White Chicken Lasagna

By : | Comments Off on White Chicken Lasagna | On : October 12, 2021 | Category : Casseroles, Chicken, Freezer Meals, italian, Kid Friendly, make-ahead, Nut-Free, Pasta

A spatula lifting a piece of lasagna from a baking dish.

This White Chicken Lasagna is layered with a creamy spinach white sauce and baked until tender and golden brown. This easy chicken lasagna recipe utilizes store-bought rotisserie chicken and is a delicious make-ahead meal!

A spatula lifting a piece of lasagna from a baking dish.

If you are a lasagna lover (and who isn’t?), you need to get this White Chicken Lasagna on your menu very soon. It’s really quite easy to put together and when you pull it out of the oven, you’ll feel like an accomplished chef. It’s almost as beautiful as it is delicious. Almost.

There is no thick, heavy tomato-based sauce in this creamy chicken lasagna recipe. Instead, this unique and delicious lasagna is layered with a luscious, Italian-seasoned spinach white sauce, a seasoned ricotta and sour cream mixture, shredded rotisserie chicken, and plenty of mozzarella cheese.

Two plates with lasagna shot from over the top.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You can choose ingredients to make this White Chicken Lasagna as rich or as light as you’d like.
  • Using rotisserie chicken makes it quick and easy to put together.
  • It can be made in advance and frozen for an easy meal on a busy day.
  • Leftovers reheat beautifully.

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for White Chicken Lasagna with overlay text.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lasagna noodles – You want regular curly edge noodles, not the no-boil variety.
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole milk – I find whole milk to be plenty rich in this but if you really want to amp up the richness, you can substitute half and half.
  • Low sodium chicken broth – I always make my own using Reduced Sodium Better Than Bullion Chicken Base.
  • Dried basil, oregano, and thyme – Dried herbs pack a punch in both the white sauce and creamy ricotta mixture.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh baby spinach – Roughly chopped – just run your knife threw the pile a few times.
  • Ricotta cheese – I always use part-skim but if you’d like a richer result, go with whole milk ricotta.
  • Sour cream – Either light or regular.
  • Large egg
  • Cooked shredded chicken breast – Using rotisserie chicken is a fabulous time-saver and if you buy them at one of the big box stores (hey there, Costco), it ends up being less expensive than cooking your own.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese – Part-skim or whole.
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Italian parsley or basil – Totally optional ingredients for garnishing the lasagna.
An eye level shot of a slice of White Chicken Lasagna on a white plate.

How To Make White Chicken Lasagna

For the Spinach White Sauce

A spinach white sauce being made in a cast iron skillet.
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the top and whisk until well incorporated.
  2. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking as you add it. Season with basil, oregano, thyme, and salt. Bring the sauce to the point of a low simmer (don’t boil). Continue to cook, whisking occasionally, for about 3 minutes until it is thickened, but pourable – similar to marinara sauce consistency.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the spinach.
  4. Mix to incorporate the spinach with the sauce just until it wilts. Set the sauce aside.

If the sauce thickens more than you’d like while resting, add additional whole milk to thin it, as desired.

For the Chicken Ricotta Mixture

Ricotta, sour cream, chicken, and cheese are combined in a mixing bowl.
  1. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, sour cream, egg, chicken, remaining basil, oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper and mix until smooth.
  2. Fold in the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Assemble the Lasagna

Layer #1

Three images showing lasagna being layered in a white baking dish.
  1. Spoon just enough of the spinach white sauce into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and spread it out. It should be barely enough to cover the bottom of the dish.
  2. Lay three cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, edge to edge.
  3. Spoon half of the chicken ricotta mixture over the noodles.

Layer #2

Three images showing the 2nd layer of lasagna in a white baking dish.
  1. Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles over the chicken ricotta mixture.
  2. Spoon ⅓ of the remaining spinach white sauce over the noodles and spread it out. It is a light layer which ensures the lasagna will set up and slice really well.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the top.

Layer #3

Lasagna noodles and a chicken ricotta mixture are layered in a baking dish.
  1. Add 3 lasagna noodles.
  2. Top with remaining half of the chicken ricotta mixture.

Layers #4 and #5

Lasagna is layered with spinach white sauce and mozzarella in a white baking dish.
  1. Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles over the chicken ricotta mixture.
  2. Spoon ⅓ of the remaining spinach white sauce over the noodles and spread it out.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the top.

This is repeated once more for the 5th and final layer, ending with all of the remaining spinach white sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Bake the Lasagna

White Chicken Lasagna in a casserole dish shot from over the top.
  • Bake the lasagna, covered with foil (see tip below), in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Set the oven to broil and cook until the top is lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To ensure the melted cheese will remain on the lasagna and not the foil, coat the underside of the foil with nonstick cooking spray and place it coated side down over the lasagna, lightly crimping the edges.

A slice on lasagna on a white plate in front of a bowl of salad.

Make it a Freezer Meal

Freezing Unbaked White Chicken Lasagna

  • Assemble the lasagna as directed in a freezer-safe dish.
  • Wrap the dish in two layers of heavy duty foil. If using regular foil, wrap in 3 layers.
  • Label the foil with the date and contents and freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Thaw the chicken lasagna completely in the refrigerator for 36 to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the foil. Coat the underside of one of the sheets of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the dish, coated side down, crimping the edges. Bake as directed, allowing about 20 to 30 minutes of extra baking time to ensure it will be heated through.

Freezing Baked White Chicken Lasagna

  • Assemble and bake the lasagna in a freezer-safe dish, as directed.
  • Allow it to cool on the counter until the baking dish is cool to the touch. Wrap the dish with a fresh piece of foil and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  • Follow the directions above for wrapping, freezing, thawing, and baking the lasagna. Allow an extra 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time to ensure it will be heated through.
A fork digs into a slice of White Chicken Lasagna.

FAQ and Valerie’s Tips

Can I make White Chicken Lasagna in advance?

This White Chicken Lasagna is a great make-ahead dish. Assemble the lasagna and cover it with foil, as directed. Refrigerate overnight. Bake the lasagna, allowing up to an additional 20 to 30 minutes of extra baking time if it is very cold when going in the oven.

Is White Chicken Lasagna healthy?

This recipe is easy to lighten up as much as you’d like. The spinach white sauce recipe calls for whole milk which has far less fat and calories than a typical cream based white sauce. Reduce the fat and calories even further by using part-skim ricotta and mozzarella cheese and light sour cream. Making your own sauce allows you to control the amount of sodium by using low-sodium chicken broth and limiting the amount of salt added.

Can I use different meat in this recipe?

Sure! Either cooked ground chicken or ground turkey seasoned with a little salt and pepper are great choices. Have leftover turkey from the holidays? This is an excellent way to use it!

An over the top shot of a fork with a bite of chicken lasagna on a white plate.

Serving Suggestions

A spatula lifting a piece of lasagna from a baking dish.

Print

White Chicken Lasagna

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This White Chicken Lasagna is layered with a creamy spinach white sauce and baked until tender and golden brown. This easy chicken lasagna recipe utilizes store-bought rotisserie chicken and is a delicious make-ahead meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 457kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 15 lasagna noodles (not no-boil, regular curly edge noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk (can substitute half and half for a richer result)
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme divided
  • 3 cups loosely packed roughly chopped fresh baby spinach (just run your knife threw the pile a few times)
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese part-skim or whole
  • ½ cup sour cream light or regular
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (rotisserie chicken works great)
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese part-skim or whole, divided
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • fresh Italian parsley or basil for garnish optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the lasagna noodles. Cook for the amount of time indicated on the package for al dente. Rinse the cooked noodles with cool water until cool enough to handle. Drain well and transfer them to a large sheet of foil to prevent them from sticking together.

Spinach White Sauce

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over MEDIUM heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the top and whisk until well incorporated. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking as you add it. Season with 1 teaspoon basil, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt. Increase the heat, if needed, to bring it to the point of a low simmer (don’t boil). Continue to cook, whisking occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until thickened. It should be thickened, but pourable – similar to marinara sauce consistency. Remove from the heat and add the spinach, mixing to incorporate it with the sauce just until it wilts. Set aside.

    If sauce thickens more than you’d like while resting, add additional whole milk to thin it, as desired.

Chicken Ricotta Mixture

  • In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, sour cream, egg, chicken, remaining 1 teaspoon basil, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper and mix until smooth. Fold in ½ cup of the mozzarella (reserve remaining for layers) and all of the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Assemble the Lasagna

  • Set the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spoon about ½ cup of the spinach white sauce into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and spread it out across the bottom. It won’t be a thick layer, just enough to barely cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Layer #1 – Lay 3 of the lasagna noodles over the sauce, edge to edge. Spoon half of the chicken ricotta mixture over the noodles.
  • Layer # 2 – Lay 3 lasagna noodles over the chicken ricotta mixture. Spoon ⅓ of the spinach white sauce on to the noodles and use a spoon to spread it out (light layer). Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella over the sauce.
  • Layer #3 – Add 3 lasagna noodles and top with remaining half of the chicken ricotta mixture.
  • Layers #4 and #5 – Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles over the chicken ricotta mixture. Spoon ⅓ of the remaining spinach white sauce over the noodles and spread it out. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the top.

    This is repeated once more for the 5th and final layer, ending with all of the remaining spinach white sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Bake the Lasagna

  • Coat the underside of a large sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and place it, coated side down, over the lasagna, lightly crimping the edges.
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Set the oven to BROIL and cook until the top is just lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes (rotate the baking dish, if needed, for even browning).
  • Let lasagna rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Can garnish with torn fresh basil, if desired.

Notes

Nutrition information was calculated using whole milk, part-skim ricotta and mozzarella and light sour cream.

Make-Ahead Instructions

  • Assemble the lasagna and cover it with foil, as directed. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Bake the lasagna, allowing up to an additional 20 to 30 minutes of extra baking time if it is very cold when going in the oven.

Freezing Unbaked White Chicken Lasagna

  • Assemble the lasagna as directed in a freezer-safe dish.
  • Wrap the dish in two layers of heavy duty foil. If using regular foil, wrap in 3 layers.
  • Label the foil with the date and contents and freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Thaw the chicken lasagna completely in the refrigerator for 36 to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the foil. Coat the underside of one of the sheets of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the dish, coated side down, crimping the edges. Bake as directed, allowing about 20 to 30 minutes of extra baking time to ensure it will be heated through.

Freezing Baked White Chicken Lasagna

  • Assemble and bake the lasagna in a freezer-safe dish, as directed.
  • Allow it to cool on the counter until the baking dish is cool to the touch. Wrap the dish with a fresh piece of foil and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  • Follow the directions above for wrapping, freezing, thawing, and baking the lasagna. Allow an extra 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time to ensure it will be heated through.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 818mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1245IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 521mg | Iron: 2mg

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