Green Chile White Chicken Lasagna is everything you love about classic lasagna. However, this version combines layers of lasagna noodles with lean shredded chicken breast, cheese and a luscious green chile white sauce. This Green Chile Chicken Lasagna is a totally irresistible, make ahead recipe to feed a crowd.
Sometimes it’s the little things that can inspire a new recipe. During one of my recent Christmas shopping trips I fell into the “one for them, one for me” present purchasing game. On impulse, bought myself a new lasagna pan.
And I love this new pan, and I needed a new lasagna recipe to break it in.
I’ve been planning this Green Chile Chicken Lasagna recipe for months, but simply never got around to bringing it to life. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of comfort food season and with my new lasagna pan begging for … well … lasagna, my white chicken lasagna has finally made its debut.
As you know, I may make a recipe three or four times, tweaking and improving before I deem it blog-worthy. My method of perfection is totally inspired by Ina Garten. I saw Ina speak a couple of years ago, and she confided that once she and her team have prepared a recipe, they always sit back and ask themselves how the recipe could be improved.
I invited neighbor Beth to join us for dinner and to be part of the Guinea Pig crew. in testing this chicken lasagna. Between the three of us, we just couldn’t think of a thing that would make this recipe better. With this one, first time was a charm.
This Lasagna Is All About the Green Chiles
I always have bags of fresh roasted chile peppers in the freezer. I have Hatch, from New Mexico and Pueblo Chile Peppers grown right here in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado.
For this recipe, I used roasted Colorado Pueblo chile peppers.
Pueblo chile peppers are actually Mirasol peppers. Mirasol, which means “looking at the sun” are peppers that grow in an upward direction on the plant.
They’re medium in heat, and meatier than Hatch chile peppers from New Mexico. I took this photo of a potted young Mirasol plant at the Pueblo Chile Festival a couple years ago.
Dried Mirasol peppers are called Guajillo peppers, a common dried chile used in Mexican cuisine.
These Pueblo chile peppers were simply defrosted, skin, stems and seeds removed and then chopped. I used 1 cup (about 10 medium chile peppers) to make this white chicken lasagna.
If you don’t have a stash of fresh roasted chile peppers in your freezer most grocery stores and even Costco sell chopped frozen chile peppers.
Choose frozen peppers that are labeled mild to medium on the heat level. You don’t want them to overpower the creamy sauce for this recipe.
How To Make The Spicy White Sauce
The sauce is simply a roux made of flour and chicken broth. Prepared stove top, it comes together very easily and to make it even creamier, it’s finished with a cup of milk.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Once the butter is melted, add 1/4 cup flour.
- Turn heat down to medium and stir constantly for about two minutes or until the roux is golden in color.
- Slowly add the chicken broth to the roux and with a whisk, mix until well blended. Cook until roux thickens.
- Add in drained, canned chopped tomatoes.
- Add one cup of milk. This will thin the roux, but not to worry, the al a dente pasta will help thicken it back up.
- Stir in the green chile peppers and shredded chicken and set aside.
How to Make Green Chile Chicken Lasagna
Here’s how to build and layer this white chicken lasagna:
- Cook chicken breast and shred. Or you can use shredded rotisserie chicken.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package, but lessen the cooking time by two minutes. This will produce a very al a dente noodle.
- In a medium bowl, combine two beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, shredded mozarella and shredded cheddar cheese. A large spoon works well to blend this mixture.
- Make green chile sauce (roux) and set aside.
- Spray your lasagna pan with Pam.
- Place 1/3 of the green chile roux on the bottom of the lasagna pan.
- Place four lasagna noodles over the green chile white sauce.
- With a spatula, spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles.
- Repeat these layers two more times, ending with the cheese mixture.
- Top with one cup of crumbled Mexican Cotija cheese.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove cover (I used foil) and bake another 20 minutes.
- Let set for 10 minutes, uncovered so the lasagna sets up.
Recipe for White Chicken Lasagna
This green chili chicken lasagna is a perfect choice is you’re looking for a make-ahead and freezable meal to feed a crowd. Just prepare, cover well and freeze. Then thaw before following baking instructions.
All you need is a beautiful green tossed salad for a side dish! Easy.
I hope you give this Southwestern Chicken Lasagna recipe and try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite green chile chicken lasagna recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Spicy Pasta Recipes
If you love a little spice with your pasta you won’t want to miss:
- Spicy Creamy Shrimp Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Chipotle Mac and Cheese
- Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
- Mexican Macaroni and Cheese
- Elaine’s Green Chile Pasta (from New Mexico Magazine)
Green Chile White Chicken Lasagna is everything you love about classic lasagna. This version combines layers of lasagna noodles, lean shredded chicken breast, cheese and a luscious white sauce. This Green Chile Chicken Lasagna is totally irresistible.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 sweet onion diced
- 14 ounce canned tomatoes diced and drained
- 1 cup Chile Peppers roasted, peeled, chopped
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded about 2 – 2 1/2 cups
- 1 cup milk
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese drained
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 12 lasagna noodles cooked al a dente
- 1 cup Cotija cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons green onions chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk together until a light brown roux forms. Cook the roux over medium heat until roux is golden. This will also help remove that "flour-y" taste.
Slowly add chicken broth and bring to a low boil whisking constantly. Stir in 1 cup of full fat milk.
Add diced and drained tomatoes, green chile peppers, and shredded cooked chicken, stirring to combine and heat, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, blend together ricotta cheese, eggs and shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
Coat a 3 quart lasagna pan with cooking spray.
Place a 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom. Top with 4 lasagna noodles and then ricotta and cheddar cheese mixture.
Repeat 3 times, with last layer being cheese mixture. Sprinke the Cotija cheese over the top of the lasagna.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 15 0- 20 minutes
Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Top with fine chopped green onions for garnish.
This is a great make-ahead recipe. Either prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate before baking.
Or bake the lasagna, let it cool, then freeze. Let the lasagna thaw before following the baking instructions.