Chicken Lasagna in a creamy Alfredo sauce is the ultimate comfort food!
This White Chicken Lasagna is rich, satisfying, comforting, flavorful and boasts towering layers for the ultimate flavor and texture. It’s loaded with three layers of pasta, homemade chicken Alfredo sauce, creamy ricotta (with a secret trick) spiked with spinach and artichokes, and gooey mozzarella cheese. Every bite is a creamy, dreamy, cheesy thrill. I’ve included everything you need to know about how to make this Chicken Lasagna recipe, how to make ahead and how to freeze. Your search for the BEST Chicken Alfredo Lasagna stops here!
Chicken Lasagna Recipe
Ever since I posted my lasagna recipe last year, it has been my number 1 recipe with nothing but glowing reviews. So, I thought it was time to post its alluring cousin – White Chicken Lasagna. It’s similar to my White Chicken Lasagna Soup, but of course, in hearty, cheesy, stacked form.
Traditional white lasagna, however, as opposed to soup form, is a bit more time consuming, BUT you will never regret making this Chicken Lasagna! You simply can’t beat the layers of velvety Alfredo goodness baked together into saucy, immensely comforting delight.
a few more reasons to love white lasagna:
- Crowd pleaser. White Lasagna is always a homerun. It’s essentially chicken Alfredo + lasagna = everyone’s dream. From the kids to teenagers, to adults and grandparents, Chicken Lasagna satisfies everyone’s cravings – and then some.
- Makes a generous amount. This chicken Alfredo lasagna recipe makes a hearty casserole with many layers so it is perfect for large crowds, dinner parties or company.
- Less Expensive. Although this Chicken Lasagna tastes every bit as decadently delicious as your favorite restaurant, you can feed your entire family + plus leftovers for the price of one fine dining slice.
- Freezer friendly. Many white sauce pastas don’t freeze well but this Chicken Lasagna freezes like a champ! You can freeze it for busy days ahead or for gifts for new moms or when someone has had surgery. You can also double the batch and eat one lasagna casserole for dinner and freeze the other.
- Make Ahead. One of my favorite aspects of this white lasagna recipe is that you can assemble it the night before, refrigerate and then bake the next night for dinner with ZERO prep AND it tastes even better baked the next day! Winner, winner Chicken Lasagna dinner!
Now get ready for this white lasagna to join the ranks of your other Italian favorites: Bolognese, Chicken Parmesan, Manicotti, Sausage Rigatoni, Italian Meatballs, Fettuccine Alfredo, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Penne, Pasta Al Forno, Italian Pasta Salad etc.. Now just try and pick a favorite!
Best White Lasagna Recipe
There are a lot of white lasagna recipes out there – so what makes this one different? Through experimenting, trial and error, I’ve made little changes every time that add up to BIG results such as: using classic noodles vs. no-boil noodles, using chicken in the sauce vs. layering, perfecting homemade Alfredo sauce vs. store-bought, using ricotta + sour cream vs. just ricotta, and on and on. In the end, here is my conclusion of what makes the Best Chicken Lasagna recipe:
- Classic Noodles. There is no need to settle for no boil noodles! Classic Noodles are soaked in hot water instead of boiled for ease and the perfect texture every time.
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce. You NEED a quality, flavorful Alfredo sauce in order to have the best Chicken Lasagna recipe because it cradles every nook and cranny. This homemade Alfredo sauce is creamy, silky, nutty, herby intoxication at its finest.
- Spinach and Artichokes. All the saucy, cheesy goodness needs to be broken up and balanced – enter spinach and artichokes. The two are sublime together and even better enveloped in cheesy chicken glory.
- Depth of Flavor. It is important that the Alfredo sauce be generously seasoned because it envelops every part of the Chicken Lasagna and is mellowed out by the cheese. This Alfredo Sauce not only boasts nutty Parmesan but heaps of garlic, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes. It’s Alfredo on steroids. The ricotta filling is also seasoned with Parmesan, nutmeg, basil as well as the spinach and artichokes.
- No Grainy Ricotta! Instead of using all of ricotta, we combine ricotta with sour cream for the creamiest ricotta you ever did taste. I use this trick in my traditional lasagna recipe and everyone agrees it’s a winner!
- Ratio of Chicken Alfredo Sauce to Filling to Noodles. This Chicken Alfredo Lasagna recipe has double the ricotta filling as most lasagna recipes so it doesn’t get lost and it makes the lasagna even creamier. You definitely won’t think the proportions are filling heavy but just right.
- More layers. One of my pet peeves in lasagna recipes is not enough layers. I want to be able to taste a stack of noodles! This Chicken Lasagna boasts four layers of noodles so we get to sink our teeth into layer upon layer of YUM!
What ingredients go into chicken lasagna?
- Lasagna Noodles
- Shredded Chicken
- Alfredo Sauce
- Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Italian Seasonings
Many White Chicken Lasagna recipes have similar ingredients but the magic of this lasagna recipe comes down to the quality of ingredients, seasonings and ratio of ingredients which I’ve discussed in greater detail below. The beauty of the ingredients is that they are all pantry friendly which means you can make it whenever the cravings strike!
WHAT ARE THE BEST NOODLES FOR CHICKEN LASAGNA?
You have two choices when it comes to lasagna noodles: no-boil lasagna noodles or classic lasagna noodles. My clear choice for this Chicken Lasagna recipe is classic lasagna noodles, here’s why:
No Boil Noodles. Just Say No to No Boil Noodles. No boil lasagna noodles are definitely alluring without the extra step of boiling noodles and dealing with clumping, tearing boiled noodles. No boil lasagna, noodles, however, are too thin, in my opinion, against the thick, robust sauce and layers of luscious cheese filling. No boil noodles also tend to bake up chewy instead of tender and you run the unpalatable risk of crunchy, noodles if they are not adequately submerged in the sauce.
Classic Noodles. What if I told you, you can use classic noodles without boiling them? Without the slipping, sticking and tearing? Well, you CAN! We soak our classic noodles in hot water while the sauce is simmering. They emerge softened and super easy to work with without the risk of tearing. The softened noodles cook completely in the lasagna for the perfect texture every single time.
WHAT TYPE OF CHICKEN SHOULD I USE for WHITE LASAGNA?
I have tried shredded rotisserie chicken, homemade shredded chicken (from chicken breasts) and diced chicken in this Chicken Lasagna recipe – my clear favorite is shredded rotisserie chicken. You can definitely still make with your own shredded chicken – instructions to follow.
- Rotisserie Chicken: is a mixture of light and dark meat so it’s extra juicy and flavorful. It is also beautifully tender, delicately seasoned and delicious plain, so it is perfect to use in white lasagna. I like to purchase rotisserie chicken from Costco, portion it into recipe serving sizes and freeze in plastic bags. You can use this frozen chicken in a number of recipes including Million Dollar Chicken Alfredo Bake, Chicken Spaghetti, Chicken Divan, Chicken Enchiladas and Shredded Chicken Tacos.
- Chicken Breasts or Thighs: You can make your own shredded chicken with either chicken breasts or chicken thighs so you can always make this white lasagna with whatever chicken you have on hand. Chicken thighs will give you juicer, more flavorful shredded chicken, but chicken breasts will work as well. I’ve included instructions below on how to make our own shredded chicken below.
How to Make Shredded Chicken
I love using rotisserie chicken because it eliminates one extra step, but making your own shredded chicken is less expensive and can save you a trip to the grocery store. You can also make the chicken ahead of time and freeze for when you’re ready to make Chicken Lasagna.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and cook 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.
- Flip chicken and add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, then flip chicken over and continue to cook 5-10 minutes (thighs will take less time) or until chicken is cooked though and tender enough to shred. Add additional chicken broth or water if the liquid absorbs before the chicken is cooked through.
- Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of chicken and actual temperature. If your chicken does not shred easily, then continue to cook, adding additional broth/water if needed.
- Remove chicken from skillet and let rest 5 minutes before shredding.
WHAT INGREDIENTS FOR ALFREDO SAUCE FOR WHITE LASAGNA?
This homemade Alfredo sauce takes less than 15 minutes to make and SO worth making for the BEST Chicken Lasagna. The results are exponentially more than the time and effort required. The homemade Alfredo sauce is also mega creamy but not as naughty as traditional Alfredo made with just butter and heavy cream. Instead, it begins with a roux to thicken, along with chicken broth and half and half. You will need:
- Parmesan cheese: is a key ingredient to any Alfredo sauce. For best results use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You don’t want to use the powdered or pre-shredded cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is much more flavorful and melts much better.
- butter: use unsalted butter so we can control the level of salt. You may also substitute half of the butter with olive oil for a lighter sauce.
- garlic cloves: is essential to infuse the Chicken Alfredo Lasagna with garlicky goodness – use more or less depending on your garlic love.
- all-purpose flour: thickens the sauce beautifully. You may substitute with gluten free flour.
- low sodium chicken broth: is more flavorful than just milk or heavy cream. You can also substitute vegetable broth. Make sure you use low sodium broth so your Alfredo sauce isn’t too salty.
- half and half: is sold next to the heavy cream and milk and is equal parts milk and cream. I often don’t have half and half on hand but I usually stock heavy cream, so I will make my own half and half. To make your own half and half for this white lasagna, you would need 1 ½ cup milk and 1 ½ cups heavy cream.
- seasonings: in addition to garlic, this Alfredo sauce is seasoned with chicken bouillon, red pepper flakes, dried basil, dried parsley, dried thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper. You can add more or less of any of the seasonings to suite your tastes. If you usually shy away from red pepper flake, I can assure you they won’t make your lasagna spicy because of the quantity of other ingredients – just flavorful.
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE FOR CHICKEN ALFREDO LASAGNA?
There are three cheeses in this Chicken Lasagna recipe: mozzarella and ricotta and Parmesan, so let’s talk cheese!
White lasagna – or any lasagna recipe – always needs mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is creamy, buttery and melts beautifully. It’s milky richness cuts through the tangy tomato sauce. I prefer shredded mozzarella cheese over fresh mozzarella balls because I find them too watery for lasagna.
I also prefer shredded mozzarella cheese over sliced mozzarella because it’s so much easier to evenly distribute. If you want to use mozzarella slices, then I suggest asking your deli counter to very thinly slice the mozzarella.
There is a debate between using ricotta and cottage cheese in lasagna filling. Some turn to cottage cheese because they don’t like the grainy texture of ricotta. Well, I’ve solved that dilemma. I did a side by side test of:
- lasagna with ricotta
- lasagna with ricotta mixed with sour cream
- lasagna with cottage cheese
- lasagna with cottage cheese mixed with sour cream
The lasagna with ricotta mixed with sour cream was the clear winner with lasagna with cottage cheese mixed with sour cream as the second choice.
I was AMAZED by the ricotta mixed with sour cream. It still tasted like ricotta filling but was no longer grainy but smooth – seriously lasagna changing – I will never go back!
That being said, I have heard that the ricotta we buy in our American grocery stores tastes nothing like ricotta you purchase at an Italian market. If you have the chance to purchase either brands Sierra or Polly-O ricotta cheese at a specialty market, then you might not need the sour cream trick – but I think I’d still do it because – tangy, silky sour cream!
Lastly, you will need freshly grated Parmesan cheese to infuse the Chicken Lasagna with its alluring salty, nutty flavor. Parmesan is used both in the ricotta mixture as well as in the Alfredo sauce. It is a lot of Parmesan to grate, so I suggest using the grater attachment on your food processor if you have one. You don’t want to use the powdered or pre-shredded cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese tastes far superior and melts much better.
What goes into White Chicken Lasagna Filling?
This filling is sensational. The creamy ricotta sour cream mixture envelops the earthy spinach and artichokes to create layers of palate pleasing texture and flavor. The ingredient list might look a little long, but you are literally just mixing all the ingredients together – that’s it! You will need:
- ricotta cheese: please use whole milk ricotta -you can taste the difference! It melts far better than skim ricotta for a much creamier texture.
- sour cream: full fat please – again it melts much better.
- Parmesan cheese: adds nutty, salty goodnesss. Use freshly grated Parmesan for its superior melting ability and not powdered or pre-shredded cheese.
- basil: 1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil will do the trick – but fresh is always best!
- seasonings: nutmeg is a secret authentic ingredient to ricotta lasagna filling. It is rounded out by salt and pepper.
- eggs: act as a binding agent and prevents the filling from being runny; but don’t worry, you can’t taste the egg, just the luxurious texture.
- spinach: I use a package of thawed frozen for ease but you can also make your own wilted spinach be steaming it – be warned it takes a lot of spinach to equal the frozen equivalent.
- artichoke hearts: make sure you purchase artichoke hearts in water as opposed to marinated. Rinse and drain the artichokes well before chopping. After chopping, pat dry again. Artichoke hearts are located either in the canned vegetable aisle or pickles/sandwich condiments at your grocery store.
How to Make Chicken Lasagna
Here’s a snapshot of How to Make Chicken Lasagna:
- Soak lasagna noodles
- Make ricotta cheese mixture
- Make Alfredo sauce
- Assemble lasagna
Here’s How to Make Chicken Lasagna step by step:
Soak Lasagna Noodles
- Add the classic lasagna noodles to a long dish, such as a 9×13 pan or bread pan and cover in hot water. There is no need to boil the water, hot tap water will do just fine. Take care the noodles are completely submerged in water. Let them soak while you prep the lasagna – at least 30 minutes.
Make ricotta cheese mixture
- While the lasagna noodles are soaking, mix together ricotta cheese, sour cream, spinach, artichokes, fresh basil, nutmeg, eggs and Parmesan cheese.
Make Alfredo Sauce
- Cook flour and garlic in butter, stir in half and half, chicken broth, seasonings and simmer until thickened. Stir in Parmesan until melted.
- Finally, stir in shredded chicken until evenly combined.
How to Layer Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
These layers create a perfectly balanced Chicken Alfredo Lasagna with the least amount of effort. By combining the chicken with the sauce and the spinach and artichokes with the ricotta filling, we minimize the layering steps but still get to enjoy the elements in the many layers.
- Spread a thin layer of chicken Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
- Make a layer of lasagna noodles by placing 4 noodles lengthwise and part of a 5th noodle on top to cover. Take care you pat your noodles dry after soaking before layering.
- Spread an even layer of the ricotta cheese mixture (1/3 of the mixture).
- Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat those layers (chicken Alfredo sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella) 2 more times for a total of 3 complete layers.
- To finish, top with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella.
HOW TO BAKE WHITE CHICKEN LASAGNA
- Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. If you leave your white lasagna uncovered in the oven, it will become dry.
- Bake lasagna at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and lasagna is hot and bubbly.
- Turn the oven to broil (550 degree F) without moving the lasagna. Broil until the top is golden in spots, about 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Let the Chicken Lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This will allow the lasagna to set and to cool slightly in order to create cleaner slices.
TIPS and Tricks FOR White CHICKEN Lasagna
- Thin sauce if needed. Alfredo sauce can become too thick if its simmered at too high of heat or for too long or if it’s allowed to sit; but don’t worry, it’s SO easy to fix! Simply stir in a little milk or chicken broth until it thins to desired consistency.
- Squeeze spinach dry. We want VERY DRY spinach so the Chicken Lasagna doesn’t become watery. I recommend adding defrosted spinach to a fine mesh sieve over the sink then press down on it with the bottom of a measuring cup until no liquid is released.
- Pat artichokes dry. Same goes for the artichokes – we want VERY DRY artichokes or they can make the ricotta filling watery. Pat artichokes down with paper towels before you chop them. After you chop them, gather them in a clean kitchen towel and pat dry again.
- Dry lasagna noodles. Take care you pat your noodles dry after soaking them before layering. I do this by laying each layer of noodles (so 5 noodles at a time) on a clean kitchen towel, then folding the towel over the noodles and patting them dry.
- Don’t worry about thin layers. They chicken Alfredo sauce layer will seem thin, but don’t worry about it – just spread the best you can and it will spread and melt into cohesive creaminess as it bakes.
WHITE CHICKEN LASAGNA RECIPE VARIATIONS:
This White Chicken Lasagna is delicious as is, or feel free to customize it. Here are a few ideas:
- Swap protein. I know this is CHICKEN Lasagna, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up! You can swap the chicken for ground turkey, Italian sausage or even lump crab meat.
- Add veggies. You can sprinkle in layers of veggies such as steamed broccoli, petite peas, bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, etc. You will want to steam, roast or boil the veggies before adding to the pasta.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious addition with the artichokes and spinach. Take care to rinse and pat them very dry before chopping. Reduce the spinach to 12 oz. if adding sun-dried tomatoes.
- Make casserole gluten-free. To make this Lasagna recipe gluten free, use your favorite gluten free lasagna noodles and gluten free flour.
What goes with Chicken Alfredo Lasagna?
This Chicken Alfredo Lasagna is the show stopper so it really doesn’t need much except a simple green salad and garlic bread, but we also love serving it with:
- Buttery Breadsticks
- Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls
- Roasted Parmesan Broccoli
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Lemon, Butter
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter
- Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch
- Berry Salad with Honey Mascarpone
- Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Can I make Chicken Lasagna in Advance?
Yes! Chicken Lasagna is the perfect make-ahead meal to either refrigerate and bake the next day or to assemble and freeze.
- Assemble and Refrigerate. You can make and assemble the entire lasagna a day in advance and refrigerate (without baking). I actually prefer assembling it the day before because it allows time for the flavors to build and marry.
- Make Sauce in Advance. You can make the sauce up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate it in an airtight container. You will need to gently warm the sauce on the stove, adding additional broth or milk to thin when ready to use.
Can I Freeze White Lasagna?
Yes! Many recipes with cheese don’t freeze well, but this White Lasagna is an exception. You can freeze the lasagna baked or unbaked. Freezing homemade lasagna is a great way to enjoy a bake-and-eat dinner any night of the week without any prep! For best results, I recommend freezing unbaked lasagna, but both methods will work.
How to Freeze Uncooked Chicken Lasagna
- Assemble lasagna according to recipe directions in a freezer safe dish.
- Cover lasagna tightly all around the dish with 2 layers of plastic wrap.
- Cover the lasagna tightly with one layer of aluminum foil.
- Label lasagna.
- Place evenly in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, place lasagna in the refrigerator 48 hours before to thaw completely.
- Remove plastic wrap and cover tightly with foil.
- Bake lasagna according to directions, adding an additional 10-15 minutes.
How to Freeze Cooked Chicken Lasagna
- Bake lasagna according to directions in a freezer safe dish.
- Let cool on the counter for one hour.
- Cover lasagna with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill completely before freezing (this will prevent an unpleasant texture).
- Cover lasagna tightly with a second layer of plastic wrap all the way around the dish.
- Cover the lasagna tightly with one layer of aluminum foil.
- Label lasagna.
- Place evenly in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, place lasagna in the refrigerator the night before to thaw completely.
- Remove plastic wrap and cover lasagna tightly with foil.
- Bake entire lasagna according to directions, adding an additional 10-15 minutes.
HOW TO FREEZE INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS of CHICKEN LASAGNA
- Bake lasagna according to directions.
- Let lasagna cool completely then slice into individual servings.
- Freeze lasagna in freezer safe plastic bags or individual airtight containers.
- To reheat, remove servings from the bag/container to a baking sheet.
- Bake individual servings at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.
How to Cook CHICKEN Lasagna from Frozen
- Remove plastic wrap from lasagna and cover tightly with foil.
- Bake lasagna covered at 350 degrees F for 1 ½ hours.
- Uncover and bake an addition 15-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Looking for more Italian recipes?
- Shrimp Fettuccine
- Loaded Zuppa Toscana
- Italian Vegetable Soup
- Caprese Chicken Pasta
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- One Skillet Cheesy Meaty Penne
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Mushroom Orzo
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