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White Chicken Lasagna with Pesto

This white chicken lasagna with pesto is creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious. The perfect spin on the classic lasagna recipe that the whole family will love! 

White Chicken Lasagna with Pesto
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Lasagna

We love traditional lasagna, but this white lasagna recipe is a close second. It’s made with chicken instead of beef and is covered in a white pesto sauce instead of marinara. It’s a fun way to switch up the classic and tastes so delicious!

I threw this chicken lasagna recipe together one day, and I mean that literally. You can honestly ignore all of my specific instructions below about when to put in the spinach and when to add the cheese. Just throw it all in…it will taste the same in the end. :) Lasagna is one of those meals that you just can’t mess up!

This creamy chicken lasagna is full of pesto, chicken and spinach (that you can’t taste–let’s be real) and a lightened up white sauce. It’s cheesy, creamy and absolutely delicious. My whole family loved this recipe and it will definitely be made on repeat. You can’t beat a comfort food meal where you literally just throw everything together and bake it!

white chicken lasagna ingredients on counter

5 Delicious Layers

  • Noodles: No-boil noodles are used, making it super easy. The sauce will help them steam and get tender as they bake.
  • Ricotta: Creamy ricotta cheese mixed with fresh basil pesto for extra flavor.
  • Spinach: I love to sneak in fresh spinach for extra veggies.
  • White sauce: A delicious sauce infused with onions, garlic, basil and rotisserie chicken.
  • Cheese: A mixture of mozzarella and parmesan that makes it super cheesy and delicious.

Assembly

  1. Spread some white sauce on the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. It doesn’t need to be a lot of sauce, just enough so that the next layer of noodles don’t stick to the pan.
  2. Next place the lasagna noodles in the pan so that they cover the entire surface area. I usually end up using 3 noodles.
  3. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then add a handful of spinach and a third of the white sauce. Make sure to spread the sauce all the way out to the edges of the pan.
  4. Then sprinkle a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the white sauce.
  5. Repeat this process two more times to make a total of three layers. Then sprinkle the very top of the lasagna with fresh parmesan.
white chicken lasagna on counter

Tips for the Best White Chicken Lasagna

  • Fresh is best. For optimum flavor, use fresh ingredients when possible. Fresh onions, garlic, basil and spinach make a big difference in taste. Shredding your own mozzarella and parmesan also takes this dish up a notch!
  • Broil. Although this dish is covered with foil for the majority of the time while it cooks, I’d definitely recommend removing the foil and broiling the top the last minute or so of cooking. The cheese gets perfectly golden and bubbly.
  • Let sit. Before enjoying, it’s important to let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes or so. This helps it set up, which gives the sauce time to thicken and makes it easier to serve.

Variations

Lasagna is easy to customize, so feel free to make this recipe your own. A cream cheese alfredo sauce or béchamel sauce would taste delicious in place of the white sauce. Or feel free to omit the chicken all together for a meatless alternative. You can even use whole wheat or gluten free lasagna noodles!

Reheating + Freezer Tips

  • Reheating: You can reheat leftovers in the microwave or oven, however I prefer the oven for best results. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warm throughout. I like to add a dash of water to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
  • Freezing: Assemble the lasagna in a freezer safe pan according to directions. Cover tightly with foil, then freeze. When ready to enjoy, bake from frozen at 350°F for about 50-60 minutes. You’ll probably need to bake for a few minutes longer than usual since it was frozen.
fork with white chicken lasagna on plate

5 star review

“Amazing! Had this dish over the holidays while visiting friends and loved it so needless to say I had to try it for myself AND it was just as good as the first time. Will definitely be adding this to the rotation!”

– Kristy

More Delicious Pasta Recipes:

White Chicken Lasagna with Pesto

White Chicken Lasagna

5 from 9 votes
This white chicken lasagna with pesto is creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious. The perfect spin on the classic lasagna recipe that the whole family will love! 
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion , chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil , or 1 Tablespoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped (rotisserie is best)
  • 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto , homemade or store-bought
  • 1 egg
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Gather ingredients for the lasagna. Spray a 9×9" dish with non stick spray and set aside.
    white chicken lasagna ingredients on counter
  • In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Then add garlic and sauté one more minute. In a small bowl, combine the basil, salt, pepper, and flour. Add to the onion mixture and whisk together until all the oil is absorbed.
    cooking onions and seasonings in skillet
  • In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, add milk, Greek yogurt, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Gradually add the liquid to the pan, whisking constantly. Go as slow as you need to make sure the liquid gets absorbed. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is thickened slightly. Add the chicken and turn off the heat.
    cooking onions and seasonings in skillet
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pesto, and 1 egg.
    flour mixture in white bowl on counter
  • To assemble, wet the bottom of the casserole dish with some of the white sauce. Just enough so the noodles don’t stick. Layer 3 no-boil lasagna noodles on top. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Top with a handful of fresh spinach. Add 1/3 of the white sauce and spread to the edges. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice more.
    layering lasagna in baking dish
  • Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese. Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray and cover the lasagna.
    layering chicken in baking dish
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, or until cooked and tender. Remove the foil and turn up the oven temperature to broil. Broil until golden brown and bubbly, 1 to 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
    white chicken lasagna on counter
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Then slice and serve warm.
    slice of white chicken lasagna on counter

Notes

Freezing: Assemble as directed, then cover tightly with foil and freeze. Bake from frozen at 350°F for about 50-60 minutes (you will likely need to bake a few extra minutes because it’s completely frozen).
Reheating: Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warm throughout. I like to add a dash of water to keep it from drying out. 

Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 861mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1503IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 314mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Jamielyn Nye

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Recipe contributed by The Food Charlatan for I Heart Naptime.

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