This creamy white chicken lasagna has everything: a luxuriously cheesy sauce, pre-cooked chicken sausage, spinach and no-boil noodles to makes things extra simple. There’s lots of choices when it comes to which chicken sausage you use — in the photo, we went with a roasted garlic and gruyere cheese pre-cooked chicken sausage. There’s sweet Italian chicken sausage, which would work beautifully. Or you might choose to go with something completely different — spicy, sweet apple or an herbed sausage would all be great.
8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
4 cups (945 ml) milk, we use 2% reduced fat
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12-ounce) package pre-cooked chicken sausage, thinly sliced into discs (5 to 6 sausages)
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese (about 1 and 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 ounces parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
9 no-boil lasagna noodles or cooked traditional lasagna noodles
Salt and fresh ground pepper
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it turns light brown in color and has a slightly toasted aroma, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat then slowly whisk in the milk. Continue whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. The mixture will become very thick at first, then should thin out gradually until smooth.
Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat and cook the sauce, while whisking constantly, until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat to very low then slowly stir in the cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard. Season the sauce with salt and pepper then set aside over very low heat while you prepare the lasagna.
In a wide skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, but not toasted. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Pile the spinach on top then cook, stirring every once and a while until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta cheese, egg, half of the shredded parmesan cheese, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt together until well blended.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish (3 quart).
Spoon 1/2-cup of the white sauce into the baking dish. The sauce will not completely cover the bottom. Cover with 3 lasagna noodles, making sure they do not touch each other. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture over lasagna noodles top with a third of the chicken sausage mixture, about 1/2-cup of the sauce then cover with another 3 lasagna noodles. Continue layering the lasagna in the same manner with remaining ricotta mixture, chicken sausage mixture, sauce and lasagna noodles, ending with pasta. Spread the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
Bake the lasagna in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until bubbling and lightly browned. For even more browning on top, when the lasagna has baked, turn the oven to broil and broil the top of the lasagna until dark golden brown.