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Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

This delicious spin on traditional lasagna combines ground chicken, spinach, mozzarella cheese, and a to-die-for creamy sauce made with parmesan cheese, olive oil and chicken broth. This white lasagna with ground chicken is the perfect comfort food to make for a special family dinner or to take to a friend.

Spatula picking up slice of chicken and spinach lasagna with white sauce.
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White lasagna

Most lasagna recipes have a tomato-based sauce, but this white lasagna has the BEST tomato-free sauce made with Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and chicken broth. It's super savory without being acidic, and goes PERFECTLY with the chicken and spinach lasagna filling.

A lot of white lasagna recipes use Alfredo sauce as a shortcut, which is fine, but I feel like making your own super simple Parmesan béchamel sauce is the best way to go.

White lasagna is a great option for those who get heart burn from tomato sauce, or simply if you want a break from all the pasta dishes with tomato sauce.

Slice of white lasagna with chicken on a plate.

Related recipe: Baked Rotini Pasta

Ground chicken lasagna

This lasagna is made with ground chicken to keep the color and the flavor lighter than regular lasagna. You can use lean 99% ground chicken to keep it a little healthier because it will be mixed in with delicious sauce and it won't matter that it's very lean. However, any % fat ground chicken will work fine in this recipe.

So if you've been eyeing the ground chicken in the grocery store but never knew what to make with it, definitely keep this ground chicken lasagna in mind!!

The ground chicken filling in this lasagna is mixed with cottage cheese, which is a great high-protein option for lasagna. If you've never had lasagna with cottage cheese, give it a try! And of course, you can always use ricotta instead of cottage cheese for this lasagna.

Related recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Spatula picking up slice of chicken and spinach lasagna.

Related recipe: Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Make-ahead lasagna

Another reason I LOVE this lasagna recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and it freezes well. It should be frozen after being baked, so that when you need a quick dinner, it just need to be reheated and served.

This makes a great make-ahead lasagna for expecting parents to stock up their freezer, or if someone you know is having going through a rough time and could use some lasagna love.

This recipe is also great for feeding a crowd and can be assembled up to 1 day in advance and then just baked when company is coming over.

Related recipe: Authentic Pasta e Fagioli

Ingredients for spinach chicken lasagna

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cup cottage cheese (or use ricotta)
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove all extra liquid
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup light olive oil (extra virgin olive oil has a stronger flavor, but would work too)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% is best)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (the one from the deli section is fine, but not the stuff in the green container!)
  • 8 oz no-boil oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Kosher salt and pepper, needed for both the ground chicken mixture and the sauce

Related recipe: Italian Wedding Soup

Instructions

This recipe is a little involved, I'm not gonna lie. Aren't all lasagnas from scratch, though?

The first steps are cooking the ground chicken and preparing the Parmesan béchamel sauce. After that, you'll assemble and bake the lasagna.

Ready to get started?

Related recipe: Porcupine Meatballs

Prep the white lasagna sauce, chicken, and spinach

Step 1: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent.

Step 2: Add ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook until chicken is no longer pink, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, and sauté for an additional minute.

Step 3: Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese, spinach, and Italian seasoning.

Step 4: In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup light olive oil. Add flour and cook for two minutes, whisking constantly to create a roux. Slowly add chicken broth and milk and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken.

Step 5: After mixture is thickened (it will start to coat the sides of the pan), remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1¼ teaspoon pepper. If mixture becomes too thick, you can add additional milk or broth to thin. Allow the sauce to cool a bit and taste to see if it needs more salt.

Collage of pictures for how to assemble lasagna with white sauce without tomato sauce

Assemble the lasagna

Step 6: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Lightly rub or spray a 9×13 baking pan or lasagna pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Spread approximately ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Step 8: Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. (You may need to break some of the noodles in half). Pour another cup of sauce over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and ⅓ of the chicken mixture (eyeball it).

Step 9: Add another layer of noodles, another cup of sauce, another cup of cheese, and half of the remaining chicken mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, sauce, cheese, and the remaining chicken mixture.

Step 10: Top with one more layer of noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.

Step 11: Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Related recipe: Salmon Orzo Pasta

Shortcuts and substitutions

  • I typically use 2% milk in this recipe, but you can use low fat or whole as well. Skim milk may make the sauce too watery, but you could just use a little less.
  • I use full fat cottage cheese in the recipe, but you can swap low fat if you desire.
  • You can easily substitute ground turkey or ground pork for the ground chicken in this recipe.
  • This lasagna freezes really well. If you plan to freeze it or you're making it to give to someone else, I recommend baking it in a foil baking pan with a lid.

What to serve with white lasagna

Garlic bread and an Italian salad is what we usually go with. Lasagna is pretty high in calories and carbs, so we stick to smaller servings of garlic bread.

If you enjoyed this amazing from-scratch chicken lasagna with white sauce, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Slice of white lasagna with chicken on a plate.

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

This white sauce lasagna with ground chicken and spinach is an amazing twist to traditional lasagna.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 435kcal
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the ground chicken mixture:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin or light
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1.25 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed to remove water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano or basil
  • kosher salt and pepper
For the sauce and lasagna:
  • ½ cups light olive oil extra virgin has a stronger flavor, but it would work
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk whole, 2%, or 1%
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella
  • kosher salt and pepper

Special equipment

Instructions

Prep the ground chicken mixture:
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook until chicken is no longer pink, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese, spinach, and Italian seasoning.
Make the white lasagna sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup light olive oil. Add flour and cook for two minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken.
  • After mixture is thickened (it will start to coat the sides of the pan), remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. If mixture becomes too thick, you can add additional milk or broth to thin.
Assemble and bake the lasagna:
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly rub or spray a 9x13 baking pan or lasagna pan with a thin layer of olive oil.
  • Spread approximately ½ cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
    Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. (You may need to break some of the noodles in half).
  • Pour another cup of sauce over the noodles, using a spatula so spread it evenly over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and of the chicken mixture (eyeball it).
  • Add another layer of noodles, another cup of sauce, another cup of cheese, and half of the remaining chicken mixture.
  • Top with another layer of noodles, another cup of sauce, another cup of cheese, and remaining chicken mixture.
  • Top with one more layer of noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Notes

This white lasagna would work equally well with ground turkey or ground pork.
Skim milk can be used but it would make the sauce a little thinner.
Make-ahead lasagna: You can assemble the lasagna up to 1 day ahead of time, then bake as directed. Or bake the lasagna, allow to cool, and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake as directed when it's time to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 603mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3790IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 432mg | Iron: 2mg
Recipe Rating




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