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This chicken & spinach lasagna is every bit as delicious as the traditional minced beef version – creamy, cheesy and comforting. If you are looking to avoid red meat, or you simply have some leftover cooked chicken to use up then this is the recipe for you!
How many calories are in it?
Make no mistake, this dish definitely falls into the category of ‘comfort food’ rather than ‘lean & healthy’. It contains around 700 calories and 40g of fat. It’s cheesy and delicious and a good meal for an indulgent treat.
If you are looking for a healthier option then you could reduce the cheese. Using lower-fat margarine would also be a good option to replace the butter.
How long does it keep?
You can make this recipe up until the point of baking and keep in fridge for 2 days before baking. Allow to cool before refrigerating and seal tightly with clingfilm.
Baked leftovers can also be kept in the fridge for 2 days and reheated. Just make sure that with baked or unbaked lasagna the cooked chicken was fresh and hadn’t been left for a couple of days before using. If so then you should eat the lasagna the day of cooking.
Can you freeze it?
You can freeze this chicken & lasagna recipe. For best results, assemble, cool and cover with clingfilm before freezing. Or you can freeze fully baked leftovers by wrapping in clingfilm. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
What to serve with it?
As with standard lasagna, this goes great with some crispy garlic bread. A fresh salad is also a great accomplishment.
For exact measurements jump to the printable recipe card. You’ll need to make three key components for this recipe:
- Bechamel sauce.
This is made by creating a roux (equal amounts of flour and fat by weight which thickens the sauce), mixed with milk for a classic white sauce:
- Milk – I use semi-skimmed but full fat also works
- Parmesan – for extra flavour
- Nutmeg – to add extra creamy richness
2. Lasagna filling
- Olive oil (use vegetable oil if that’s what you have available)
- Onion – brown or white work fine – diced
- Garlic – finely chopped
- Cooked chicken – use from leftovers or a rotisserie chicken. Or you can cook a chicken breast and shred with two forks
- Oregano – dried
- Thyme – use a few sprigs of fresh or 1/2 a teaspoon dried per person
- Spinach – as fresh as possible
3. Lasagna assembly
- Lasagna sheets – use dry or cooked – if using dry then soak them in hot water first
- Cheddar – for a final golden brown topping
- Parsley – finely chopped for scattering
For the veg, you can substitute the spinach with some very lightly steamed broccoli (it will continue to cook in the oven, so don’t overdo it). You can also add celery or replace the carrot with it.
The parmesan in the bechamel sauce is not essential, although it does add to the taste! You could use cheddar instead if you don’t have both cheese’s in.
Feel free to use margarine instead of butter for the bechamel – although it won’t taste quite as rich.
How to make chicken lasagna
This recipe follows a similar method to a traditional lasagna recipe. Make a white bechamel sauce, cook up the ‘meat’ layers and then assemble.
The chicken mixture for the recipe is made by sauteeing onion and carrots until softened and then adding some garlic, thyme and oregano for flavour. Add some cooked chicken to heat through and add some spinach until wilted. Finally, stir in some of the bechamel to add in some moisture and creaminess to the chicken.
Layer the casserole dish as per the directions below and bake for 20 minutes covered in foil. Remove the foil for a final 10 minutes and then serve.
Products that work great for this recipe:
Cole & Mason Mezzaluna / Herb Chopper
Le Creuset Stoneware Casserole Dish
Joseph Joseph Fold Flat Grater
Creamy and cheesy – this Chicken & Spinach Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect if you have some leftover cooked chicken to use or if you are avoiding red meat.
The default recipe serves one – use an individual casserole dish – around 15cm x 15cm works great!
White Sauce (Béchamel):
- 15g (1 tbsp / 0.5oz) butter
- 15g (2 tbsp / 0.5oz) flour
- 180ml (3/4 cup) semi-skimmed milk
- 15g (2 tbsp / 0.5oz) freshly grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 diced onion (around 50 g / 1.7g)
- 1/2 carrot, finely diced (around 60 g / 2.1oz)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 70g (2.5oz) cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
- 1 large handful spinach
- 60g (2oz) fresh lasagna sheets
- 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
- 20g (0.7oz) freshly grated cheddar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. If you are using dried lasagna sheets, fill a large bowl with boiling water and place the sheets in it and place to one side (see note 1).
2. Next, make the white sauce. Place a small saucepan over a medium heat and melt the butter. Once melted immediately stir in the flour until fully combined. Whisk the milk into the pan and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the parmesan and nutmeg and season well and set aside.
3. Now prepare the chicken mixture. In a non-stick frying pan (skillet) add the olive oil and place over a medium high heat. Once hot add the onion and carrot and cook for around 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the cooked chicken, thyme, oregano and spinach. Continue to cook, until the spinach has wilted down. Stir regularly to allow the heat to distribute to the spinach. Once wilted take half of the white sauce and stir it into the chicken mixture and remove from the heat.
4. Now prepare the lasagna. Spread some sauce on the base of the baking tray and cover with lasagna sheets. Layer over half the chicken mixture and then add another layer of lasagna sheets and another smear of sauce. Finish with the rest of the chicken and another layer of lasagna sheets. Top with the remaining white sauce and sprinkle over the grated cheddar.
5. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a final 10 minutes before serving.
If you are using dried lasagna sheets, soaking them in hot water will make them both soft enough so they cook properly and moist so they dry out in the oven, It also allows you to easily cut them down to the size of your baking tray – particularly useful if you are cooking an individual portion as most sheets will be too big.
Use freshly grated parmesan rather than the ready grated variety. The ready grated stuff doesn’t melt properly so you’ll end up with a grainy sauce.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob / Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 700
- Fat: 40g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Protein: 55g
Keywords: lasagna, chicken, spinach, bechamel, italian, dinner, comfort food, cheese, pasta