Change up your lasagna game with this decadent creamy chicken lasagna recipe! It has spinach, an irresistible cream sauce, and four kinds of cheese for an extremely satisfying comfort food dinner.
If this sounds enticing, you'll also want to try my Creamy Chicken Lasagna Soup next!
Why you'll crave it
For all those spinach and cheese lovers out there, this white chicken lasagna is a real treat. While I can't resist cooking up a Classic Homemade Lasagna (and mine is very tasty, you guys), it's always good to be a little adventurous every now and again. The creamy white sauce that envelops all the layers in this chicken lasagna is completely addictive.
In case you're a little nervous about making lasagna from scratch, I'm here to assure you that it is a straightforward process and it includes no fancy ingredients, so it's totally approachable. And the results are so impressive for a cozy family dinner everyone will devour!
What you'll need and why
- Egg - it's great for binding everything together
- Ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan - I suggest using whole milk ricotta for best results since it's less grainy, and definitely freshly grate the other cheeses yourself for texture and taste vs. the bagged kind
- Salt - to bring out the flavors
- Italian seasoning - it's a convenient single jar that's loaded with fragrant dried herbs, and it's a total time saver so that you don't need individual herbs!
- Frozen spinach - we're using it to avoid an extra step of sautéing fresh spinach
- Butter - for sautéing
- Onion and garlic - I like sweet (Vidalia) onion best, but yellow or white will work fine. For the garlic, using this press makes it effortless. No peeling of the cloves is needed.
- Cream cheese - a block Philadelphia is my go-to. Apart from quickly thickening up the sauce, it makes the Alfredo style sauce so rich with a hint of tanginess.
- Heavy cream - to take that luxurious creaminess over the top
- Salt & pepper - in pasta dishes typically you need to be generous with both
- Chicken - leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken is what we're using so it's hassle free
- Lasagna noodles - we're using the uncooked kind found in the dry pasta aisle
- Mozzarella - the rest of the mozza is reserved for the golden, melty topping
- Making lasagna goes much smoother if you prep, measure, and lay out your ingredients in the steps you'll need them. For this recipe specifically, don't skip the step where we microwave the cream cheese to soften it up, divide the mozzarella, and make sure the spinach is thawed.
How to make chicken lasagna
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Boil the lasagna noodles until just al dente, drain them, and lay them out individually on parchment paper. Meanwhile, make the cheese mixture in a large prep bowl and set aside. In a skillet, make the quick cream sauce.
Assemble the lasagna in a deep 9x13 or lasagna dish, working in repeated layers starting with the cream sauce. Here's a handy gif showing how to layer chicken lasagna, and we also get super specific in the recipe card below!
Finish up with the mozzarella layer for the golden topping. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for another 15 minutes, and then broil if desired. Let it sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving, and enjoy.
How to make it ahead
- You can assemble this chicken lasagna up to baking step, keep it covered and store in the fridge overnight, and then cook it the next day.
- I'd use caution if you'd like to freeze it since sometimes cream sauces don't freeze as well. If you really need to, try prepping up to the baking step, cover it tightly, freeze, and thaw in fridge overnight. Bake according to the instructions, adding a few more minutes if necessary.
Tips for success
- With any lasagna, it's a good idea to read through the recipe a couple of times so that there are no surprises that slow you down.
- Be sure to squeeze the water out of the spinach extremely thoroughly when you thaw it so you don't end up with a watery lasagna.
- I recommend boiling an extra lasagna noodle or two just in case one tears, and don't rinse the noodles after boiling. The starch will help bind everything together much better.
Substitutions and variations
- This recipe has only been tested as written, so I would advise against any substitutions as any changes to the major components could result in a lasagna that doesn't work out as expected, and I'd hate for you to be disappointed!
- We chose frozen spinach for ease, but you could use fresh spinach if needed. In that case, I'd sauté 16 oz of fresh spinach until wilted, and then chop it.
What to serve with it
Leftovers and storage
- Chicken lasagna leftovers will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- This one will reheat well, but make sure to do so over a low heat so that the cream sauce doesn't separate. To reheat in the oven, cover an oven-safe baking dish with foil and heat at 350F until hot, about 30 minutes. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water or cream to it if it's looking a bit dry. Microwaving in short intervals until warmed will work too.
- I don't recommend freezing leftovers of this lasagna as it's quite dairy heavy and the cream sauce may take on a different texture, but you're welcome to experiment if you have lots of leftovers!
Any questions about this chicken and spinach lasagna? I'd be happy to answer them below, or leave me a review if you made it! Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram with your creations.
Creamy Chicken Lasagna
For assembling the lasagna:
- 3 cups cooked chicken I used rotisserie
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella to top the lasagna
- 1 large egg beaten
- 15 ounces ricotta see note
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 16 ounces frozen spinach thawed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese (a block of Philly) softened
- 1 1/3 cups heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- This recipe goes more smoothly if you prep/lay out all the ingredients ahead of time. Start by thawing the spinach and microwaving the cream cheese for about 30 seconds or until it's very soft (this is important so it melts into the sauce easily).
- Preheat your oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the lasagna noodles. Cook them al dente (about 7-8 minutes). Be careful not to overcook them. Stir them occasionally to prevent sticking. Once they're cooked, drain them (do not rinse). When they're cool enough to handle after a couple of minutes, lay them out individually on a sheet of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
- Meanwhile, add the egg to a fairly large prep bowl and beat it with a fork. Add in the remaining cheese mixture ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Make the cream sauce: add the butter and onion to a skillet and sauté for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the cream cheese, cream, and salt & pepper. Stir/whisk until the cream cheese has melted in. This process should take about 5 minutes. Do not let the sauce get too thick. It should have a similar consistency to Alfredo sauce, and it will thicken more once you take it off the stove and then as it cooks in the oven. Add a splash more cream to thin if needed.
- To assemble the lasagna: spread some of the cream sauce on the bottom of a deep 9x13 casserole dish (about 1/4 cup sauce). Add 4 noodles to the bottom of the casserole dish (they will overlap a bit). Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over top, add 1/2 the chicken, and then spoon about 1/3 of the cream sauce on top of that. Add another 4 noodles, the rest of the cheese mixture, the rest of the chicken, another 1/3 of the cream sauce, and then the final layer of 4 noodles. Spread on the rest of the cream sauce, then top with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue baking for another 15 minutes. If needed, broil for a few minutes until the cheese is browned (watch it carefully).
- Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before slicing. I recommend slicing it into squares with a sharp knife then scooping each piece out with a spatula. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed.
- Serves 8-12 depending on portion size and what else you serve it with.
- For the ricotta, I recommend using the highest fat percentage you can find. It'll be more creamy and less watery. You may find it labeled as "whole milk" ricotta. I used one with 15% fat.
- Use your discretion with any substitutions - this recipe has only been tested as written.
- See blog post for layering photos and more tips!
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.