Veggie Loaded White Chicken Lasagna
I love this lasagna recipe because it is loaded with hidden veggies and layered with the most delicious white sauce. As an added bonus, the leftovers are AMAZING.
Why This Recipe Works
It isn’t your average lasagna. This recipe is made with an amazing white sauce, shredded chicken, and a delicious green filling. Oh, and there is cheese. You can’t have lasagna without cheese.
It’s packed with veggies but you’d never know it. This recipe has a ton of hidden veggies including peas and fresh spinach but doesn’t taste like veggies! It is perfect for sneaking veggies past picky eaters.
The leftovers are awesome. If you like to cook once and eat twice (or more), this recipe is for you!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Frozen peas – Thaw the peas according to package instructions. Don’t overthink it!
Ricotta cheese – This recipe calls for 2 cups of ricotta cheese which is one 16 oz container. So, if you have a 16 oz. container, no need to measure. It’s always nice to save time and dishes!
No-boil lasagna noodles – No-boil lasagna noodles can be found in the same aisle as normal dried lasagna noodles. Look for packaging that says “no-boil” or “oven-ready”.
If you do not have no-boil lasagna noodles, normal lasagna noodles will work just fine! Simply cook them according to package instructions prior to using them in Step 2 of Assembly Instructions.
Shredded chicken – You can buy pre-shredded chicken or make your own. If making your own, a 1 lb. package of boneless skinless chicken breasts makes about 2 cups of shredded chicken.
This recipe is broken down into 3 major parts.
- Make the filing.
- Make the sauce.
- Assemble lasagna and bake.
How-to Make the Filing
Simply put all the Filling Ingredients in a food processor and blend/process until well combined.
Blend until smooth if you prefer a smooth filling. I recommend a smooth if you’re trying to hide the peas and spinach from kids or significant others! If you prefer a chunkier filling simply blend for less time!
How-to Make the Sauce
You will start off by cooking onions and garlic in butter. The smell that fills the kitchen is incredible!
Then, add the flour to the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or two. The flour will stick the garlic and onions making them sticky/pasty.
Next, whisk in one cup of milk at a time until all the milk has been added. Then increase the heat to medium/high, whisking every minute or two. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Once thickened, remove from heat.
Immediately stir the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into the sauce until well combined. Then the sauce is done!
How-to Assemble the Lasagna
Start off by lightly greasing a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Then spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. This keeps the bottom layer of noodles from sticking and becoming chewy.
Next comes the layering process! Evenly add the ingredients to the baking dish in the following order.
- Lasagna noodles
- Shredded chicken
- Mozzarella cheese
Repeat the layering process two more times for a total of 3 layers.
Lastly, top off the lasagna with a final layer of lasagna noodles followed by the remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then assembly is done!
How-to Bake the Lasagna
Cover the lasagna with foil and put it in a 350°F preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and put the lasagna back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes for a total bake time of 55 minutes.
Then the lasagna is ready to eat!
My Top Lasagna Tips
- Use a large and/or deep pan to make the sauce. This avoids overflow and big messes when whisking in the milk!
- Refer to the Spoon Trick when thickening the sauce. Never know when a sauce has “thickened”? Here’s a little trick. Dip a wooden spoon or spatula in the sauce. The sauce has thickened enough if you can draw a line down the back of the spoon or spatula.
- Use no-boil lasagna noodles. No-boil noodles can be found in the same aisle as standard noodles. They make perfect lasagna every time. As an added bonus you don’t’ have to pre-boil the noodles saving you time and dishes.
- Don’t layer the lasagna too high! Don’t layer the lasagna so high that it is even with the top edge of the baking dish or you might end up with a huge overflow mess in your oven. If you must stack the lasagna high, place the baking dish on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven the catch any potential overflow.
Yes! This recipe includes 4 cups of green vegetables that are hidden in the filling. It also includes a relatively small amount of cheese compared to traditional lasagna recipes and the white sauce doesn’t use any cream!
Nope! I have used a food processor and an immersion blender to make the filling. A blender would work as well but you make need to blend up the filling in a few batches!
Yes! You can make the lasagna a couple days in advanced and keep it covered in the fridge until showtime. Then just pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes covered with foil, plus an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
Personally, I like to keep it easy and serve it with a simple salad. However, if you’re looking to really go all out, I recommend sides like Spinach Mashed Potatoes, Whole Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Brussel’s Sprouts to balance the rich cheesy goodness of the lasagna.
The instructions in this recipe has three layers. However, there are no rules. Add as many layers as your little heart desires as long as it fits within your baking dish!
Nope! Put down a layer of sauce first, then the first layer of lasagna noodles. This will keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish and/or becoming dry and rubbery.
Depends! You have three options for lasagne noodles.
1. No-boil Lasagne Noodles – These DO NOT need to be cooked before baking and can be found in the pasta aisle right next to normal lasagne noodles. Just look for a package that says no-boil or oven-ready.
2. Fresh Lasagne Noodles – These DO NOT need to be cooked before baking and can be found in either the deli or refrigerator section. However, I have noticed fresh pasta is getting harder and harder to find!
3. Standard Lasagne Noodles – These DO need to be cooked before baking and are your standard lasagne noodles that can be found in the pasta aisle. Simply cook them according to package instructions prior to using them in the recipe!
Absolutely! In fact, I primarily make lasagna for that specific purpose. After the lasagna is done cooking and has cooled, I cut it up into pieces and store them in individual containers for my husband and me to grab for lunch or dinner throughout the week!
Other Recipes to You Might Like
My Lemon Asparagus Risotto and Roasted Tomato Soup are both delicious and made entirely in one pot/pan. Winning!
These Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas are everything warm, delicious, and comforting! The leftovers are awesome!
Last but not least, try Honey Curry Chicken or the best Italian Beef you’ve ever had!
Watch the How-to Video
Hungry for more tasty eats? Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest and subscribe to my email list for Zested Lemon’s latest recipes and updates.
Veggie Loaded White Chicken Lasagna
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 9 oz No-boil lasagna noodles, (see note 1)
- 2 cups shredded chicken, (see note 2)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Blend: Put all filling ingredients in a food processor. Blend/process until well combined and you've reach your desired consistency. For a chunkier filling, blend for a shorter time. For a smoother filling blend for a longer time.
- Prep Veggies: Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic.
- Cook Onion: Put the butter and onion in a large deep pan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and becomes translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add Garlic: Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. It will smell divine!
- Add Flour: Add the flour to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes. The flour will stick to the onion and garlic and appear sticky/pasty.
- Add Milk: Switch to a whisk if you aren't using one already. Add the milk about one cup at a time while whisking until all the milk has been added.
- Thicken Sauce: Increase the heat to medium/high. The goal is to heat up the sauce just enough to see a little movement with a few bubbles. Continue to whisk every minute or so until the sauce has thickened. This usually takes 5-7 minutes. You will know the sauce is done when you can draw a line through the sauce on the back of a wooden spoon (see note 3).
- Add Remaining: Once the sauce has thickened, remove the sauce from the heat. Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper and lemon juice to the sauce. Stir until the cream cheese has melted and well combined.
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Assemble: Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Then start the layering process! First add a single layer of lasagna noodles. Then spread 1/3 of the filling over the noodles followed by 1/3 of the shredded chicken. Next add 1/4 of the remaining sauce and 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering process two more times for a total of three layers. Lastly, top off the lasagna with a final layer of lasagna noodles following by the remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Cook: Cover the lasagna with foil and put it in a 350°F preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and put the lasagna back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes for a total cook time of 55 minutes.
Haven’t eaten it yet, but each individual component tastes amazing!
I’m reviewing without tasting compete because I’m waiting for it to come out of the oven, and I know I won’t make it back here once I sit down.
I’ve made two small changes, I used unsweetened Silk soy milk to reduce the dairy, and I added a layer of thinly mandolin sliced carrots and yellow squash between all the noodles and filling.
It is simply gorgeous!! I cannot wait to dig in. Thank you very much for this easy to follow stunner!
By far the best take to work lunch! It’s good fresh out the oven too. Hot Tom approved!
My all time favorite lasagna! I could eat an entire pan and likely will! It is so savory but packed with veggies! It is an easy item to make ahead of time for the family or gathering. 10/10
and 2 out of 3 nephews approve! The youngest and only one who did not enjoy the recipe is 7, his tastebuds are not to be trusted!