Chicken Lasagna with Pesto Cream Sauce

Chicken Lasagna with Pesto


Yield: 8-12 servings

  • 16 lasagna strips (one box is 18 pieces so cook all in case some break)

  • 1-pound container of whole milk ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  • ¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine

  • 1 whole egg

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

  • Few grinds fresh nutmeg

  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 ounces prosciutto diced into small pieces

  • 1 cup onion, diced

  • ½ pound fresh baby spinach

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • All-purpose flour to coat chicken

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 cup pesto divided, see recipe here

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 3 ½ cups whole milk

  • 4 ounces butter (1 stick)

  • 4 ounces flour (shy of one cup)

  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

  • Dash of hot sauce (we like Cholula)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

  • Few grinds fresh nutmeg

  • 1 pound sliced deli provolone cheese


All ingredients must be prepared ahead of time before assembling.

Can be assembled the night before and brought to room temperature before baking.

  1.     In a very large wide pot, heat water and once boiling, salt the water, then add one lasagna strip at a time so they don’t stick and cook for 1 minute short of what it says on the box. My box said to cook for eight minutes and I cooked for seven.

  2.     Have a strainer standing by and gently lift each piece out with tongs into the strainer being careful not to break them up. Rinse with cold running water and layout on a sheet tray not touching each other. I layered with plastic wrap until I was ready to use.

  3.     In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg and the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

  4.     In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat olive oil and add prosciutto and cook for two minutes, then add onions and cook for two minutes.

  5.     Add spinach and cook until wilted, about another two minutes. Set aside.

  6.     Pound or butterfly chicken breasts to a uniform thickness of one quarter inch.

  7.     Coat the chicken with flour and shake off excess.

  8.     Heat a large sauté pan to medium high and melt butter. Add chicken in a single layer and cook two minutes. Flip, lower heat to low and cook covered for five minutes without removing cover. Turn off heat and let sit five more minutes, again without removing cover.

  9.     Move chicken to a cutting board to cool.

  10.     Once cool, cut into half inch size pieces by cutting into strips then across the strips into pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with ½ cup of the pesto. Set aside.

  11.     Place milk and cream in a sauce pan and heat to hot. Keep on low flame.

  12.     In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat then add flour and cook for three minutes, stirring often.

  13.     Whisk in one third of the milk mixture with a wire whisk and stir briskly to form a thick paste. Add another third and whisk that in. Finally add the remaining third and whisk to form a smooth sauce.

  14.     Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, dry mustard and nutmeg. Stir to combine then remove from heat and set aside.

  15.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  16.     In a 9X13 inch pan, spread one cup of sauce on the bottom and line with three lasagna noodles.

  17.     Place all of the chicken and pesto mixture on top and cover with about five provolone slices. (enough to cover the surface, overlapping is fine)

  18.     Cover with four more lasagna noodles (three the long way and one trimmed to fit the short way.

  19.     Pour the spinach mixture on top, including any liquid collected in bowl.

  20.     Top with one cup of sauce then four more lasagna noodles.

  21.     Spread on the ricotta mixture then top with five lasagna noodles, overlapping four the long way and one trimmed to fit the short way.

  22.     Top with one more cup of sauce and about eight slices of overlapping provolone cheese.

  23.     Cover with parchment and foil and bake for 40 minutes covered and ten minutes uncovered.

  24.     Place under broiler for a minute or two to slightly brown the cheese.

  25.  Let sit for ten minutes before cutting.

  26.     Place the remaining white sauce in a small sauce pan and heat to hot. Then off heat, whisk in the remaining pesto and serve with the lasagna.

  27.     Cut into 8, 10 or 12 pieces.

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