This scrumptious spinach lasagna is inspired by a dish called Chicken Florentine, and comes complete with a creamy sauce kissed with lots of garlic and herbs, cubes of tender chicken, a sprinkle of bacon, and of course, lots of fresh baby spinach!
Spinach Lasagna... Cheesy, Creamy and So Comforting!
There is something wonderfully enticing about a nice, big casserole dish of hot, bubbling spinach lasagna fresh out of the oven.
The aroma of the sauce, the cheese, the herbs, and all those wonderful fillings creates an atmosphere of utter coziness, warmth and love. I can hardly wait for it to cool enough so that I can help myself to a nice, large piece of it!
And while I love all sorts of lasagnas (autumn butternut squash lasagna, lasagna with a red sauce, or a six-cheese sauce), I adore preparing this recipe for spinach lasagna, one of my personal favorites.
When I come up with a recipe for lasagna, there's no doubt that I like to “go big” with it. I like to prepare my own sauce from scratch, use lots of noodles, fill each lasagna layer with lots of ingredients, lots of textures and tons of flavor.
This spinach lasagna has everything one could hope for in a cheesy, creamy and comforting recipe; it even has two cheeses for the finishing touch: mozzarella and parmesan! So there's extra flavor in every bite!
It's comforting, flavorful, out-of-this-world delicious, and even a little indulgent, which is what a spinach lasagna ought to be, at least for me!
How to Make Spinach Lasagna
When making any kind of lasagna, it's best (and easiest!) to have all of the your components and ingredients ready to go.
That way, all of your prep is done, and all that's left is to simply assemble your spinach lasagna in a large baking dish, then bake!
On a side note, you can prep a lot of the ingredients/components ahead of time and have them cool and ready for assembly. Or, you can even go as far as to assemble the spinach lasagna in a baking dish and allow it completely cool before wrapping in plastic wrap or foil, then keep it in the fridge until ready to bake.
Here's how I prepare my spinach lasagna:
- I begin by preparing my sauce following the recipe instructions below, then set that aside.
- I cook my lasagna noodles, drain, and toss with a touch of olive oil, and set them aside (straightened out) to have ready.
- I prep my filling ingredients (my chicken, my bacon, my spinach, my cheeses, my seasoning) to have those ready to add.
- To assemble, I spread a small amount of my sauce on the bottom of my pan, then top with four cooked lasagna noodles; then, I add more sauce to the noodles, a little of each of my filling ingredients, plus some cheese, then repeat the layers with the remaining noodles.
- I finish the spinach lasagna with some of my sauce, some cheese, and some dried herbs, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. When done, I garnish with fresh herbs and a little reserved bacon.
You'll find the full recipe below...
Tips & Tidbits for Spinach Lasagna:
- Prep ahead: It's so quick and convenient to simply assemble the lasagna, when you're ready to bake and serve, if you prep the components/ingredients ahead of time. You would prep your sauce, your diced chicken, your bacon, and your cheeses. You can also prep/assemble the whole thing in a pan and keep in the fridge until ready to bake, bringing to room temp an hour before baking.
- Rotisserie chicken for ease: My recipe calls for a pound of chicken tenderloins cooked and cubed, as it only takes a few minutes to sear them; but you can certainly use cubed, store-bought rotisserie chicken for convenience—I love it!
- Fresh baby spinach leaves: I have found that fresh baby spinach leaves gently wilt and cook down quite beautifully inside the spinach lasagna as it bakes in the oven, and it doesn't add any extra moisture. Frozen spinach tends to leach out some water, so I avoid that; but if you prefer to use it, then squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
- Low-fat milk: For my sauce I like to use low-fat (1%) milk, as there's enough richness in the spinach lasagna as a whole. But you can certainly use 2% or even whole milk, whatever you prefer.
- Cheeses: I love the flavor combination of the parmesan and the mozzarella cheese—one is sharp and a bit savory-tangy, and the other is creamy and stringy. Feel free to use all mozzarella, or your preferred variety of cheese(s)!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 10
Nutrition Info: 711 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
• 8 cups (½ gallon) 1% low-fat milk
• 2 tablespoons natural chicken base (I use “Better Than Bouillon” brand)
• 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 4 ounces flour (about 12 tablespoons)
• Pinch or two salt
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• Pinch ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Spinach Lasagna Ingredients:
• 12 lasagna noodles, cooked
• 1 pound chicken tenderloins (about 8-10 tenderloins), cooked and diced (rotisserie chicken if fine, too)
• 3 cups shredded parmesan cheese
• 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 (6 oz) bag baby spinach
• 12 strips bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
-Begin by preparing your sauce: add the milk and the chicken base to a large saucepan or medium pot, whisk to combine, and bring to the simmer; then, turn off the heat.
-While the milk heats, add the butter to another large saucepan or medium pot, along with the garlic, and place over medium heat; allow to melt together, and stir the garlic into the butter to soften.
-Sprinkle the flour into the melted butter/garlic, and stir to combine; stir for about 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw taste of the flour.
-Next, slowly add the hot milk into the butter/garlic/flour mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps form forming, and allow the sauce to simmer for a few moments until thickened.
-Once thickened, turn off the heat and finish by whisking in a pinch or two of salt, the black pepper, the nutmeg, the Italian seasoning, and the parmesan cheese; keep warm, or allow to completely cool and keep in fridge to use later.
-Next, assemble your spinach lasagna: preheat the oven to 350°, and lightly grease a 12 x 9 x 2 ½” (roughly) baking dish.
-To assemble your lasagna, add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, and spread evenly.
-Add 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce, then add in another (more generous) layer of the sauce.
-Next, sprinkle over about half of the diced chicken, followed by about 1 cup of the shredded parmesan and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.
-Next, sprinkle over about half of the bag of baby spinach, followed by about ⅓ of the chopped bacon.
-Repeat with another layer of 4 lasagna noodles, more sauce, the rest of the chicken, another cup of parmesan and mozzarella cheese, the remainder of the baby spinach, and another ⅓ of the chopped bacon; then, cover with the last layer of four lasagna noodles.
-Finish by topping the noodles with sauce, then sprinkle over the last cup of parmesan cheese, the last 2 cups of mozzarella cheeses, and the teaspoon of Italian seasoning; bake for about 20-25minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
-Garnish with the remainder of the chopped bacon and the chopped parsley, and serve.
For even more lasagna inspiration, check out these Lasagna Roll Ups, too!
Cook's Note: This post was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!