Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan Lasagna is the perfect recipe when you need a hearty crowd-pleasing meal! Made with ground chicken, ricotta cheese, homemade marinara sauce, and gooey mozzarella, it’s a flavorful recipe everyone loves! Bonus: it can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance, covered with foil, and stored in the fridge until needed!
Chicken Parmesan Lasagna
My family loves lasagna almost as much as they love chicken parm. So last week, when I couldn’t decide which one to make for dinner, I did something a little crazy and combined them!
And that’s how this amazing chicken parmesan lasagna recipe was born!!! My entire family went bananas over it! And the whole pan was devoured within hours. So gooey, cheesy, saucy, and delicious! It’s comfort food to the max!
This recipe is so impressive but easy enough to make on a weeknight! And if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they taste delicious the next day. Or can be frozen!
Chicken Parm Lasagna… What you’ll need!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan Lasagna:
- Ground Chicken: although ground turkey or even ground beef may be used in a pinch! I don’t suggest using rotisserie chicken or shredded chicken breast, as they won’t have the same texture.
- Olive Oil: Use whatever brand you typically do when cooking Italian food.
- Garlic: FRESH garlic, please!
- Italian Seasoning: Adds a quick pop of flavor!
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: If you love spice, increase a bit. But if you’re not a fan, reduce or omit.
- Salt and Pepper: Flavor and Flavor!
- Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs: But in a pinch, any bread crumb variety will work!
- Dried Lasagna Noodles: Do not boil according to package! You want to cook al dente!
- Ricotta Cheese: skim or whole milk will work.
- Eggs: These work as our binder for the ricotta filling.
- Fresh Basil and Parsley: Adds a fresh pop of flavor.
- Marinara Sauce: use your favorite store-bought brand, or try making it homemade! Here’s a link to my Classic Marinara Sauce.
- Mozzarella Cheese: I strongly suggest using block mozzarella, not the softer fresh versions, which have too much moisture for lasagna.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use your favorite brand!
How to Make Lasagna
- Cook the ground chicken meat until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Add in the panko bread crumbs and cook until crispy and golden.
- Boil lasagna noodles.
- Make ricotta mixture. In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, egg yolk, salt, pepper, and herbs.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread a 1/4 of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Layer with lasagna noodles, some of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese, and a 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times, topping the final layer of noodles with remaining sauce, meat, ricotta, cup of mozzarella, panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the lasagna tightly with a piece of lightly oiled foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and basil.
True Story: My cheese loving soon-to-be-husband proclaimed this was THE BEST lasagna he’d ever had! And he couldn’t even tell it was lightened up. I served it with a small salad and a few easy baked meatballs. So yummy!
More Baked Pasta Recipes:
And if you try this recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan Lasagna, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day ♥
Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan Lasagna
For the Ground Chicken:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (I used extra virgin but use whatever brand/variety you like best)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, optional (but they give a nice kick!)
- 1 lb. Ground Chicken
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Panko:
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs
- 12 Lasagna Noodles, boiled according to package
- 2 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese (I used whole-milk here, but you may use skim)
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 3 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce, Store-bought or Homemade will work OK
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
- Fresh Basil and Parsley, chopped
For the Ground Chicken:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using); saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in ground chicken, salt, and pepper and cook - breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon - until golden brown and cooked all the way through; 6-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken mixture to a clean plate; set aside.
- Return empty pan to the burner - you will use this again for the panko.
For the Panko:
- Heat the olive oil (in the same skillet you used for the chicken) over medium-high heat. Add in the panko bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy and golden.
- Remove from heat and transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl; set aside.
For the Lasagna:
- Boil 12 lasagna noodles according to package directions. While they're boiling, prepare the ricotta cheese.
For the Ricotta:
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, egg yolk, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
- Spread a 1/4 of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
- Layer with 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce, and 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese, and a 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat this two more times, topping the final layer of noodles with remaining meat, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, panko bread crumbs, and finally, the Parmesan cheese, in that order.
- Cover the lasagna tightly with a piece of lightly oiled foil.
- Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and basil.