A tasty alternative to your typical lasagna rolls, these Creamy White Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Rolls are filled with seasoned ground chicken, fresh spinach, and a creamy white basil pesto sauce.
Lasagna has been floating through history, causing plenty of foodies to break into a happy dance, and the same holds with this recipe. So I’ll be frank in the most humble way, this dish is awesome! Italian American cuisine has always been at the top of my list of favorite foods because of the robust and rich flavors you typically get from the seasonings and sauces — and let’s not forget about the cheese.
Did you know? Lasagna originated back in the 14th century from a book of cookery called Liber de Coquina. This pasta was even boiled in chicken fat, so I’m sure the idea caught on fast back then!
Ingredients you’ll need to make these spinach lasagna rolls:
Lasagna rolls would be lasagna rolls without lasagna noodles.
Everything is seasoned in this recipe, including the fresh spinach prepared with butter and minced garlic. Lasagna rolls with spinach is the way to go.
The ground chicken follows that theme and is combined with fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, Italian seasoning, and paprika. The ground chicken will be added to the sauce and the filling.
The sauce is made using butter, all-purpose flour, heavy whipping cream, and garlic powder.
Crème Fraiche, asiago cheese, mozzarella cheese, Himalayan sea salt, and black pepper will be blended with a portion of the cooked ground chicken and spinach to create the delicious filling.
The same goes for the basil pesto, which is added to both the sauce and the filling. You can purchase basil pesto pre-made, or you can make your own. I’ve included a quick recipe below.
To make it nice and pretty, we’ll sprinkle on some parsley flakes.
Tips when making baked lasagna roll-ups:
After your pasta is cooked, you’ll want to allow it time to cool. A cooled pasta is much easier to roll, and you won’t burn yourself in the process.
The crème Fraiche in this recipe replaces the ricotta cheese that is typically used, and the sweetness from that adds a new dimension to the recipe. However, if you cannot get a hold of crème Fraiche, you can substitute ricotta, and it will work just fine. I either make my own from scratch (or use some basil pesto I have on hand). Basil pesto can also be purchased from your local grocer, so if you don’t want to make your own or are running short on time, that’s always an option.
You can easily turn this recipe into a meatless meal by preparing it without the ground chicken. Feel free to leave it out completely or substitute it for your favorite protein.
How to make your own basil pesto:
In a food processor(paid link), combine 2 cups fresh basil leaves, ½ cup pine nuts, 3 whole garlic cloves, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp ground thyme, and ¼ tsp Himalayan Salt and blend until smooth.
If you love Italian as much as I do, then my creamy White Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Rolls recipe will surely not disappoint. This recipe can be a great go-to when cooking for family and friends (or a large group of people). And they make the perfect leftovers!
Here are a few more pasta recipes you might enjoy:
These White Chicken & Spinach Lasagna Rolls are filled with ground chicken, fresh spinach, and a creamy white basil pesto sauce that will make you forget all about the traditional preparation.
8 Lasagna Noodles
3 tbsp. Butter
5 oz. Fresh Spinach Leafs
2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 lb. Lean Ground Chicken
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
8 oz. Crème Fraiche
1 cup Asiago Shredded Cheese
2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 cup Basil Pesto*
1 tbsp. Parsley Flakes, optional
In a large cooking pot, add water and bring to a boil. Cook lasagna pasta strips as instructed. Remove from water and lay each pasta strip on a flat surface to cool off.
Heat cooking pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp. of butter. Add fresh spinach and minced garlic. Cook for 2-3 until spinach is wilted. Drain any excess liquid and set it to the side.
In the same cooking pan (still on medium heat), add a drizzle of olive oil, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add ground chicken, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked, drain, and set to the side.
In a cooking pan, heat to medium-low heat and add 2 tbsp. of butter. Once butter is melted, add all-purpose flour, and stir until it begins to bind. Add heavy whipping cream and garlic powder and cook for 5 minutes.
Once the sauce is complete, remove it from heat and fold in 1/2 of the cooked ground chicken. Stir and set to the side.
In a large bowl, add crème fraiche, cooked spinach, the remaining 1/2 of ground chicken, asiago cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir.
Add 1/4 cup of basil pesto to the sauce mixture and add another 1/4 cup of the basil pesto to the crème fraiche mixture. Stir.
Add a large spoon of the crème Fraiche mixture onto each of the pasta strips and spread evenly. Begin to roll each strip to create each lasagna roll. Do not roll too tight.
Add a large spoon full of the chicken sauce to the bottom of a baking pan and spread evenly. Place each rolled lasagna roll into the baking sheet(paid link). Top off with the remaining chicken sauce mixture. Add 1 cup of mozzarella to the top of the dish and fresh parsley.
Bake at 400 degrees and for 15 minutes. Allow to cool then serve.
For homemade basil pesto: In a food processor(paid link), combine 2 cups fresh basil leaves, ½ cup pine nuts, 3 whole garlic cloves, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp ground thyme, and ¼ tsp Himalayan Salt and blend until smooth