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Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Pesto Lasagna


Indulge in a delicious twist on traditional lasagna with this easy and flavorful Chicken Pesto Lasagna recipe. Follow along with our step-by-step instructions and impress your family and friends with this tasty dish.

We layer lasagna noodles with a homemade creamy béchamel sauce, fresh pesto sauce, chunks of juicy rotisserie chicken and cheese, glorious cheese! It can be made in about an hour and it is a recipe perfect for spring!

Back when we lived in Utah County, there was a great little Italian restaurant (Màstra for the locals, SO GOOD!) with a delicious pesto lasagna. I have thought of how wonderful the lasagna was for over two years now, and while I couldn’t remember all the details about it, I knew I could create a simple lasagna recipe that our fans would fall in love with. I just had no idea it would actually become my favorite recipe thus far in 2024.

a photo of a piece of creamy pesto chicken lasagna being removed from a full pan of it

Tips for the Best Pesto Lasagna

It is so easy to make and so delicious! I think a few things make a difference… first, go ahead and use shredded chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken. I buy mine at Costco and divide it up into freezer bags using our food saver. It makes meals like this easy chicken lasagna a cinch and it’s far more tender and flavorful.

Second, I prefer to make my own béchamel sauce as it’s so darn easy, but if you really want to hurry you can just use Alfredo sauce. Rao’s makes a good one. In fact, did you know you could use evaporated milk and extra salt, pepper and Parmesan if you need to stretch it out even more? Half and half, milk, and heavy creamy would work as well.

Lastly, homemade pesto is always more fresh and vibrant but again, Costco or Harmons in Utah make fantastic pesto that pulls things together in a jiffy. While it’s not shown in the photo, I love to toast pine nuts to sprinkle on top and maybe a little Aleppo pepper flakes too. Totally up to you, but in less than an hour you’ve got dinner with such a small amount of work.

a photo of a large serving of creamy pesto chicken lasagna sitting on a plate with a silver fork next to it.

Ingredients Pesto Chicken Lasagna

The ingredients list includes a few pantry friendly ingredients to make the béchamel sauce and then a few more ingredients to assemble all the delicious lasagna layers. Here is what you will need:

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • Unsalted Butter: if you only have salted butter, just omit the salt from the sauce
  • Flour: just regular all purpose flour works the best
  • Heavy Cream: makes the sauce extra rich and creamy
  • Salt: adds flavor
  • Pepper: adds flavor and a tiny bit of heat
  • Nutmeg: adds flavor

For the Lasagna

  • Béchamel Sauce: easy to make from scratch but you can substitute a couple jars of a good Alfredo sauce if you are in a hurry
  • Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles: saves tons of time but can be swapped for uncooked lasagna noodles, the noodles will need to be cooked to al dente first
  • Rotisserie Chicken: makes this recipe so easy and has great flavor
  • Mozzarella Cheese: has a great melt factor, buy a brick of cheese and grate your own
  • Pesto: homemade or store-bought at Costco or locally in Utah Harmons
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese: adds a little more flavor and is best if grated yourself

The measurements for each of these ingredients can be found in the recipe card down below. Keep scrolling for all the details!

a photo of layers of lasagna pasta, shredded chicken, pesto, mozzarella and creamy bechamel being put into a white baking dish to be baked

Steps for Making Chicken Pesto Lasagna Recipe

We will start by making that creamy béchamel sauce, and then jump in to assembling the lasagna. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

For the Béchamel Sauce

  1. Melt: Start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk: Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and let it cook for 30 seconds to cook the flour taste out. Then gently whisk in the heavy cream.
  3. Season: Add the salt, black pepper and nutmeg and let the sauce simmer until thickened. Then remove from the heat.

For the Lasagna

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 375° F and pour a little of the béchamel sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 pan spreading it around evenly.
  2. Layer: Lay down a layer of noodles and top with 1/4 of the remaining béchamel sauce, then 1/3 of the chicken, then 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese, and finally 1/3 cup of pesto.
  3. Repeat: Repeat these layers ending with the lasagna noodles, béchamel sauce and then mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cover: Place a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over the baking dish being careful to not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake: Stick the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes and remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish: Pull the lasagna out of the oven, top with a drizzle of more pesto and sprinkle with the the fresh parmesan cheese.

These instructions can also be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of a creamy baked pesto chicken lasagna in a white ceramic 9x13 baking dish topped with a leaf of fresh basil and drizzles of pesto.

Can I Use Regular Lasagna Noodles?

Absolutely! I love the convenience of the no cook lasagna noodles, but if you have the time to cook your own pasta, boil the noodles as written on the package until al dente. They will finish cooking in the oven when the lasagna bakes.

Can I Cook My Own Chicken?

Yes! Either pan fry or grill 2-3 chicken breasts and then shred it to use in the lasagna.

a photo of a serving of pesto chicken lasagna sitting on a white dinner plate

Variations, Additions and Substitutions

This recipe is amazing as written, but it is totally open to your interpretation. Here are some ideas for ways to customize this chicken lasagna recipe:

Additions: mushrooms, toasted pine nuts, spinach, artichoke hearts, bacon, broccoli or roasted red peppers

Variations/Substitutions: remove the chicken to make this recipe vegetarian, swap the bechamel sauce for alfredo sauce or ricotta cheese, try different cheeses such as provolone, asiago, fontina, gouda or gruyere

a photo of a 9x13 white casserole dish full of golden baked creamy pesto chicken lasagna

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Comfort Food: Lasagna is a mega comfort food and there’s something extra comforting about the creamy bechamel sauce paired with bright basil pesto that makes me feel like I’m home.

Quick and Easy: Using rotisserie chicken and no bake lasagna pasta makes this recipe super easy and dinner is on the table in no time.

Meal Prep: This is a great recipe for making ahead of time. It can be completely assembled and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It can also be assembled and then frozen for up to 2 months and then baked right from frozen (see more details below).

Shareable: This is the perfect meal to drop off to someone that just had surgery or a baby. It is loved by everyone and makes great leftovers. Try these other shareable dinner ideas as well:

a photo of a serving of creamy cheesy white chicken pesto lasagna

What to Eat with Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Storage and Reheating Tips

Lasagna leftovers should be cooled completely and then stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4-5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Single servings of lasagna can be reheated in the microwave. If I am reheating a large portion of the lasagna, I prefer to use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

This also makes a great make ahead recipe. Make and assemble the whole lasagna as written and then wrap in foil followed by plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. It can be baked from frozen at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes.

a serving of creamy chicken pesto lasagna being lifted by a spatula from a casserole dish

We love all things pesto, especially when spring comes around and we can get our hands on all that fresh basil! We are using all our fresh pesto to make this creamy white chicken lasagna with pesto! My favorite recipe of 2024 so far!

More Pesto Recipes to Try

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Description

Indulge in a delicious twist on traditional lasagna with this easy and flavorful Chicken Pesto Lasagna recipe. Follow along with our step-by-step instructions and impress your family and friends with this tasty dish.

Prevent your screen from going dark

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, once melted whisk the flour for 30 seconds, then slowly whisk in the heavy cream continuing to whisk until smooth.

    4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, 3 Tablespoons Flour, 1 1/2 Pints Heavy Cream

  • Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Allowed to simmer until thicken then removed from the heat.

    1 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 teaspoon Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

For the Lasagna

  • Heat and oven to 375° F.

  • Pour a little of the béchamel sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and spread it out evenly.

    1 Batch Béchamel Sauce

  • Lay down your first layer of lasagna noodles top with 1/4 of the remaining béchamel sauce then 1/3 of the chicken, 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 cup of the pesto.

    1 Package Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles, 3 Cups Rotisserie Chicken, 3 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, 1 1/2 Cups Pesto

  • Repeat the layers ending with lasagna noodle, béchamel and mozzarella cheese.

  • Spray a piece of tinfoil with nonstick spray and carefully place over the lasagna without touching the cheese.

  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes removing the foil off of the top for the last 10 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and top with a little pesto. Sprinkle remaining fresh Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

    Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Serving: 1cupCalories: 670kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 15gFat: 57gSaturated Fat: 28gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1231mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1801IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 232mgIron: 0.5mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 50 of our Best Easy Pasta Recipes, Over 500 Family Dinner Recipes Ideas

Cuisine: Italian

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