Ok guys, are you ready for this? I’ve been itching to make some lasagna roll ups for FOREVER but just haven’t gotten around to doing it until now. It just so happens that on the same day I wanted to make them I also had a mad craving for bacon. SO I figured out a way to throw some bacon into the mix and these bad boys were born.
I have absolutely nothing against luxuriously fattening cream sauces and wish the heart disease gods would take it off the naughty list so I could have a bowl of alfredo every afternoon for lunch. But alas, they haven’t listened to my pleadings. Likewise, the love handle gods aren’t cooperating either so I decided to make this as skinny as possible without sacrificing flavor. The results were so good that I couldn’t wait to share it with you any longer!
Pasta with bacon AND a creamy sauce that’s moderately healthy? Um, yaaasssssss!
Each roll is layered with low fat ricotta cheese and flavored with romano cheese that has a strong (but not crazily overpowering) flavor so you don’t need very much of it. Less cheese = fewer calories. On top of the ricotta is basil pesto followed by some shredded chicken and a little bit of bacon that gives the whole dish a little smokiness. Since you’re cooking and draining the bacon ahead of time we’ll leave behind all the calories from the drippings and each roll only needs a little bit to give it good flavor.
To top them off, we’re going to make a sauce made from equal parts 2% milk and chicken broth that is thickened with flour and flavored with a little bit more romano cheese and garlic. It’s creamy, flavorful, and thickens up even more as it cooks in the oven. So good! Sprinkling the tops with a little bit of mozzarella cheese it totally optional but I thoroughly recommend it.
Once they come out of the oven you can make them pretty by sprinkling on a little big of chopped fresh parsley if you’d like. But I think they’ll get eaten up in no time even if you don’t.
Skinny Chicken Bacon and Pesto Lasagna Roll Ups
In the mood for some creamy, cheesy pasta without blowing your diet? These lasagna roll ups use low-fat cheese and dairy and taste just as naughty as the real thing. With the addition of a little bacon you feel like you're REALLY indulging.
- 2 C cooked and shredded chicken
- 12 oz bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- 8 lasagna noodles
- 3/4 C romano cheese, finely grated and divided
- 16 oz part skim Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 C prepared basil pesto
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 C 2% milk
- 1 C chicken broth
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2-1 C part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, drain and drizzle a little bit of oil over the top of them to prevent sticking.
- In a small saucepan melt butter and cook garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Whisk in milk and chicken broth and stir until it comes to a boil and is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ tsp kosher salt and ¼ C of the romano cheese.
- In a small bowl combine ricotta cheese with remaining ½ C of romano and ½ tsp kosher salt.
- Ladle and spread about ½ C of the sauce across the bottom of a 9x13" pan.
- Working one at a time, lay a lasagna noodle on a cutting board and spread with 3-4 Tbsp of the ricotta mixture followed by 1 Tbsp of pesto.
- Sprinkle about ¼ C of chicken and a tablespoon of bacon over the pesto. Starting at one end, roll the lasagna noodle like a cinnamon roll and place seam side down in the pan. Repeat with the remaining noodles.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover pan with foil and bak for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the tops of the rolls are just starting to brown.
by Heather Cheney
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