Take-out Tuesday, Slow Cooker Marco Polo Lasagna with Spinach and Artichokes

I admit, I have been skeptical about making lasagna in a slow cooker

lasagna with chicken, spinach and artichokes thepaintedapron.com

As I was making this I kept adding more ingredients, sort of like insurance, to make this extra tasty in case it turned into a masterpiece mess

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But it didn’t! It actually worked! It looked like lasagna!

Marco polo lasagna with spinach and artichokes thepaintedapron.com

And it smelled amazing while it was cooking~

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This is actually a combo of 3 of my very favorite things, Chicken Marco Polo [chicken stuffed with ham and cheese], Spinach and Artichoke Dip, and Slow Cooker recipes.  It is also very similar to a pasta dish I made recently, Chicken Alfredo Pasta.  You can see my recipe for Chicken Marco Polo here and another recipe for White Chicken Lasagna here

crock pot lasagna thepaintedapron.com

Go ahead and cook, thaw, and drain the spinach and artichokes

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I did some extra steps that you can certainly eliminate to make it extra quick

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I sauteed chicken, but you could use leftover or rotisserie chicken

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I also sauteed some artichoke hearts to get a little color and extra flavor in them, but leave them out if you’re not a fan

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And then I decided a little ham might be extra delicious, but you can add it without the saute, or skip altogether and use a little more chicken

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With no boil lasagna noodles it’s almost ready to build

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Mix part skim ricotta, light sour cream and chopped spinach and then dump a ton  add a little Italian mix shredded cheese*

*I usually don’t use pre-shredded cheese, but I found the Italian blends are very good, plus handy.  You can use Mozzarella if you prefer but this has so much more flavor, you can use a lot less and save calories.

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Season with salt and pepper, garlic powder and some freshly grated nutmeg

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Okay, now here’s where I decided it might just need some extra “sauciness,” especially in the bottom of the slow cooker

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So out came my trusty friend, Light Alfredo sauce.  You could substitute any cream soup here,  Cream of Mushroom, Chicken or Celery, but a little of this light Alfredo goes a long way and it tastes soooo good.  I only put enough to cover the bottom of a cooking spray coated slow cooker, 2-3 T, to keep the noodles hydrated and not stuck to the bottom

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And the fun begins!  Top the sauce with noodles, breaking to fit

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top with 1/3 of chicken, ham and artichokes

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Top meat with 1/3 spinach ricotta mixture and some fresh Parmesan shavings.  Top with another layer of noodles and spread 1-2 T of Light Alfredo Sauce over noodles.  This will keep the noodles hydrated so they will soften.

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You can use any kind of cheese you like, but I prefer freshly shaved Parmesan.  You get a lot of flavor with small amounts, it has much less fat and calories than other cheeses, but you won’t get the gooiness of Mozzarella so use whatever suits you.

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repeat layers 2 more times, ending with noodles, covering with a little more sauce and Parmesan.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour and then turn to low for 2-3 more hours or cook on low for 4 hours.

slow cooker lasagna thepaintedapron.com

To serve, insert a knife straight down to the bottom and cut across the diameter of the pot, then cut into a portion.  Use a large spoon and a spatula and carefully lift the serving out onto a plate

slow cooker lasagna with chicken and spinach thepaintedapron.com

Dinner is ready!

Marco polo lasagna with spinach and artichokes thepaintedapron.com

HH loved this! Mr. “I don’t like lasagna!”  And it really is light.  You don’t feel overfull like you can after some pasta dishes.

Here’s the recipe:

SLOW COOKER MARCO POLO LASAGNA with SPINACH AND ARTICHOKES

for a printable version click here

2 boneless chicken breasts

4 1/8″ slices deli ham, not  too thin or shaved

1 box frozen artichoke hearts

1 box forzen chopped spinach

8-10 no boil lasagna sheets

1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup light Alfredo sauce [I used 1/2 of a 10oz. tube of Buitoni]

2-3 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese

2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan

S&P

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg

1 T unsalted butter [for sauteeing chicken]

1 T olive oil [for sauteeing chicken]

Cook or defrost vegetables and drain well.  Cut chicken into 6-8 pieces for faster cooking and saute in a skillet with butter and olive oil or medium high heat.  When chicken is just about done add artichokes and stir for  a minute to color.  Remove chicken and artichokes and add ham and stir fry fo 1-2 minutes.

Mix ricotta and sour cream and add drained and squeezed dried spinach.  Add seasonings to taste and Italian blend shredded cheese.  Stir to combine

In the bottom of a cooking oil sprayed slow cooker [ I use a round 3 Quart] spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce, 1-2 T. Top with 2 or2 1/2 lasagna noodles, breaking to fit.  Top with 1/3 of chicken, ham and artichokes.  Top with 1/3 spinach mixture and a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan.  Repeat 2 more times then top with remaining noodles, sauce and Parmesan.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or High for the first hour and then low for 2-3 more.  Makes 4 large servings

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Comments
7 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Slow Cooker Marco Polo Lasagna with Spinach and Artichokes”
  1. Mary says:

    A must try recipe Jenna! I’ve seen lots of slow cooker lasagna recipes lately, love your combo of flavors!

    Like

  2. lulu says:

    I must confess to never having thought about making lasagna in a slow cooker, however, you may have just given me the incentive. Love the flavors you’ve introduced.

    Like

  3. I am aware of slow cooker lasagna but still have yet to try any. This definitely makes me want to! Plus, I’ve also been wanting to make homemade spinach and artichoke dip (kind of like what you can get at Applebees). Thanks for sharing! I have pinned for the future (very near future, to be exact).

    Like

  4. Marigene says:

    I would never have thought to do lasagna in a slow cooker, but this recipe sure does tempt me. What isn’t there to love with a little chicken, ham, spinach, artichokes and cheese!

    Like

  5. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Sounds like a tasty dinner:@)

    Like

  6. Besa says:

    Looks like a very tasty and easy dish to make. I am must try the recipe.Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  7. Christine says:

    oh boy Jenna that looks great…will be pinning this….thanks for leaving me a sweet comment on my Little Brags blog….I know the bunny is always a show stealer,,,lol…

    Like

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