Gluten Free, Spicy Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Hi friends! I took a detour this morning outside to the pool. It was incredibly refreshing and lifted my spirits just as I hoped it would. The world around me was buzzing by helicopters, pool inspector and lawn people but I was engulfed with my newest book and was lost in the words. It was a perfect morning setting and I thoroughly enjoyed those few hours of solidarity and disconnect from the modern world. Well kind of. I have an iPhone no I am never too far from technological bliss. Now I’m sitting out on the screened deck drying off and thinking that I should have reapplied some of the sunscreen that was ultimately wiped away when I dunked in and out of the water. It’s a great day here, but it’s a scorcher. It feels like 110 degrees. Can you believe that? I am thinking maybe leftovers would be easier tonight than making what I set out to make. God knows I have tons of leftovers from last night, which is really the reason you all are here. Right? You want to know what delicious recipe I have for you.

A couple of months ago I had a gluten – free miniseries, which was a huge hit in my home and among some of my blogger friends. In the weeks that have passed since that miniseries I have incorporated gluten free meals every now and again. One of the biggest hits during that GF week was a Chicken Lasagna meal. Well I have been craving something along those lines but I wanted to twist it up a bit. Nothing too fancy, just a different take on flavors. So what I have for you today is a hybrid of my Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sliders and my Gluten Free Chicken Lasagna. Are you ready to see what is in store for you today?? Well, today I have for you an AMAZING [yes, AMAZING] Gluten Free, Buffalo Chicken Lasagna recipe! It’s a little time consuming and may not make some of your kitchens feel cool and airy [especially if you are trying to minimize your central air flow or don’t have your air conditioners running] but it is well worth the heat to make this up on a slightly cooler day.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Gluten free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 box rice lasagna noodles

 

  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) block extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces grated parmesan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (4 ounce) container feta cheese
  • 1 bottle buffalo wing sauce

Directions:          

  • Prepare your chicken. I used a crock pot. My chicken was already defrosted so I plopped the chicken into my crock pot and covered with gluten free chicken broth, about a tablespoon of pepper, ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper, ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and 1 tablespoon sugar and allowed to cook for about 3 hours on high heat and 2 hours on low heat. I checked on the chicken every hour or 2.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Lightly grease the bottom of a lasagna style baking dish
  • In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add the peppers, spinach, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Stir for a minute or two.

  • Lower the heat and add 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and herbs then season with salt & pepper
  • Stir and cook for 5 minutes and add ¼ to ½ cup gluten free chicken broth from the crock pot
  • Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced and the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes
  • In the meantime, remove the chicken from the crock pot and heat up another skillet with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Once the olive oil is heated, add the chicken and generously brush each breast with some of the spicy hot buffalo wing sauce

  • Remove, shred the chicken, adding some additional tablespoons of the spicy sauce and about 5 minutes before your vegetables are done add the chicken to the vegetable mixture

  • In the meantime, combine the cheeses [only use 4 ounces of the shredded cheddar cheese] with the beaten egg

  • In another large bowl combine the canned tomato sauce, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and an additional ¼ cup of the chicken broth from the crock pot in order to thin the sauce down a bit. Then whisk it together.
  • If the mixture still seems thick, add a bit more of the broth
  • Spoon ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish

  • Arrange 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish
  • Cover evenly with the vegetable & chicken mixture, pressing down with a spatula to make a compact layer
  • Spoon ¼ cup of sauce over that layer
  • Top with another 1/3 of the lasagna noodles and press down again
  • Spread the cheese mixture in an even layer. Add some more sauce and add the remaining lasagna noodles
  • Cover with the remaining sauce, allowing the sauce to seep in and around the sides of the dish

  • Top with large chunks of feta cheese and the cheddar cheese, making sure to scatter it all over the top
  • Cover the lasagna loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour or until the lasagna is hot and bubbly*
  • In the last 5 minutes, put the oven on broil and allow the cheese to bubble up and brown slightly
  • Remove from oven and allow cooling slightly before serving!

*Note it takes about 60 to 70 minutes to cook if the noodles are cooked already [my noodles were cooked]. If your noodles are  not cooked please allow an addition 30 minutes or so of cook time until the noodles are fork tender and done to perfection! 

In the moments before I added this wonderful lasagna to my oven I had a stroke of genius about how well homemade garlic bread would pair with this dish. I was not about to send Nick over to the store to pick up manufactured bread to pair with this homemade brilliant concoction, so garlic bread will appear next time, I promise! It may seem a little time consuming [and it is] but it is well worth the time! We have plenty left over to eat today, another scorching hot pre-summer day, if I flake out on our already planned meal! We will see!

This dish has quite the kick, so if you are not a spicy food fanatic just go with the mild version of the wing sauce. It will pack as much flavor as the spicy version, I am positive of that! This dish was incredibly delicious AND… yep, AND it is GLUTEN FREE!!! How awesome is that?? It doesn’t get much better, I can promise you that much!!

I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Gluten – Free Experimenting!