This White Chicken Lasagna consists of layers of al dente noodles, creamy white sauce with baby spinach, ricotta cheese mixture, cooked chicken, and shredded cheese. Garnish this lasagna with fresh parsley and serve with garlic bread or a light salad.
This White Chicken Lasagna is a super creamy and cheesy chicken dish that’s ideal as a midweek meal or freezer meal for those days when you just don’t have the time or energy to make something wholesome and delicious from scratch! Use rotisserie chicken or Instant Pot Chicken Breast for this dish. Leftover Alfredo Sauce is a great way to reduce prep time for this meal.
- White Chicken Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food for a midweek meal that can serve a large family or social gathering.
- This chicken lasagna consists of pantry-staple ingredients – perfect as a budget-friendly dish.
- Easily adapt this white chicken lasagna with easy ingredients substitutions listed below.
- Lasagna noodles – Gluten-free noodles could be used for dietary allergies. The lasagna noodles are cooked until al dente before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Butter – I’ve used salted butter but you could use unsalted butter to reduce the sodium in this dish.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is a good option to use, otherwise consider gluten-free or plant-based flour. The flour is used to thicken the roux or white sauce.
- Black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, and garlic powder – To season the white sauce.
- Whole milk – You could also use low-fat milk but whole milk does add better flavor to the white sauce. Heavy cream is another option. The fats in whole milk or cream help to hold the sauce together and provide an excellent base for melting the cheese. Lower-fat dairy can separate or curdle more easily.
- Cream cheese – Sliced to melt more evenly into the sauce. Use room-temperature cream cheese.
- Jack cheese and mozzarella cheese – Freshly shredded cheese will melt best. Manufacturers add a coating to pre-grated cheeses which prevents them from melting smoothly.
- Baby spinach leaves – For the creamy spinach sauce.
- Egg – Lightly beaten – the egg helps to bind the ricotta and cheeses together for the creamy layer.
- Parsley – Dried or fresh. This can be mixed into the roux for some color and flavor or you can garnish the finished lasagna with some fresh parsley after it has come out of the oven.
- Cooked chicken – Diced or shredded – I like to use the rotisserie chicken from Costco that has already been pulled from the bones and packaged.
- Make this white chicken lasagna recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free noodles and gluten-free flour in white sauce.
- Use leftover cooked turkey instead of chicken. You can also make this lasagna with ground beef or Italian sausage but then you will need to brown them and drain excess grease.
- Use kale instead of fresh baby spinach leaves in the white sauce.
- I’ve used Jack cheese and mozzarella cheese in this dish but you can swap this out for parmesan cheese or your favorite cheese blends.
- Add other ingredients to this creamy chicken lasagna recipe such as mushrooms.
- Give this lasagna a kick of heat by adding red pepper flakes to the seasoning of the white sauce.
PREP THE WHITE SAUCE AND RICOTTA FILLING: Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, drain, and set aside. In a saucepan or large skillet, melt the butter together with the spices and flour for 1-2 minutes until browned and bubbly. Whisk the mixture while slowly pouring the milk into the pan on medium heat until the mixture reaches a low boil (about 6-8 minutes).
Cook the lasagna noodles in salted water until they reach al dente (follow the package instructions to cook). Drain and set aside.
PRO TIP: Cook the lasagna noodles only until al dente as the noodles will continue to cook while the assembled lasagna bakes in the oven.
In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to the melted butter and cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is browned and bubbly.
Whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in milk until smooth and combined. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture reaches a low boil and begins to thicken (6-8 minutes).
Add the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the shredded Jack cheese over medium heat and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is well combined. Remove from the heat. Stir in the baby spinach leaves and set the sauce aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA: Add a thin layer of the white sauce to the bottom of the glass casserole dish, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Add half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
Next spread half of the chicken over the ricotta mixture. Spoon about 1/3 of the remaining white sauce over the chicken and cover with 1 cup each of mozzarella and Jack cheese.
Continue with another layer of noodles down, followed by the remaining ricotta cheese, the remaining chicken, and another cup of mozzarella and Jack cheese.
Complete the lasagna with the final layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and the remaining cheese. Bake the assembled lasagna for 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley.
- The roux (which is cooking the flour and butter together) adds flavor and thickens the milk to make the white sauce. It’ll also provide a good base for the cheese to melt so that you don’t end up with a stringy gloppy texture and appearance.
- Since the heat from the cream sauce softens the spinach, there’s no need to further cook the spinach. In fact, overcooked spinach can develop a chalky taste which is the last thing you want. While 4-5 cups of spinach may seem like a lot, it does wilt down substantially.
- You do have the option of adding onions and garlic to the roux instead of the powder form. I prefer the powder form since it’s quick and easy, especially since there’s quite a bit to be done before the lasagna bakes. If you opt to use raw ingredients instead, sauté the onion (1 cup diced small) and garlic (2-3 cloves, minced) in the butter before adding the flour, salt, and pepper.
- You can use a different cheese like parmesan or add parmesan as an additional cheese for extra flavor.
The term “lasagna” in Italian originally referred to a pot that cooked and carried the food and not the food itself. The earliest recorded lasagna recipes date as far back as the thirteenth century.
This White Chicken Lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days once completely cooled from baking. This applies to leftovers or when baking it ahead of time to serve the following day.
To reheat, simply pop it back in the oven for 15 minutes or until heated throughout. Some people like to add 1-2 teaspoons of water on the top of the lasagna and cover it with aluminum foil as a way to prevent the lasagna from drying out when reheated.
There are quite a few differing opinions about freezing lasagna. It also depends on whether you intend freezing baked or unbaked lasagna.
My suggestion would be to freeze unbaked lasagna since it will hold up better during the freezing and thawing process than cooked pasta. Cooked pasta that’s been frozen for any length of time can become soggy after thawing and the texture just isn’t the same.
Whichever method you choose, you can store your lasagna in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator when ready to reheat or bake.
Yes, you can! You can fully assemble your Chicken Lasagna the night before or even up to 4 days prior to serving and then bake it when you intend to serve it.
Once your White Chicken Lasagna is assembled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator (unbaked). You can assemble it with the grated cheese topping but I prefer to add the cheese just before baking since plastic wrap can lift a lot off and makes a mess. In addition to this, I prefer adding freshly grated cheese for the best taste.
White Chicken Lasagna
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 8 oz. block cream cheese sliced
- 4 cups shredded jack cheese divided
- 4-5 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley dried or fresh
- 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in salted water until they reach al dente (follow the package instructions to cook). Drain and set aside.
- In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour, pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to the melted butter and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture is browned and bubbly.
- Whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in milk until smooth and combined. Continue cooking over medium heat until mixture reaches a low boil and begins to thicken (6-8 minutes).
- Add cream cheese and 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese to the white sauce. Stir, still cooking over medium heat, until cheese is melted and sauce is thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.
- Stir the spinach leaves into the white sauce and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and another 1/2 cup of jack cheese.
- In a greased 9”x13” glass baking dish, spoon a bit of the sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Place three lasagna noodles side by side into the pan. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and top with 1/2 of the chicken. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the chicken and ricotta and top with 1 cup each of mozzarella and jack cheese.
- Place another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, the remaining chicken, and another cup of both mozzarella and jack cheese.
- Top with the remaining noodles, the remaining sauce, and finally, with the remaining cheeses.
- Bake lasagna for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbling up and cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.