Thank you to the Mushroom Council for sponsoring this post. Make the pledge to be a blenditarian and share what drives you to do better! Layers of lean ground chicken and mushrooms, spinach, a creamy white sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese, make this White Chicken Spinach Lasagna a bit lighter than the traditional version while still being loaded with delicious, comforting flavor!
White Chicken Spinach Lasagna
Lasagna is quite possibly the ultimate comfort food with layer upon layer of savory meat, cheese, and pasta with those divine ruffled edges (my favorite part). But I wanted something a little different from the norm the other day when I decided to make lasagna for my family, so I went with a cheesy, creamy chicken lasagna recipe with a white sauce instead of the traditional red, and it was sooooooo good that I just had to share!
This is the best chicken lasagna recipe I’ve tried. Instead of shredded chicken and sliced mushrooms, I decided to combine ground chicken and finely chopped mushrooms together for the more traditional lasagna texture of browned beef and pork, except with the lighter, healthier combination of lean chicken and extra veggies in the form of minced mushrooms!
I love chicken lasagna with white sauce because it’s such a delightful deviation from the standard tomato and meat-based sauce used in a classic lasagna bolognese. Which is delicious in its own right, but heavier than what I typically want for a weeknight meal. This creamy chicken lasagna recipe is also something that could be made ahead and frozen for an easy freezer meal to take to a friend or to have on hand for those busy days when all you want to do is pop something in the oven. Throw together a quick salad and you’re good to go.
I have been blending finely chopped mushrooms into some of my favorite ground meat dishes lately for a few reasons – better flavor, better health and overall better for sustainability. If you haven’t taken the monthly Blenditarian challenge yet, you should (you might even win $250)! When chopped to match the consistency of the meat they’re paired with, mushrooms can easily mimic meat. It’s awesome!
How to Make White Chicken Spinach Lasagna
- Prep the lasagna noodles by cooking them according to the package directions, then draining and laying in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with a little cooking spray. I prefer the old-fashioned lasagna noodles that you boil in water first, rather than the no-boil ones.
- When you are done cooking the lasagna noodles, use the same large pot to wilt the spinach by cooking it in just a little bit of oil until wilted, then drain the water that comes out of the spinach.
- In a large pan, brown the ground chicken and chopped mushrooms together. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Set aside and wipe out the pan.
- In the same pan, prepare the white sauce by cooking the onions and garlic in the butter until softened, then sprinkle with flour and stir well, cooking for a minute or two before adding the chicken broth and milk and cooking until thickened. Finish the sauce with seasonings.
- Assemble the lasagna by layering sauce, then noodles, meat & mushroom mixture, spinach, ricotta, sauce, and cheese; repeat!
- Bake at 350 degrees F. until hot and bubbly, about 35-40 minutes!
Tips and tricks to make the best chicken spinach lasagna recipe
- Use real, freshly grated mozzarella cheese rather than the pre-shredded stuff that doesn’t melt well.
- Add roasted peppers or artichoke hearts along with the spinach for even MORE veggies!
- This lasagna freezes well. Just assemble it but do NOT bake. Instead, wrap the assembled lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then wrap again with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
- Take the blenditarian pledge and share what drives YOU to do better!
What to serve with white chicken spinach lasagna:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 9 whole lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, minced
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- Parsley, chopped for sprinkling on top (optional)
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the softened onions, then stir to combine, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk the chicken broth and milk into the onion and flour mixture, then stir constantly until the sauce simmers and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, then remove from heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray so they don't stick.
- In the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Drain in a colander, squeezing out as much excess water as possible.
- In a large pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, then combine the ground chicken and mushrooms and brown together until the chicken is cooked through. Drain off any liquid.
- To assemble, spread 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of a large 9x13-inch baking dish. Lay 3 of the cooked lasagna noodles on top. Layer on 1/2 of the chicken & mushroom mixture, then spread 1/2 of the wilted spinach on top. Dollop with half of the ricotta cheese, then spread with another 1/4 of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Repeat layers by first arranging 3 more of the lasagna noodles over the first layer, then topping with the remaining chicken & mushroom mixture, spinach, ricotta cheese, and another 1/4 of the sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Finish the lasagna by arranging the last three noodles on top, then spread with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the last of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly, finishing under the broiler just to add a little color to the top, but being careful not to burn the cheese. Let the lasagna stand for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
You could use 1 package of frozen spinach in place of the fresh spinach. Just defrost and squeeze out as much water as you can.
Lasagna can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Just add 15 minutes to the baking time and cover with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes of baking time. You can also freeze the lasagna and bake for 2 hours until hot through, keeping the lasagna covered with aluminum foil for the first 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Inspired by All Recipes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576 Saturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 160mg Sodium: 1348mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Protein: 42g
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