This easy, lightened-up chicken and broccoli lasagna is made with rotisserie chicken, creamy alfredo ricotta white sauce, and homemade broccoli pesto. A cheesy, flavorful, and cozy family dinner and meal prep!
The best white sauce chicken and broccoli lasagna
Say hello to the most delicious cheesy chicken broccoli lasagna! This is the best recipe because it is super easy to make, packed with flavor, and unique. Most chicken alfredo lasagna recipes on the internet call for premade alfredo sauces, heavy cream, and cream cheese. But don’t worry, this recipe doesn’t!
That’s why I said this is the best white sauce chicken alfredo lasagna recipe. Each layer of noodles is topped with shredded chicken, homemade broccoli pesto, and a healthier alfredo sauce made from ricotta cheese and skim milk. The broccoli is hidden in the pesto, so kids will love this lasagna!
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it is perfect for new cooks! The instructions are easy to follow, and you’ll feel super accomplished at the end. You don’t need any cooking skills to make this alfredo lasagna.
I also have to mention that it’s impossible to tell this creamy and cheesy lasagna is “healthier” and “lightened up;” trust me, it is that good. I cannot wait to hear what you think about this recipe because my family requests it at least once a week. It’s perfect for Sunday family dinners!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Quick & Easy: Super easy to assemble and bake.
- So Flavorful: It’s cheesy, creamy, and super flavorful.
- Layered: Each layer contains healthier alfredo sauce, chicken, and broccoli pesto.
- Healthy: This chicken and broccoli lasagna recipe is lightened-up and made healthier.
- Large Servings: Serves ten people.
- Lower In Calories: Under 450 calories per serving.
- Gluten-Free Option: It can be made gluten-free.
- Make Ahead: Make it ahead of time for a party or family dinner.
- Meal Prep: You can freeze it for meal prep.
- Low-Fat: Made with low-fat ingredients.
- Try this super cozy and delicious Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake next!
This recipe has three parts: (1) the homemade broccoli pesto, (2) the lightened-up white alfredo sauce, and (3) the chicken lasagna. Don’t worry; you only need a handful of simple ingredients like rotisserie chicken, ricotta cheese, fresh broccoli, skimmed milk, shredded mozzarella, and a few seasonings. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Broccoli: I recommend grabbing one medium head of fresh broccoli. You’ll blend the tops together with a few other ingredients to make a homemade broccoli pesto. This is the best way to hide vegetables inside lasagna!
- Fresh Basil: You’ll need fresh basil for the best taste!
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: The base of this homemade pesto.
- Parmesan Cheese: For flavor! Parmesan cheese adds the best classic pesto flavor to this broccoli chicken lasagna.
Healthy Alfredo White Sauce:
- Butter: You only need 2 tablespoons of butter to caramelize the garlic and add the best, most authentic lasagna taste.
- Flour: Feel free to use all-purpose, whole wheat, or white whole wheat flour. This helps thicken the homemade, healthy alfredo sauce.
- Garlic Cloves: For an authentic, garlicky flavor.
- Ricotta: You can use low-fat, skim, or whole-milk ricotta for this chicken broccoli lasagna recipe. I love using skim ricotta cheese to lighten this lasagna up.
- Milk: Milk is the base of the creamy white sauce. I always use skim milk, but whole, 2%, and dairy-free milk work too. You can even use unsweetened plain cashew or almond milk.
- Chicken Broth: To add flavor and liquid to your healthy alfredo. You can also use vegetable broth.
- Dried Basil: For that classic Italian lasagna flavor.
- Shredded Chicken: I love using rotisserie chicken since it is so easy. However, feel free to shred up leftover baked, boiled, or air-fried chicken breasts. You can even use chicken thighs – I love this recipe.
- Mozzarella Cheese: This lightened-up broccoli chicken lasagna is still super creamy and cheesy. So remember to add lots of low-fat or regular shredded mozzarella cheese.
- No-Boil Lasagna Noodles: Make sure to use no-boil or “oven-ready” lasagna noodles! You can also use whole wheat or gluten-free lasagna noodles to make this recipe 100% gluten-free.
Kitchen tools needed
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make this easy chicken alfredo broccoli lasagna.
- 9×13-inch Casserole Dish
- Medium Sauce Pot
- Measuring Tools: 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make chicken and broccoli alfredo lasagna
This is the easiest chicken alfredo and broccoli pesto lasagna – everyone will love it! Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make them. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
First, preheat your oven to 375°F.
Step 2: make the broccoli pesto
Then, make the broccoli pesto by adding all ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set it to the side.
Step 3: make the healthy alfredo sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. After that, add the flour and mix until the flour soaks up all the butter and everything starts to turn golden.
Now, pour in the milk and whisk until everything is combined. Then, add the broth and ricotta cheese. Whisk until smooth, and add dried basil, salt, and pepper.
Finally, let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for 5 – 8 minutes. When it’s thick and saucy, remove the sauce from the heat. Carefully taste and adjust any seasonings to your liking and set it to the side.
Step 4: assemble the lasagna
It’s time to assemble the chicken and broccoli lasagna. First, cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish with a little bit of the ricotta sauce, and then place three lasagna noodles on top (see pictures above).
Next, top the noodles with a little more ricotta sauce and 3 to 5 tablespoon dollops of broccoli pesto. Then, swirl it around a little and top with an even layer of shredded chicken, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and about a third of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers two more times.
Finally, top the lasagna with the last three noodles. I like to put a final bit of sauce and pesto on the top and then top it with the rest of the shredded mozzarella cheese. TIP: Make sure that the noodles are completely covered!
Step 5: bake
Bake the lasagna uncovered for 20 minutes, then carefully cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is melted (total bake time is 40 minutes). If you like the crunchy edge, bake uncovered the entire time.
Once the chicken and broccoli lasagna is done baking, allow it to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Expert lasagna tips & tricks
- Completely cover each layer of noodles. This is my #1 tip for lasagna! Make sure the white alfredo sauce and broccoli pesto completely cover each layer of noodles. If not, the noodles may not soften and cook fully.
- Use no-boil, oven-ready lasagna noodles. It makes this recipe easy and straightforward. You don’t need to boil a pot of water and wait 20 minutes to pre-cook your noodles.
- Use low-fat or full-fat ingredients. The best part about this chicken broccoli lasagna recipe is that you can use low-fat, skim milk, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese to lighten it up, or you can use full-fat ingredients. It’s super customizable.
- Cover your lasagna for the last 20 minutes of baking. This ensures the noodles are cooked and speeds up the baking process.
- Broil if you like crispy cheesy. You can always turn your oven to broil mode and broil the lasagna for 2 – 4 minutes at the very end of the bake time to crispen up the top layer of cheese.
Ingredients substitution suggestions:
I only recommend substituting 1 or 2 ingredients since the original recipe is so delicious! Here are my recommendations:
- Butter: You can use ghee, olive oil, or vegan butter.
- Chicken: You can also use shredded turkey.
- Shredded Chicken: You can use pre-cooked diced chicken sausages or shredded chicken thighs.
- Fresh Garlic Cloves: You can use garlic powder. Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for every 2 garlic cloves.
- Ricotta: You can use cottage cheese instead.
- Skim Milk: You can use whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, or even unsweetened plain almond milk or cashew milk.
- Shredded Mozzarella: Substitute with shredded swiss, cheddar, provolone, gouda, or fontina.
- Gluten-Free: Easly make this recipe gluten-free by using brown rice or gluten-free noodles.
- Vegetarian: Leave off the chicken.
Why this lasagna recipe is healthy and lightened up:
Here are three reasons why I consider this chicken alfredo and broccoli lasagna to be healthier and lightened up:
- No Heavy Cream. There is no heavy cream in the alfredo sauce. In fact, it’s made with skim ricotta cheese, chicken broth, and skim milk.
- Lean Protein. Instead of ground beef, we use chicken breast for protein. It’s lower in fat and healthier!
- Less Cheese. This recipe calls for 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese, while classic recipes call for 24 ounces. Don’t worry, it’s still super cheesy and creamy since we also add a white alfredo sauce.
- Hidden Vegetables. Classic lasagna recipes don’t call for broccoli but don’t worry, we add lots to this recipe to make it healthier and packed with vitamins. It’s hidden in the pesto, so kids and picky eaters will love it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use pre-made pesto instead?
Yes. If you don’t have broccoli to make your own pesto, you can also use 1 + 1/2 cups of your favorite store-bought pesto instead. I love Trader Joe’s Kale, Cashew & Basil pesto.
Can I make it vegetarian?
Absolutely! Simply leave off the chicken to make this lasagna vegetarian.
Is it gluten-free?
Easily make this chicken and broccoli lasagna gluten-free by substituting the lasagna noodles with brown rice or gluten-free lasagna noodles.
What’s the best substitute for ricotta cheese in lasagna?
I recommend using cottage cheese instead of ricotta if you are making lasagna.
What’s the best substitute for shredded chicken?
You substitute pre-cooked diced chicken sausages or shredded chicken thighs. I love this simple chicken thigh recipe.
What’s the difference between mascarpone vs. ricotta?
The main differences between ricotta and mascarpone are in the texture and taste. Ricotta is grainier (similar to cottage cheese), while mascarpone is smooth and creamy (similar to heavy cream). Taste-wise, ricotta has a mild, creamy cheese flavor, while mascarpone has a sweet and nutty flavor.
What’s the best temperature to bake lasagna?
For best results, bake lasagna at 375°F to ensure the noodles are cooked, and the cheese is melted.
How long do I bake lasagna at 375°F?
Lasagna takes about 40 minutes to bake at 375°F.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Absolutely! Simply assemble the lasagna and then wrap it in one to two layers of foil. Store the unbaked lasagna in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking as directed below.
Can I freeze lasagna?
Baked: Simply prepare and bake your chicken broccoli lasagna as directed below and let it cool completely for 1 hour. Then, freeze the entire pan after wrapping it in 2 layers of foil or cut it into slices and store them in individual, freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, reheat the entire pan (cover the top with one layer of foil) at 350°F for 30 – 45 minutes or until heated through. You can reheat individual slices in the oven or microwave.
Unbaked: You can also freeze lasagna before baking it! Just assemble the lasagna as directed below, then wrap the dish with two layers of plastic wrap and two layers of aluminum foil. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, thaw the lasagna at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, then bake according to the instructions below.
How to store and reheat lasagna:
Storing: Store leftovers in the original baking dish or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: For best results, reheat chicken and broccoli lasagna in the oven at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes. If you are reheating one slice, you can heat it in the microwave or in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Zucchini Turkey Meatballs
- Turkey Lentil Soup
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna
- 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, I like unsalted
- 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
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Make the Pesto:
- Make the broccoli pesto by adding all ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set it to the side.
Make the Alfredo White Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix until flour soaks up all the butter and everything starts to turn golden.
- Pour in the milk and whisk until everything is combined. Add the broth and ricotta cheese. Whisk until smooth, and add dried basil, salt, and pepper.
- Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for 5 – 8 minutes. When it’s thick and saucy, remove the sauce from the heat. Carefully taste and adjust any seasonings to your liking. Set aside.
Assemble the Lasagna:
- Cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish with a little bit of the ricotta sauce and then place 3 lasagna noodles on top (see pictures above).
- Top the noodles with a little more ricotta sauce and 3 to 5 tablespoons dollops of broccoli pesto. Then, swirl it around a little.
- Top with an even layer of shredded chicken, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and about a third of the mozzarella.
- Repeat the layers 2 more times.
- Top the lasagna with the last three noodles. I like to put a last bit of sauce and pesto on the top and then top it with the rest of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Make sure that the noodles are completely covered!
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes and then carefully cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is melted. If you like the crunchy edge, bake uncovered the entire time.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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