Chicken Florentine Lasagne

Many years ago, I was a new bride learning how to cook by watching Julia Child on her weekly television show, The French Chef, and later, From Julia Child’s Kitchen. When she showed her French Lasagne, I decided to try it. Now, the thing with her recipe is that it has many elements, and each one has to be individually cooked before assembling the final dish. It completely destroyed a kitchen!  The recipe as published in From Julia Child’s Kitchen has three pages of ingredients and prep.  It has not only a white sauce inside the layers, but a tomato sauce on top, both made from scratch. In the ingredient list was more prep, to get the diced cooked chicken called for, you had to to cook a chicken or pieces of chicken. I would boil a couple of breasts to use, dirtying up one more pot. It was such a production, that I only made it for special occasions when I had the motivation and energy to make a huge mess in the kitchen and clean it up. I would sometimes make two and freeze one. It quickly became one of DH’s favorite meals, so I had to make it every now and then. Over the years I started to find ways to cut corners, like having a chicken meal so I could have leftover chicken to use. When DH said he thought the tomato sauce wasn’t necessary, I eliminated that. Over the years since, I figured out more ways to lower the number of pots and pans used, and have a manageable recipe.  Still, I only make it a couple of times a year, and this time I took process pictures to share it with you.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

As usual, I gathered the ingredients. I like doing a mise-en-place so I don’t have to hunt for things in the middle of prep.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

I began by cutting up mushrooms and sauteing them in a pot.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Set them aside in a bowl.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Using the same pot, I wilted spinach, then set it aside on top of the mushrooms.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

In a larger pot, boil water for the lasagne noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

While it boils, chop onion and garlic.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Then saute in the same pot used for the mushrooms and spinach. Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Add milk and spices creating the white sauce.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Add the mushrooms and spinach to the sauce, then set aside.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Chop leftover chicken.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Layer noodles and chicken in your lasagne pan. Mine is 8×12 inches, which fits three lasagne noodles perfectly on one layer.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Cover with mushroom and spinach sauce.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Add ricotta in dollops.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Continue for three layers, adding some mozzarella in the layers if you want.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Top with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Clean up while the lasagne is baking. Now just two pots, one bowl, one cutting board and the colander.  This is a lot better than the four pots and numerous holding dishes the original recipe used!

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake about 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and the lasagne is bubbling. Normally I would have put this one back in for another five minutes, but DH was hungry and anxious to dig in. He said it was done enough, LOL!

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

So he got his wish. A one dish meal, and very little left to clean up after eating.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

It freezes very well, so think of this for your holiday time. We have beef at Christmas, so I can make two smaller dishes in October and freeze one. Then, when the refrigerator is full of holiday meal prep, on Christmas eve I just take it out and set it on the counter to defrost. Baking it at dinnertime, we have a delicious meal to feed a houseful, yet I can spend the entire day doing other things. It works as a one dish meal, or add a salad to make it go further. Just cover your dish with plastic wrap then foil to seal it well. It will keep for a couple of months in the freezer.  I am showing it wrapped for freezing after baking here, but when I make two I would actually freeze one before the final baking.  Although it works either way.  I froze half of the one I baked for dinner this time for a meal a couple of weeks later.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

Yes, it is still a bit of prep even in this simplified form, but I assure you it is worth the effort. It is delicious!!

Chicken Florentine Lasagne

9 lasagne noodles (or more if you have a larger dish)
Water for boiling noodles, with a dash of salt and olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 bag fresh spinach (or 10 oz frozen, defrosted and squeezed dry)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked diced chicken
8 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces Italian blend shredded cheese, or mozzarella
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Start water for boiling lasagne with salt and olive oil in a large pot. Cook pasta according to package directions, setting a timer. Saute mushrooms in a medium pot on medium high heat and set aside. Wilt spinach (if using fresh) in the same pot and set aside in the bowl with the mushrooms. Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil for a couple of minutes on medium high heat until translucent. Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to create a smooth white sauce. Add lemon-pepper, herbs and salt, remove from heat.  Add mushrooms and spinach to the sauce, and set aside. Drain pasta. Assemble the lasagne in the baking dish, layering pasta then chicken, then mushroom-spinach sauce, dollops of ricotta and a little cheese in each layer. Make three layers. Top with shredded cheeses. (If planning to freeze, set on counter to cool, then cover with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to three months. When you are ready to bake, let it defrost on counter several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes until lasagne is bubbly and cheese is melted and browned.

Chicken Florentine Lasagne ~ From My Carolina Home

I did a pdf for you to download this time so you’ll have it for the holidays. Click on Chicken-Florentine-Lasagne



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17 thoughts on “Chicken Florentine Lasagne

  1. We’re all drooling here! I do like how you explain each step, short-cuts and practical suggestions with your recipes. When finding them on the net or in our own cookbooks, there’s not the fun insight provided by one making the dish. Thank you!

  2. Cheryl

    This lasagna sounds and looks so good. I will give it a try very soon now that the weather is cooling down a bit. Thank you for the pdf I printed it off. Making an extra one to freeze is a great idea. Thanks again. Hope you enjoy your day today.

  3. Mary Jean Cunningham

    I am definitely going to try this one! My husband is very picky about food (drives me crazy!) but luckily he does like mushrooms and spinach so this will work for us and I appreciate your passing it on very much. Meant to say earlier this year that I tried your recipe for chicken with white wine and mushrooms and we both liked that one very much – I’m betting he’ll like this as well. And if you’re wondering why it seems I have to suit his tastes rather than just mine, well, I’ll pretty much eat anything so it’s not an issue when I’m alone (he works in another state during the workweek)- the hard part is finding something he will like as well, which seems only fair to me – I can eat whatever I want when he’s not around but when we’re together I try to be considerate, LOL! Also, your directions are very clear – much appreciated – last week I cooked something and the package did not specify low, medium or high heat – didn’t work out well as I tried to figure it out on my own…and I’m not Julia Child, or even close!

  4. Melanie

    Looks delicious. I found the same about Child’s recipes–too much work and mess for me, but loved watching her shows. I will try your version. Have you tried the no cook noodles in your regular lasagne? Saves so much time and mess, need to use a little more liquid in the recipe, and it’s a real timesaver. I love collecting and trying new recipes; thanks for sharing another of your recipes. :o) m

  5. Actually, the way you explained this, it sounds so easy, I might give in and try it. I eliminate the mushrooms, none of us like them, and that’s one less step, too. =) Thanks for a wonderful-sounding and looking recipe.

  6. Rosemaryflower

    this is a great recipe. I love baking big things and freezing small portions for quickie dinners hubbs and I can share
    I also like baking big things and freezing large portions when the kids show up.
    I never have time, but there are days that this is what I want to do, get all of the things together make it, clean it up and done.
    I have a lovely recipe for Chicken breasts in tarragon with dijon mustard and vermouth – and yikes- cream, lots of cream.
    But it is so good and takes forever to make. I love making it will baked marinated tomatoes and potatoes. yum.
    Too bad I am so busy. I wish I had a magic wand 😀

  7. I’m hungry now after looking at your photos for this dish. Thank you for the recipe. We will have a full house this Christmas so this would be prefect for a meal.

  8. Mary Sloan

    This sounds fabulous. Glad you suggested no red sauce. Since I have started making homemade Marinara & DH brags, I make it, but that would add lots of hours to cooking.

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