Salad Dressing (not the dip blend)
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken (about 2 large chicken breasts)
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 C. uncooked gluten free penne pasta
1 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta until about 2 minutes under regular cook time (probably about 5-6 minutes). Drain, add to prepared dish.
Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat just to a boil then lower heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.
Layer pasta, chicken, sauce, and cheese into dish.  Bake uncovered at 350' for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.




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enjoy,

58 comments:

  1. This is a great recipe. It looks wonderful, sounds tasty and is very easy to do. It doesn't get any better than that :-). I really like your blog and always enjoy the time I spend here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  2. this is bookmarked! I've never done chicken in a lasagna and that looks so good!

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  3. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it tonight as a casserole and it is YUMMY!! Thanks!! :)

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  4. That DOES sound good! Thanks, too, for your comments about what you'll do different next time. Pintrest is the best!

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  5. We are going to try and make this tomorrow night. I can't wait to try it! I think will try adding bacon too.

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  6. I would say that I am a fairly good cook, but don't have much experience with evaporated milk. Could someone please tell me what I did wrong with this. The evaporated milk and ranch seasoning curdled while simmering.

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  7. @anonymous, Bacon sounds like it'd be great in this! Yum!

    @tgal, I don't remember if mine curdled while simmering, but if you look closely in my last photo it did curdle while baking. I read int he main recipe post other's did too. It'll still be ok and taste fine.

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  8. OMG Tgal mine did the same. curdled. I was second guessing my self so I put regular ranch dressing in the layers. We shall see how it tastes. Not sure what I did wrong. Is it suppose to curdle?
    Amy

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  9. I made the cheesy chicken Lasagna. Very easy to make and very good. I followed the recipe, but used penne noodles to ensure to sauce goes all way through. I didn't have any curdling while making the sauce. I stirred often with a whisk and had the heat on low. But used a rubber spatula to get every bit of the thickened sauce. Bring more family friendly tasty recipes. I have a hard bunch to please. Lori

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  10. I'm trying the penne pasta version tonight

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  11. I just found this recipe and made it tonight. I did not have a problem with the sauce. It didn't curdle. I started the sauce out on medium heat,then lowered it a bit more when it got hot. I stirred it non-stop from start to finish with a wire whisk however. It thickened nicely. Then I took it off the stove. I think the trick is stirring it non-stop just like you do the pudding you cook over the stove. Turned out very delicious. Definitely adding it to my favorite recipes collection. Thank so much.

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  12. Want to make this tomorrow for a friend that just had a baby. Could I use regular milk instead of evaporated? I don't have that on hand.

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  13. Hi Heather, I am not 100% sure if you can use regular milk in place of evaporated milk, I have never tried it. Evaporated milk makes a dish creamier and richer in flavor. But looking around I found this link to substitutions, maybe this will help you? http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html
    OR maybe you can make your own: http://frugalliving.about.com/od/makeyourowningredients/r/Evaporated_Milk.htm
    Hope this helps! Anyone out there use regular milk instead?

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  14. I want to make this for a dinner group we do Thursday nights... Do you think it would do ok to prepare it Wednesday night and then bake it Thursday before we meet up with friends?

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  15. Hi Beka,

    I would think that'd be ok. I would probably let the sauce cool down some before making the lasagna. Then when you're ready to bake it, allow for 10-15 more minutes of cook time if it's well chilled. Enjoy! =)

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  16. do you think this will freeze well? im expecting in two weeks and im on the hunt for easy meals to make and freeze for once baby gets here. im not really a whiz in the kitchen so just thought i would run it by before i ruined it :)

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  17. So I made this a few nights ago and I took your suggestion on the penne (we used whole wheat). I didn't want to mess with the lasagna noodles. I boiled 4 cups (dry) and it was way too much as I didn't see your suggestion about using two cups until AFTER I made it! I didn't put all the cooked noodles in and I felt like there were still just a few too many. Next time I'll use 2-3 cups. And I added a can of diced tomatoes, drained. Next time I'll add 2 (I love tomatoes and the sauce encouraged my son to eat them too). My only question/complaint is the sauce. Mine never thickened?! Has anyone tried this with maybe a can evo milk and an 8 ou container of sour cream and not mess with heating it? This was delicious and my family loved it! I was very impressed with how quickly it came together.

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  18. We made this tonight -- with our own ranch seasoning, and did as you suggested in making it into a pasta bake rather than a lasagna. We really enjoyed it!

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  19. Made this recipe tonight for dinner and had the same problem as a couple people had about the sauce curding but I thought it made it like a ricotta substitue. Great dish! Got the ok from the family to make again :-)

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  20. I made this tonight for a couple of friends and they really enjoyed it. I saw a lot of people complain about theirs curdling, so I stirred it constantly for the first ten mins, and then at least once every 30 seconds or so after that. Mine turned out great. I did add crumbled ritz crackers on the top layer before I topped it off with cheese. It really added a good texture and taste to it. Great recipe!

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  21. I made it with the pene pasta and added a corn flake crust. Really good.

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  22. I think that I may try to make this tonight! How much chicken (in lbs) did you need to get the 3 cups of cooked, cubed, chicken?

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  23. Just made this tonight and the husband and kids loved it! I can never please all 3 kids but this recipe did!

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  24. Did this last night - it was a hit but next time I will probably make extra sauce because it seem a little dry or maybe use the Penne pasta - but it was very tasty - thank you, Paula

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  25. Has anyone tried a skinny version? I see the whole wheat penne- low fat/no fat cheese and low fat or fat free evaporated milk? Looks tasty, but would love a skinny version!

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  26. I'm a chef in training and I have kind of a silly question. Do I need to cook the noodles before putting them in the lasanaga?

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  27. Hi @Anonymous, YES you will need to cook the pasta before using it in this recipe. Perhaps for a minute or two under regular time, since it will continue to bake in the oven. Good luck! Enjoy! =)

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  28. How did you cook the chicken before you baked it? Broil, boil, bake?

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  29. Hi @Heather, I roast a couple of chicken breasts 350' for 25 mins if boneless, or you could leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken from the deli.

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  30. Hi,

    I love the look of this recipe; I can almost smell its yummyness! One question, though: does the dish need to be covered with foil prior to being placed in the oven?

    Feeding 2 atheles who are eating us out of house and home,

    Smylie13

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  31. Hi @Smylie13, this dish does not need to be covered while baking. I know the feeling of being eaten out of house & home, I can't even get the groceries put away before they're tearing into them. =)

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  32. Thank you for the delicious recipe!
    I made this tonight in 2 small pans, one exactly as the recipe said and the other with crab instead of chicken. Both were DELICIOUS and simple!
    For the crab recipe, I used imitation crab leg chunks (16 oz) and shredded them by hand, tossed the meat with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, added about 1-2 tsp of garlic & herb spice, then just replaced the chicken layer with the crab. Next time I'll add spinach to the crab version.
    Thanks again!

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  33. I added a block of cream cheeses to the sauce and stirred a good bit. Also did the penne and a can of tomatoes. Ritz on top...can't wait to dive in...yum!

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  34. My son is allergic to wheat and you can find rice lasagna noodles if you didn't want to use the penne.

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  35. Do not use the no bake noodles whatever you do! It makes it to dry!!!

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  36. This was so good! My husband is heading out of town and said he was sad he couldn't eat the leftovers. Definitely a keeper! Thank you.

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  37. Have this in the oven now!! I'm scared now after reading the post that said NOT to use the oven ready noodles. That's all I had, so that's what I used! :/ fingers crossed that it's still tasty!

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  38. Does anyone know if this freezes well?

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  39. Hi Bethy,
    I have not froze this dish si I'm not sure how it'd turn out. You probably could, but I would probably add extra liquid since the pasta might soak it all up, plus the cooking time later might soak it up too. Maybe use 3 can evap. milk, 2 pkts of ranch dressing mix, make it the 9x13 size but freeze half??

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  40. Unfortunately I couldn't taste the ranch at ALL. I did taste cheese though. I'd suggest doubling the ranch (or drizzling some real ranch on top). I added crumbled bacon to the top straight out of the oven which was delightful.

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  41. When you say cubed, cooked chicken... How should you cook the chicken or are you saying when it's combined?
    Thank you!

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  42. Hi Anonymous, I used precooked chicken, just some I had roasted off earlier in the day. Could be leftover baked chicken or even a deli rotisserie chicken if you like.

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  43. What is sprinkled on the top? Parmesan cheese and parsley?

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  44. Hi Anonymous, Yes it's the dry parmesan and dried parsely for garnish. :)

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  45. This looks so good... my family thinks I make too much chicken... maybe they'll eat this one!

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  46. I must have missed something in the recipe, because this didn't work out well at all.
    The main issue was not enough liquid to cook the raw pasta, so I added a bit of water to the dish, when I went to bake it. I left it uncovered, so much of the pasta didn't cook, so then I covered it. It was edible, but will definitely make changes for next time.

    First off, I double the amount of ranch powder and it still wasn't ranchy. Will try it with alfredo sauce next time, as evap milk is expensive and doesn't give much flavor.

    I also added some bacon to the pan, when I cooked my chicken cubes.

    Next, pre-cook the pasta for 5-6 minutes; I used farfalle/bowtie. Pour sauce over it, mix and then put on the cheese.

    Bake and I think it will turn out much better.

    For the original, are you supposed to pre-cook the lasagna noodles? If not, then you need to cover it, or it seems the pasta won't cook properly, as the liquid is too little. I used a 9x13 pan and it barely came half-way. I suggest using a 9x9 instead.

    Thanks for the recipe though. I think my modifications will make it great.

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  47. Hi Jeanne,

    Yes you use cooked pasta in this recipe (al dente because it'll cook more in the oven).

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  48. Great in the CrockPot.... Layer ingredients (un-cooked) in the crockpot and cook on high for 2.5-3 hrs or low 5-6 hrs... (I used 3 cups of 2% milk instead of evaporated milk, mixed it with the Ranch seasoning).... EASY, EASY, EASY

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  49. My fiance and I loved it! He never eats left overs but wanted to take some to work the next day. I took the advice of a few people saying it was a little dry and lacked ranch flavor, so I used 3 cans of evaporated milk and 2 ranch packets, and a few a few onions. I also did the casserole version to avoid the lasagna noodles and added a little more salt and pepper to milk mixture. It was so incredible I don't even know how I would adjust it next time! Thank you for the recipe!

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  50. I tried this but my sauce never thickened. The taste was very good but it was just soupy. I guess I went wrong somewhere but I don't know where

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  51. This looks yummy! Can't wait to try it! Just a heads-up, you may have a virus embedded in one of your ads or something, my anti-virus software went nuts trying to block "malicious URLs" on the page.

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  52. Hi all! I just wanted to add my two cents on here. There really is no reason for the sauce to curdle. Patience is the key. What I suggest is cooking it at a lower medium and then turning it down to low just before boiling. Stir often until it thickens. Then, if you are wanting to save the casserole for later (i.e. freeze it) remove the pan to a hot pad on the counter and continue to stir every thirty or so seconds until the sauce has reached a temperature when you can safely put a finger in the sauce and not burn yourself. The reason it curdles is because it is still cooking as long as the pan is hot. Just my advice. I did this and the sauce froze beautifully. Time consuming for sure but it is worth it! Great recipe!! :)

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  53. Question for jrkaman ~
    You mentioned yours turned out great when you froze it...did you use an extra can of evaporated milk & packet of ranch dressing mix when you did that? I want to make it for a freezer meal as well! Thanks!

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  54. This is awesomely good! Takes a while, but it's worth it! Share more recipes, thanks.

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  55. My family and I loved this - thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I added a 10 oz package of thawed spinach into the layers. My boys (ages 6 and 7) both said that this was a re-do-er (code in our house for yum, when ya gonna make this again, mom)

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