Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese (Easy Recipe)

When it comes to lasagna, most people think of the classic version made with layers of rich ricotta cheese.

But if you’re not a fan of ricotta or simply want to try something different, this Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese is the perfect alternative.

Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese

Instead of ricotta, this lasagna features a creamy and flavorful bechamel sauce that adds a delicious richness to the dish.

The combination of lean ground chicken and Italian sausage provides a tasty and protein-packed filling, while the addition of veggies like carrots, onions, celery, and zucchini adds a pop of color and nutrients.

Best Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese

This recipe is a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to impress. It’s perfect for a family dinner, potluck, or any special occasion.

Plus, it’s easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need for this recipe:

For the Bolognese:

  • 1 pound lean ground chicken
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, ground or with casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, grated and squeezed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
  • 1 24-ounce jar high-quality tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the Bechamel:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour (white whole wheat or whole wheat)
  • 3 cups 2% milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

For the Lasagna:

  • 12 lasagna noodles (whole wheat or regular)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

How to Make Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese

Here’s how to make this delicious lasagna recipe:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and Italian sausage, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add the olive oil or butter for the bechamel sauce. Heat over medium heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg (if using). Cook for another minute or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ground chicken and Italian sausage with chopped carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, milk (if using), tomato sauce, chopped basil, and chopped parsley. Mix well.
  7. Spread a thin layer of the meat and vegetable mixture on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Top with a layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread half of the remaining meat and vegetable mixture over the noodles. Pour half of the bechamel sauce over the meat layer. Repeat with another layer of noodles, remaining meat and vegetable mixture, and remaining bechamel sauce.
  8. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the lasagna.
  9. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and lightly browned.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the lasagna sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot and enjoy!
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For the complete list of ingredients and directions, see the recipe card below.

Tips

To ensure that your dish turns out perfectly, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Don’t overcook the lasagna noodles: Cook the noodles until they are al dente, as they will continue to soften during baking. Overcooked noodles can become mushy and lose their texture.
  2. Squeeze the moisture out of the grated zucchini: This step is important to prevent excess moisture from making the lasagna too watery. Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to squeeze out the liquid from the grated zucchini before adding it to the meat mixture.
  3. Use high-quality tomato sauce: The tomato sauce is a key component of the Bolognese sauce in this recipe. Using a high-quality, flavorful tomato sauce will elevate the taste of the dish.
  4. Let the lasagna rest before serving: After baking, allow the lasagna to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This makes it easier to cut and helps the layers set for a better presentation.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to customize this Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese recipe to suit your personal taste. Here are some variations you can try:

  1. Add vegetables: Experiment with different vegetables to add even more flavor and nutrition to your lasagna. Consider adding mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, or even roasted eggplant.
  2. Spice it up: If you prefer a spicier lasagna, add some red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the Bolognese sauce. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.
  3. Swap the meat: While this recipe uses a combination of lean ground chicken and Italian sausage, you can substitute with other meats such as ground turkey or ground beef. If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can omit the meat and bulk up the vegetable filling.
  4. Try different cheeses: If you’re not a fan of mozzarella cheese, you can experiment with other cheeses like cheddar, provolone, or a combination of different cheeses for a unique flavor profile.
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What to Serve With Chicken Lasagna

This Chicken Lasagna is a complete meal on its own, but you can enhance the dining experience by serving it with some delicious sides. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Garlic Bread: Whip up a batch of garlic bread or cheesy garlic breadsticks to accompany the lasagna. The crispy, buttery bread pairs perfectly with the creamy, flavorful lasagna.
  2. Green Salad: Serve a fresh green salad on the side to add a refreshing element to the meal. Opt for a simple mixed green salad or one with your favorite veggies and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted vegetables, such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts, complements the richness of the lasagna. The caramelized flavors of the roasted veggies provide a nice contrast to the creamy layers.
  4. Caesar Salad: If you’re craving a classic salad, a Caesar salad with crisp romaine lettuce, tangy dressing, Parmesan cheese, and crunchy croutons is an excellent choice.

Storage Tips

If you have leftovers or want to make this ahead of time, here are some storage tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Allow the lasagna to cool to room temperature, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or in the oven.
  2. Freezing: If you want to freeze the lasagna, assemble the dish without baking it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before baking according to the recipe instructions.

Remember to label the container or packaging with the date before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer for easy identification.

Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese

Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese

A flavorful twist on the classic lasagna, this Chicken Lasagna without Ricotta Cheese is a comforting and satisfying dish. Layers of lean ground chicken, Italian sausage, vegetables, and a creamy bechamel sauce come together to create a mouthwatering meal that will please everyone at the table.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 487 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Bechamel

  • 3 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp flour (white whole wheat or whole wheat)
  • 3 cups 2% milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg optional

For the Lasagna

  • 12 lasagna noodles (whole wheat or regular)
  • 1 ½ cups cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and Italian sausage, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the olive oil or butter for the bechamel sauce. Heat over medium heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg (if using). Cook for another minute or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ground chicken and Italian sausage with chopped carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, milk (if using), tomato sauce, chopped basil, and chopped parsley. Mix well.
  • Spread a thin layer of the meat and vegetable mixture on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Top with a layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread half of the remaining meat and vegetable mixture over the noodles. Pour half of the bechamel sauce over the meat layer. Repeat with another layer of noodles, remaining meat and vegetable mixture, and remaining bechamel sauce.
  • Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the lasagna.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let the lasagna sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

  • Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. Add more or less salt, pepper, or spices according to your preference.
  • You can make this recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight before baking. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly if baking it directly from the refrigerator.
  • Serve with a side of garlic bread or green salad for a complete meal.