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Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

We had friends over for dinner and I wanted to make a hearty and healthy dish. I decided to make a lasagna using some ground chicken and basil sausage (that I get from my local grocery meat department), fresh kale sautéed with tons of garlic, and slightly caramelized onion. It was fairly simple to make and was a big hit with the adults (although my husband admitted he didn’t care for the kale). One of the kids had seconds but the rest thought it was just okay. My girlfriend, her husband, and I all thought it was excellent and really loved the flavor and texture the kale added to this lasagna. I loved the fact that this lasagna was filling and tasty but also fairly healthy too.

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

How to Make a Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 20-30  minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in another skillet over medium heat, cook chicken and basil sausage making sure to break it up into crumbles. Add the crushed fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes and mix until well combined. Once the meat is brown remove it from heat; set it aside.

Heat a little more olive oil in the same skillet then add the kale along with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring often until it starts to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Combine the caramelized onion, garlicky kale, and chicken sausage together in a bowl; stir until well combined. Set aside.

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

In a large bowl, add ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, Asiago cheese, fresh chopped basil, nutmeg, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Combine until mixed thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan cooking spray then layer with just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the marinara with lasagna noodles covering the entire bottom of the pan with them. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then spoon half of the chicken/kale/onion mixture on top; spoon some sauce on top of the meat mixture.

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Add more noodles to cover the meat mixture then top with the remaining ricotta mixture followed by the last of the meat mixture. Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the top with dried basil, to taste.

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Bake covered in oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy.

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Chicken Basil Sausage, Garlicky Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • 9x13-inch Baking Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil more if needed
  • 2 sweet yellow onions sliced thickly
  • 1 pound of chicken basil sausage without casing or whatever chicken sausage you'd prefer
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds ground with mortar & pestle
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of fresh kale chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • ½ cup of Asiago cheese
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 12 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded (divided)
  • 4 cups of marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought), more if desired
  • Dried basil to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 20-30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in another skillet over medium heat, cook chicken and basil sausage making sure to break it up into crumbles. Add the crushed fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes and mix until well combined. Once the meat is brown remove it from heat; set it aside.
  • Heat a little more olive oil in the same skillet then add the kale along with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring often until it starts to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Combine the caramelized onion, garlicky kale, and chicken sausage together in a bowl; stir until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, Asiago cheese, fresh chopped basil, nutmeg, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Combine until mixed thoroughly.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan cooking spray then layer with just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the marinara with lasagna noodles covering the entire bottom of the pan with them. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then spoon half of the chicken/kale/onion mixture on top; spoon some sauce on top of the meat mixture. Add more noodles to cover the meat mixture then top with the remaining ricotta mixture followed by the last of the meat mixture. Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the top with dried basil, to taste.
  • Bake covered in oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy.
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19 Comments

  1. Looks delicious and healthy Pam. Bev and I can both eat plain kale but prefer to hide it in other dishes like this, soup, etc.

  2. This lasagne looks great! We love kale in our house. I, too, sometimes don’t like the texture of the kale, so now when I want to add it to something, I bake it first into chips and then crumble it over my dish. It works beautifully this way.
    Lovely recipe, thanks!

    Nazneen