Chicken Alfredo Fiesta Lasagna

  
Comfort food at its best! There's nothing better than a great pasta dish in the dead of winter. Add some Italian bread and a small salad and you're good to go. I love to tinker with recipes. This is one of them. We all love lasagna, but why not pep it up a bit with some peppers and chicken and lots and lots of cheese. It's truly a quick and easy recipe that your family will love.

I concocted this recipe when I had purchased a rotisserie chicken and couldn't decide what to do with it. I love buying those yummy chickens for a lot of recipes. It's so much easier than cooking the chicken first. All the work is done for you. Just debone the chicken and you have a base for so many good recipes...like this one! Plus if you save the scraps, you can make about 4 cups of broth to be used in other recipes. So one chicken equals more than one meal.

I have been using a recipe for regular lasagna for many many years. My old roommate introduced me to lasagna. I had never had it before. My Mom was Polish and her recipes were more Polish oriented than anything else. I used my roommate's recipe as my base, but substituted ground beef and red sauce with chicken and alfredo sauce...and a few other tasty ingredients. I like my Italian food to have a little kick, so by adding one package of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip mix and some pepperoncinis gave this recipe the zing I wanted.
Along with the fiesta dip and peperoncinis, you can add any other ingredient that you think would add more flavor such as bacon, spinach, mushrooms etc. Whatever is added will taste great with the chicken, cheese and alfredo sauce. This recipe is like a Greek-Italian-Mexican dish. It's so so tasty!
Let's Make Chicken Alfredo Fiesta Lasagna...
First we need a grocery list. Everything on this list is optional for your taste. I would recommend that you use the Fiesta dip though, because that really adds the flavor. The peperoncinis can be optional as they definitely add more heat.

Grocery List:
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 2 jars alfredo sauce
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta dip mix
  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 16 oz. Mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
Optional additions:
  • bacon
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
I know most lasagnas use ricotta cheese. I really don't care for the flavor of ricotta, so I use cream cheese. I believe cream cheese has more flavor where ricotta is kind of bland. It's just me, so if you want to use ricotta, go for it.
We'll start by mixing the Alfredo sauce and the Hidden Valley Fiesta dip in a large bowl and set aside. Chop up your bacon (if using) and your rotiserrie chicken and place in refrigerator until you're ready to use.
I like a lot of sauce, so I used two full jars and one pack of the dip. If you aren't an Alfredo lover, you can cut back on the total amount you are using. But, don't forget the sauce is where all the flavor is...

Also precook your lasagna noodles and set them aside until ready to use.
Now it's time to start building the lasagna...start by putting 1/4 to 1/2 cup of alfredo sauce mix in the bottom of a 9X13" pan or an aluminum pan. Then start layering:
  • sauce (bottom)
  • noodles
  • sauce
  • chicken
  • bacon
  • cream cheese (in small pieces)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • if using spinach or mushrooms add them on all layers also
Then repeat the above two more times. Divide the alfredo sauce to cover the noodles three times, not including the bottom. Basically the bottom layer of sauce is to prevent the noodles from sticking to the pan.
Once all the layers are complete, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator or you can freeze it at this point for up to 3 months.
You can also make two 9X9" pans instead of one 9X13" pan and eat one now and freeze one for later.
And here it is...all golden brown and cheesy...such a great Italian dish! 

Chicken Alfredo Fiesta Lasagna Recipe...
Ingredients:
  • 1 rotisserie chicken (cut in bite size pieces)
  • 2 jars alfredo sauce
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip mix
  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 16 oz. Mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • bacon (opt.)
  • spinach (opt.)
  • mushrooms (opt.)
  • peperoncinis (opt.)
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook bacon if using.
  3. Cut up chicken into bite size pieces. Place both chicken and bacon in refrigerator until needed.
  4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
  5. Place about 1/4"-1/2" cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
  6. Cover with lasagna noodles. (I used 3 for each layer)
  7. Place another layer of sauce, covering the noodles completely
  8. Place 1/3 of the rotisserie chicken, 1/3 of the cooked bacon, 1/3 of mushrooms or spinach, or peperoncinis on top of the chicken and bacon (if using).
  9. Place small chunks of cream cheese on top.
  10. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  11. Place shredded mozzarella on top of parmesan.
  12. Repeat steps 5-10 two more times.
At this point your lasagna is either ready to cook or freeze. Bake for 75 minutes (if thawed, or up to 2 hours frozen). I usually thaw it first before baking.. Oven temps vary, so just keep checking after 60 mintues. Some ovens run cooler and some run warmer. The top of your lasagna should be golden brown. If it starts to brown to fast, just tent a piece of aluminum foil on top. And that's all there is to it...this recipe is so very yummy!

One Final Thought...
Whether it's Italian, Polish, Mexican or any other ethnicity, recipes that our Moms, or in this case friends taught us to make are the greatest recipes of all. 

I always had issues reading my mom's recipes, because they usually didn't have any measurements. It was just a little of this, or little of that...I'm sure many of you had the same issue. The one thing she didn't tell me was that as I learned more and more about cooking, the measurements would definitely make sense and like learning how to ride a bike, you never forget...and she was right. Now I change up recipes to the way I like them. Of course, I never write the recipe down and so the same recipe might have a different flavor the next time I make it. But that's okay, because changing up recipes makes them much more interesting!


Always remember..."Life's short...eat dessert first!"...words to live by!