Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce

Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce Recipe

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Lasagna is a timeless comfort food that evokes memories of family gatherings and cozy dinners at home. Today, I’m excited to share a delightful twist on the classic recipe – Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce. This dish holds a special place in my heart, reminding me of the weekends spent cooking with my grandmother, who loved experimenting with new flavors in traditional dishes. Her passion for cooking has inspired me to try various tweaks and variations, leading to the creation of this creamy and rich lasagna.

This recipe swaps out the traditional tomato-based sauce for a luscious bechamel sauce infused with fresh spinach, creating a beautifully creamy base that complements the tender shredded chicken perfectly. It’s a fantastic way to elevate the traditional lasagna, offering a lighter yet still indulgent alternative.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use rotisserie chicken for convenience, making it a quick and easy weeknight meal. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you can substitute the chicken with an array of sautéed vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers. The creamy bechamel sauce pairs wonderfully with almost any filling, allowing you to customize the lasagna to suit your preferences or dietary needs.

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the spinach sauce can give the lasagna a subtle kick. Similarly, if you’re a garlic lover, feel free to increase the garlic quantity in the bechamel sauce for an extra layer of flavor. Serving this lasagna with a simple green salad and some crusty garlic bread makes for a well-rounded meal that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

This Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce is not only delicious but also a great make-ahead dish. It can be prepared a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. Simply refrigerate it overnight and bake it when you’re ready to serve. The result is a comforting, satisfying meal that brings everyone together around the table, just as my grandmother always intended.

How to Make Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (reserve 1 cup for topping)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 9 lasagna noodles (cooked until al dente)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half (or a combination of heavy cream and milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente, following package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to avoid sticking. Shred the cooked chicken.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the finely diced onion for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Whisk in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes until the mixture becomes golden.
  3. Gradually pour in 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups of half and half. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens to a light gravy consistency. Stir in the minced garlic and chopped spinach, then remove from heat.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine 15 ounces of ricotta cheese, 1 large egg, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup of chopped parsley.
  5. To assemble the lasagna, spread a small amount of the bechamel sauce at the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by half of the shredded chicken. Pour 1/3 of the spinach sauce over the chicken. Repeat the layers: 3 more noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, the rest of the chicken, and another 1/3 of the spinach sauce. Top with the final 3 noodles, pour the remaining spinach sauce, and sprinkle the reserved 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Place toothpicks over the lasagna to keep the foil from touching the cheese, then cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven at 375°F for 45 minutes. Uncover and broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is browned. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

FAQs:

Can I use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

Yes, using store-bought rotisserie chicken is a convenient option for this recipe. It saves time and adds great flavor to the lasagna.

What is the best way to reheat creamy chicken lasagna?

To reheat creamy chicken lasagna, cover it with foil and bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. For individual servings, microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes.

Can I make this lasagna ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can assemble the lasagna a day in advance, cover it tightly with foil, and refrigerate. When ready to bake, allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as directed.

What can I substitute for half and half in the sauce?

If you don’t have half and half, you can use a combination of equal parts heavy cream and milk. This mixture will provide a similar consistency and richness for the sauce.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles and replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend for the bechamel sauce. Ensure all other ingredients, like chicken broth, are also gluten-free.

Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce Recipe

Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce

Creamy Chicken Lasagna with White Sauce – an easy, delicious meal for any occasion. Learn how to make it in just a few steps!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12
...

Ingredients
  

  • 9 lasagna noodles cooked al dente
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half or a mix of heavy cream and milk
  • 5 oz fresh spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese divided, reserve 1 cup for topping

Instructions
 

Cook Noodles & Prep:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente as per package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Shred the chicken.

Make the Bechamel (Spinach Sauce):

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté onions for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add 4 Tbsp butter, then whisk in 1/3 cup flour. Continue whisking for 3 minutes until the flour turns golden.
  • Pour in 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups half and half, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Whisk until smooth and let it simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens to a light gravy consistency. Stir in minced garlic and chopped spinach, then remove from heat.

Make the Ricotta Cheese Sauce:

  • In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup parsley.

To Assemble Chicken Lasagna:

  • Spread a small amount of bechamel sauce at the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Lay 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by half of the shredded chicken. Pour 1/3 of the spinach sauce over the chicken. Repeat the layers: 3 noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, the remaining chicken, and another 1/3 of the spinach sauce. Top with the last 3 noodles, pour the remaining spinach sauce, and sprinkle the reserved 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover and Bake:

  • Place toothpicks over the lasagna to keep the foil from touching the cheese, then cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven at 375°F for 45 minutes. Uncover and broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is browned. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Keyword Chicken

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