Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Condensed Soup Challenge: Transformed Into Alfredo Veggie Lasagna

This recipe was inspired by the lone can of Campbell's condensed cream of broccoli soup I had sitting in the pantry.  I had no idea why I bought it, it must have been for a recipe I was interested in a long time ago since I couldn't even recall buying it in the first place.  I figured I should probably use it up, which is usually a great way to provoke some creativity in the kitchen.  I started with my classic approach, search on the internet, this time looking for recipes using "cream of" soup. I found the shortcut alfredo lasagna recipe linked below, but decided it was healthier to make a version with a lot more veggies, regular noodles, and a lot less cheese.  Hopefully you find it motivating enough to make your own version!


Making The Dish

Our kitchen was chaos while I was preparing this recipe when I was home from work over lunchtime. I had three burners going at one time, was putting together two versions of the dish (one with mushrooms for me), and chopping up loads of veggies. I used an 8x8 baking dish and I think something like a 9x7. 
Sideways shot of my kitchen counter while working on this dish.
I made the alfredo sauce, but used only half the amount of milk and added the can of Campbell's condensed cream of broccoli soup. It was the perfect texture and I didn't need to change anything. 
Creamy layers.

I layered my new creation of broccoli alfredo sauce with lasagna noodles, bell pepper (cut paper-thin on my mandolin slicer), zucchini (cut thin as well), a bit of torn spinach, sauteed shredded carrot, sauteed sliced mushrooms, and shredded mozzarella.  I pre-cooked the carrot because otherwise it might not have been enough time in the oven to soften it properly.  I pre-cooked the mushrooms so they didn't release all their liquid and make my pan too wet.

I hadn't planned too well when figuring out how many noodles I needed.  I laid the dry noodles out in several various baking dishes to see what configuration would fit best in the right size baking dishes.  I worked it out that there would be two layers in each dish (that's all the noodles I had in the house, seemed perfect), but forgot that when you make lasagna you need to end with a layer of noodles on top to keep everything from drying out.  Luckily I had to trim the noodles to fit into my two baking dishes and ended up with enough scraps to make top layers for both dishes. 

Deliciousness inside
I put them together over lunch and then packaged them up and put them in the refrigerator so I could bake them when I got home.  It took about 50 minutes to bake at the ubiquitous 350 degrees, half of the time covered with foil and the second half uncovered.  


This dish turned out great.  It was even better once we added a sprinkle of salt to the servings on our plates.  I'm still not very good at properly seasoning my dishes.  I'm always afraid I'm going to over-salt it since I like my food a little saltier, so it ends up that I under-salt it since I'm so paranoid about it.  If I had properly seasoned it from the start, it probably would have taken less salt overall.  I was afraid that the canned soup was going to be more than enough salt. 

It ended up that Sonny D never even tried this dish.  I'm still not sure if he would have liked it or not.  The veggies might have turned him off, but the creamy cheese sauce might have been appealing.  That kid is such an enigma.

I love making dishes that leave you with leftovers so you can have them for lunch later in the week.  This made several servings, probably about 6-8 depending on how hungry you are.     

My version was vegetarian, but it would be great with some cooked chicken.  And of course bacon would be welcome.  For veggies you could also add cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, broccoli, peas, artichoke hearts, asparagus, etc.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!