Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

|by Erica

Lasagna, a classic Italian dish, is beloved worldwide for its rich flavors and comforting layers. However, traditional lasagna can be quite heavy, loaded with meats and cheeses. The Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna recipe offers a lighter, yet equally delicious alternative. This recipe incorporates nutritious broccoli and lean chicken, making it a healthier option that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

Ingredients Needed for This Recipe

Broccoli Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets (just the tops, not the stem)
  • 1 ½ cups basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Alfredo White Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter (unsalted preferred)
  • 2 tbsp flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, or white whole wheat)
  • 3 – 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 ounces container ricotta (skim or whole milk)
  • 1 ½ cups milk (skim, whole, 2%, or dairy-free)
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Chicken Lasagna:

  • 2 ½ cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken (or shredded baked chicken)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (low fat or regular)
  • 1 ½ cup broccoli pesto (recipe above)
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (gluten-free if needed)

Instructions for Making Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Make the Pesto: Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.

Make the Alfredo White Sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add flour and mix until golden. Pour in milk and whisk until combined. Add broth, ricotta cheese, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer on medium-low heat for 5 – 8 minutes until thick. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings.

Assemble the Lasagna: Cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish with some ricotta sauce. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top. Add more ricotta sauce and 3 to 5 tablespoons of broccoli pesto. Swirl it around and top with shredded chicken, Parmesan cheese, and a third of the mozzarella. Repeat layers two more times. Finish with the last three noodles, a bit of sauce and pesto, and the remaining mozzarella. Ensure noodles are completely covered.

Bake: Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.


  • Gluten-Free Option: Use brown rice or gluten-free lasagna noodles.
  • Ricotta Substitute: Cottage cheese can be used instead of ricotta.
  • Mozzarella Substitute: Use shredded swiss, cheddar, provolone, gouda, or fontina.
  • Pesto Alternative: Use 1 + 1/2 cups of store-bought pesto if you don’t have broccoli.

Storage and Freezing

Freezing Baked Lasagna: Let it cool completely, wrap in foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat at 350°F until heated through.

Freezing Unbaked Lasagna: Assemble, wrap in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and bake as instructed.

Storing: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes, or microwave individual slices for 10 – 15 minutes.

Customizations and Tips

Gluten-Free Option: Substitute regular noodles with gluten-free ones.

Cheese Substitutes: Experiment with different types of cheese like swiss, cheddar, or gouda for varied flavors.

Pesto Variations: If short on time or ingredients, store-bought pesto can be a quick alternative.

Make Ahead: This lasagna can be assembled ahead of time and baked when needed, making it perfect for meal prep or entertaining.

Tips for Perfecting Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna

Quality Ingredients: Use fresh broccoli and basil for the pesto. The freshness of these ingredients significantly impacts the flavor.

Chicken Preparation: Opt for rotisserie chicken for convenience and flavor. If you prefer cooking your chicken, ensure it’s well-seasoned and not overcooked to avoid dryness.

Sauce Consistency: When making the Alfredo sauce, aim for a smooth, creamy consistency. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk; if too thin, let it simmer longer.

Layering: Ensure each layer of noodles is adequately covered with sauce and pesto. This prevents the noodles from drying out and ensures they cook evenly.

Cheese Distribution: Be generous but even with the cheese distribution. Each bite should have a good balance of noodles, sauce, chicken, pesto, and cheese.

Baking Time: Monitor the lasagna as it bakes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover it with foil to prevent burning.

Resting Time: Allow the lasagna to rest for about 10 minutes after baking. This helps the layers set and makes slicing easier.

Oven Calibration: Ensure your oven is correctly calibrated. An oven thermometer can help verify the actual temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make this lasagna vegetarian?

Yes, simply omit the chicken. You can add more vegetables like spinach or mushrooms to compensate.

Is this recipe suitable for freezing?

Absolutely. You can freeze both baked and unbaked lasagna. Wrap it well to prevent freezer burn and thaw before reheating or baking.

Can I use store-bought pesto?

Yes, if you’re short on time, store-bought pesto is a convenient substitute. However, the homemade broccoli pesto adds a unique flavor and nutritional boost.

What can I use instead of ricotta cheese?

Cottage cheese is a great alternative to ricotta. It provides a similar texture and taste.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Use gluten-free lasagna noodles. Many brands offer excellent alternatives that work well in this recipe.

Can I add other vegetables to the lasagna?

Certainly! Vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers can be great additions. Just make sure to cook them properly to avoid excess moisture in the lasagna.

How do I know when the lasagna is done baking?

The lasagna is done when the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges are slightly golden brown. A knife inserted in the center should come out hot, indicating the middle is well cooked.

Can I prepare this lasagna ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the lasagna and refrigerate it up to a day before baking. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it’s going straight from the fridge to the oven.

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through. This method helps maintain the texture better than microwaving.

How long can I store the leftover lasagna?

Properly stored in the refrigerator, the lasagna should last for up to 5 days.

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    Hi there! I’m Erica,

    A highly passionate individual with a deep love for creating delicious and creative recipes that are perfect for any occasion. With an extensive background in the culinary arts and a strong flair for experimentation, I strive to push the boundaries of traditional cooking and deliver exceptional dishes that not only satisfy the palate but also ignite a sense of culinary adventure.

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