This white chicken lasagna with pesto is layered with a creamy white sauce, chicken, spinach and melty cheese then baked until golden and bubbly. It’s the perfect spin on a classic dinner recipe that the whole family will love!
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Creamy Chicken Pesto Lasagna with Spinach
We love traditional lasagna and these lasagna rolls up, but this white lasagna recipe is now a new favorite. 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 similar to alfredo lasagna or creamy chicken pasta but with pesto.
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!
Ingredients for White Chicken Lasagna
- Noodles: No-boil noodles are used, making it super easy. The sauce will help them steam and get soft and 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 mixture: A mixture of mozzarella and parmesan that makes it super cheesy and delicious.
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!
Don’t feel like layering? Make this white lasagna soup in one pot instead!
How to Make White Chicken Lasagna Recipe
- Saute onion mixture: In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes 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.
- Make white sauce: In a large bowl, combine milk, Greek yogurt, and chicken broth. Gradually add the liquid to the skillet, whisking constantly. Go as slow to ensure the liquid gets absorbed. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thickened slightly. Add the chicken and turn off the heat.
- Combine ricotta and pesto: In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pesto, and 1 egg.
- Assemble the lasagna: Spread some white sauce on the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. Next place the three lasagna noodles in the pan so that they cover the entire surface area. 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. Then sprinkle a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the white sauce.
- Repeat layers: Repeat this process two more times to make a total of three layers. Then sprinkle the very top of the lasagna with fresh parmesan. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil.
- Bake: Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and turn oven to broil. Broil for a few minutes until your lasagna is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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
- 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.
- Garnish: Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley or basil before serving!
A store bought rotisserie chicken is the easiest option to use in this recipe. You could also make your own shredded chicken or even use leftover grilled or baked chicken breasts.
Sure! Mushrooms, bell peppers, roasted red peppers, or even broccoli would all be great veggies to add. Depending on the vegetable used you may need to cook it first.
Sure! You could try cooked ground chicken or ground turkey. Leftover turkey from the holidays is another great choice.
This white lasagna recipe is so hearty as is you don’t need much to serve with it! I love to add a simple Caesar salad and garlic bread to make this the ultimate comfort food meal.
If you are feeding a crowd you may want to serve a few lasagna options! This easy crockpot lasagna recipe and lasagna soup are two other favorites.
Storage + Freezer Meal
- 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.
Try these other delicious pasta recipes! Caprese pasta bake, baked spaghetti and baked beef ravioli just to name a few favorites.
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White Chicken Lasagna
- 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
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup milk
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 ⅔ cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped (rotisserie is best)
- 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup basil pesto , homemade or store-bought
- 1 egg
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach
- 3-4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Gather ingredients for the lasagna. Spray a 9×9" dish with non stick spray and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pesto, and 1 egg.
- 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.
- Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese. Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray and cover the lasagna.
- 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!
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Then slice and serve warm.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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.
Can you make this a day in advance and store in the fridge? If so, would you Change the cook time or temp?
I haven’t tried, Corluck, but I think it would be perfectly fine! Assemble, freeze, and bake on a busy day when you’re ready. :) You may need to add 10-15 min of baking time to heat all the way through.
Have you tried making this in a slow cooker? Any suggestions on how to convert it? Thanks.
I have not tried with this lasagna recipe, but check out this crock pot lasagna if you want to follow a similar method. https://www.iheartnaptime.net/crockpot-lasagna/ . Let me know if you test it out!