Rich, cosy flavour from the cheesy bechamel, ricotta and chicken thighs. Layers of pasta, spinach and mushrooms, this white chicken lasagna is just as delicious as the classic lasagna you know and love.
Still a comforting family dinner, the main difference between chicken and beef lasagna is the meat and a ricotta filling instead of the traditional tomato ragu. It’s just as rich, hearty, tasty, cheesy, creamy and ultra-comforting though. Plus it goes a long way, meaning you can feed a crowd very easily with this deliciousness.
Chicken lasagna ingredients
This chicken lasagna recipe is packed with loads of amazing ingredients but here’s the main components.
- Chicken: I use skinless chicken thighs in my chicken lasagna. They have loads of flavour and are chopped up into small pieces then cooked very quickly in a pan. You can use chicken breast or you can even use shredded, pre-cooked chicken.
- Vegetables: I use spinach and mushrooms but other veggies like zucchini, carrot, capsicum (bell pepper) and tuscan kale (Lacinato) would work really well too. In fact if you want to make a vegetable lasagana, replace the chicken with one or more of these other vegetables.
- Ricotta: I use smooth, whole ricotta in this recipe. It has a mild flavour but adds creaminess to the whole dish.
- Cheese: Aside from the ricotta, there is also parmesan for salty umami flavour and gouda. I like gouda for it’s creaminess but it also has good flavour. You can use mozzarella if you prefer but it has a very mild flaovur.
- Lasagna sheets / noodles: I use dried instant lasagna sheets. These require no pre-cooking and just go straight into the dish dry. They soften on cooking. I like these because I find they still keep a bit of bite once cooked. You can also use fresh lasagna sheets, that you’d get in the refrigerated section or lasagna sheets that require pre-cooking (check on the pack to see if you need to cook them first)
How to make chicken lasagna
As with any lasagna there are a few steps to put this together but none of them are difficult. I can have this whole lasagna completely assembled and ready for the oven in 30-40 minutes and the reward at the end is a super comforting and tasty dinner the whole family will love. To make it easy, I’ve added loads of step by step photos below.
Start with the fillings
- Cook the mushrooms until golden then set them aside.
- Add onion and chopped chicken thighs to the same pan and cook until almost cooked through.
- Add some garlic and salt, followed by spinach leaves.
- Remove it from the heat and stir through the spinach until it wilts. Place in the fridge with the mushrooms to cool.
- Mix together some ricotta, parmesan, dried thyme and pepper. Set this aside as well, then once cool you can add the cooked mixture. (photos 5,6,7)
Onto the Bechamel
- Rinse out the same pan, then melt some butter and add flour.
- Cook it for a minute or so until the raw flour smell starts to disappear
- Add milk & stock gradually while whisking until the sauce is smooth.
- Cook it until it thickens to a thick shake consistency and starts bubbling.
- Remove it from the heat and add cheese,
- whisking until it’s fully melted in.
Time to assemble
- Now layer it up. Start with a few spoonfuls of cheesy bechamel sauce on the bottom. This not only stops the lasagna sheets from sliding around but also makes sure the bottom of the lasagna has some moisture too.
- Add lasagna sheets to cover the bottom of the tin.
- Now add a layer of the combined chicken, veggie and ricotta filling.
- Another layer of cheese sauce and so on – pasta, bechamel, filling, pasta ….
In a 9 inch square baking tin, the lasagna will have 2 layers of the filling. It starts and finishes with bechamel. On the very top goes another layer of cheese (photo 19) then it’s ready for baking.
Bake the lasagna for around 40 minutes until the top starts to turn golden. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat or the sauce can curdle – it will still be fine to eat and taste lovely but won’t look as nice.
Can I make lasagna ahead?
Yes, this white lasagna recipe can be made a day ahead of time. Get all the components prepared and assemble the lasagna, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
More recipes you’ll love
What to serve with this white Chicken Lasagna with spinach and mushrooms
- Double up the carbs like in these photos with some garlic bread or with this Sizzler Cheese Bread.
- Or keep it lighter with a simple and fresh side salad.
- Finish the meal with a lighter dessert like this Apple & Plum Cobbler, or one of these make ahead wonders – Salted Caramel Pots De Crème or a no bake Coffee Panna Cotta
Or for more amazing pasta dishes
- More cheesy pasta dishes – One Pan Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake, Stovetop Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, Greek Pastitsio, Meatball Pasta Bake
- Lighter pasta dishes –Chicken Basil Pesto Pasta, Salmon Pesto Pasta, Venetian Crab Linguine, Chicken Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes,
- Or try a Classic lasagna or best ever spaghetti bolognese.
An ultra-comforting, crowd pleasing meal like this chicken lasagna, that can even be made ahead of time, will definitely have everyone asking for seconds and you’ll love this just as much as the beefy classic version.
Chicken Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms (250g / 8.8oz)
- 500 g chicken thighs, trimmed and chopped into small pieces (1.1lb)
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, packed (80g / 2.8oz)
- 500 g smooth ricotta (1.1lb)
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan, lightly packed (75g / 2.6oz)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 180 g lasagna sheets, notes (6.4oz)
THE CHEESE BECHAMEL SAUCE
- ⅓ cup butter
- ¼ cup plain (all-purp) flour (32g / 1.1oz)
- 1 cup chicken stock (250ml)
- 1 ½ cups whole milk (375ml)
- 1 cup grated gouda, packed (or mozzarella, notes) (140g /5oz)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated gouda, lightly packed (or mozzarella, notes) (110g / 3.9oz)
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan, not packed
FOR THE CHICKEN LASAGNA FILLING
- Add the oil and 2 tablespoons butter to a large pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and cook stirring often until most of the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms start turning golden. Set aside.
- Add the onion and chicken to the pan (with a little oil if it’s totally dry). Cook over medium high until mostly cooked through.
- Add the garlic and salt and cook for another minute, then take off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted.
- Add the chicken mixture to the mushrooms and place in the fridge to cool a little.
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, thyme and pepper and place in the fridge while you make the bechamel.
FOR THE CHEESE BECHAMEL SAUCE
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C.
- First combine the stock and milk (you can use the ricotta container to save dirtying another bowl).
- Rinse out the original pan then melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk well. Cook for a minute or so, whisking to keep it smooth.
- Slowly add in the milk / stock mixture while continuing to whisk until it is all added and you have a smooth sauce. Let this cook on low for around 3-5 minutes until thickened to a thick milk shake consistency.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the gouda, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Combine the ricotta and cooled chicken mixtures.
- Spread 2-3 tablespoons of bechamel over the bottom of a 23cm (9inch) square pan or similar.
- Add the lasagna sheets in a single layer (they can overlap slightly if necessary).
- Add half the chicken ricotta mix, then spread over one quarter of the cheese sauce.
- Repeat with lasagna sheets, the remaining chicken mixture and another quarter of the cheese sauce.
- Place a third layer of lasagna sheets over, and top that with all of the remaining bechamel.
- Sprinkle the Gouda and parmesan evenly over the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly. Let it cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
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