Lasagne in round dish with basil and tomato on top
Chicken lasagne is a healthier alternative to using ground beef or red meat | Credit: Unsplash

Lasagne, the Italian staple is famously enjoyed both at family gatherings and for intimate date nights. 

There are many ways to describe lasagne, from its cheesy goodness; to the inviting brown meat and red tomato sauce; to the infectious smell that will immediately have your mouth watering. Arguably, a lasagne is a meal on it’s own but it is famously accompanied with a side of salad or fresh bread. 

Taking after his  father’s designated position, Lucien Fleming is his family’s chef. Cooking isn’t something he does for a living, but it is something he has a passion for.

He says, “My father was our family’s chef and he basically taught me everything that I know.”

His eyes light up as he says, “I just love the different things you can do with food, and I especially love the look on people’s faces when they taste what I make and say how much they love it.”

Lucien’s quality home-cooked food has become the go-to among family, friends and almost his entire neighbourhood. 

Lasagne has been one of the ‘main acts’ in the Fleming kitchen for years, making regular appearances at the dinner table every Sunday after church and at Christmas.

But Lucien wanted to do something different. 

He searched online and found a recipe for chicken lasagne. It looked interesting, so he decided to try it.

He says, “I used the recipe I found as kind of a guide, but I just ended up improvising, experimenting and I added my own personal ingredients.”

Through trial and error, Lucien’s own version of the chicken lasagne was born. When it made its debut in his kitchen, it was an instant hit.

“It’s become a favourite among family and friends. They actually prefer it over regular lasagne,” he says.

It is also a healthier alternative to its traditional counterpart, as it doesn’t use ground beef or red meat.

Want to try it? Here’s the recipe.

Lucien Fleming’s chicken lasagne recipe

Ingredients:
Two chicken breasts
Four lasagne sheets
Ricotta cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Two eggs
One garlic clove; finely chopped
One onion; finely chopped
Spinach; finely chopped
Parsley flakes (or finely chopped parsley)
Butter
Salt
Black pepper
Flour
Whipping cream 

Tip: Lucien says that the amount of ingredients needed will depend on the size of the lasagne you want to make or number of servings you need.

Prepping: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper in a bowl. Let the chicken marinate for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Preparing the spinach sauce: 

2. While the chicken is marinating, wash the spinach and then chop it finely. Lucien suggests not chopping them too finely so they can still be visible in the dish. Chop the garlic clove and onion finely as well.  

3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on your stove top using low heat. Add the spinach, onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper while in the saucepan. Add some whipping cream and let the ingredients simmer for three minutes. 

Preparing the chicken: 

4. When chicken is finished marinating, boil in a pot of water for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink. Then, remove from the stove and let the chicken cool.

5. Once the chicken has cooled, dice or strip into smaller pieces as desired. 

Making the cheese sauce and preparing the lasagne: 

6. For the cheese sauce, beat the two eggs into a bowl with ricotta cheese. Add the parsley flakes, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. 

7. Boil the lasagne sheets for five to eight minutes. When finished, drain water and let the sheets dry in paper towel. 

Getting ready to bake and serve: 

8. Grease a baking pan with butter. Prepare the pan by dusting flour to and then spread three to four lasagne sheets (or an appropriate amount depending on the size of the baking pan) to cover the bottom of the pan. Start layering the lasagne by pouring a layer of the ricotta cheese sauce onto the lasagne sheets. Lay out some of the diced/stripped chicken. If extra cheesiness is desired, add more parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Then, pour in the spinach sauce. Add another layer of these ingredients and continue to repeat this process until you reach the top of the baking pan.

9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. When completed, let the lasagne cool properly for another 30 minutes so the lasagne can maintain its firmness when it is cut. Serve as desired.