Grits and Gouda: Slow Cooker Chicken Spinach Lasagna

Slow Cooker Chicken Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups loosely shredded or coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I use rotisserie white and dark meat or leftover chicken breasts)
  • 2 10.5-oz cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8-oz carton sour cream (1 cup)
  • 3 cups pre-shredded mozzarella cheese (12-oz) or 1 1/2 (8-oz) blocks, shredded
  • 3/4 cup pre-shredded, grated, or shaved Parmesan cheese (3 ounces) or 3 ounces fresh Parmesan, finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (optional) I used frozen, thawed this time but usually fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray or oil spritzer
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles

Instructions:

1. Squeeze the water from the thawed frozen spinach. I thaw mine in the microwave (remove wrapping from the box first-some have metal in them). Microwave on high for about 1 minute and break it up in chunks with your hands, then microwave it again for about 30 seconds.

You can press the water out in a colander with the back of a spoon but I have better luck by squeezing it with my clean hands.

2. Combine the spinach in a large bowl with the chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, milk, onion (if using), and garlic salt (or garlic powder + salt). Be sure to hold out the remaining cheese to put on top.

3. Coat the slow cooker pot with cooking spray or spritz with oil. Arrange 3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of the slow cooker pot, breaking them in half as necessary to fit. It's ok that not every inch is covered.

4. Spoon one third of the spinach mixture over the top of the first layer of lasagna noodles. Then, repeat the layers of lasagna noodles and spinach mixture ending with the last one-third of spinach mixture on the top.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over the top and place the lid on the slow cooker.

5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until the edges are browned and the mixture is bubbly.

Note: I don’t recommend trying to shorten the cooking time by cooking it on HIGH. It needs the low and slow temperature for the noodles to soak up the moisture in the spinach mixture.

Note: An oblong/oval slow cooker is better than a tall round one because it creates more surface area. A 6 to 7 quart slow cooker will be too large.

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