Last-Minute Lasagna

I'm not a huge fan of pre-made sauces and dips, boxed mixes and the like, but every once in awhile I let down my guard and put a jar of TOSTITOS® Creamy Spinach Dip in my shopping cart. It probably has all sorts of bad things in it, but I discovered it several years ago when I wasn't as concerned with ingredients and sometimes I have a craving for it. It might be the crunch of the water chestnuts mixed with the creaminess of the dip, but whatever it is, I don't hate it. In fact, it's pretty tasty...for a jarred dip. And recently, it was my saving grace.
I was having one of those weeks where we were running out of food and didn't have a grocery run planned until the weekend. I saw some no-bake lasagna noodles high on the pantry shelf and knew that I had some homemade tomato sauce in the freezer, so I decided to make semi-homemade lasagna. We also had some leftover cooked chicken breast, which I chopped up into bitty pieces. I grabbed a jar of sun-dried tomatoes from the fridge, along with some chopped kale and shredded mozzarella.

I had just started assembling the lasagna when I realized I was missing one of the most important ingredients: Ricotta! I considered making a béchamel sauce instead, but it's so rich, and I didn't really want my dish to go that route. As I stared into the fridge hoping some ricotta would appear out of thin air, the jar of spinach dip caught my eye. Jackpot!

I grabbed the jar and used the dip for what would have been the ricotta layers. As I smothered the top layer of noodles with cheese and sauce, I said a little prayer to the cookery gods, covered the pan with foil, and popped it into a warm oven. About an hour later, I had a beautifully browned and bubbly lasagna. When it had cooled a bit, I cut a piece and hooray! It was delicious! Gooey and flavorful, and everything a lasagna should be.
So, while next time I'll make my own spinach dip, I will give a slight nod of approval to the pre-made kind. After all, dinner was saved by that little jar with the green lid.