Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

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(17 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins

Skill level



Serves 6

This alternative pasta bake is great for making in batches- assemble the layers of mascapone, chicken, basil and butternut then freeze or bake

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 500g tub mascarpone
  • 190g jar pesto
  • bunch basil, leaves picked and chopped, save a few small whole leaves to serve
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • good grating of nutmeg
  • 12 lasagne sheets
  • 85g Parmesan, grated
  • splash of milk
  • 50g pine nuts

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  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few mins more. Push the onions and garlic to the edge of the pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for a few mins each side to brown. Sprinkle over the flour and stir it into the onion mixture. Tip in the stock and season. Cover and simmer for 10 mins – or until the chicken is cooked through. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Add half the mascarpone and the pesto, stirring until the mascarpone has melted into the sauce, bubble for a few mins to thicken a little, then remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, place the squash in a large bowl with 2tbsp of water, cover with cling film and microwave on High for 12-15 mins, until really soft. Season the squash with a little of the nutmeg and some salt and pepper, and mash lightly with a fork.
  3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spoon half the chicken mixture into the bottom of a 20 x 30cm ovenproof dish. Cover with 4 lasagne sheets, then the butternut squash and half the Parmesan. Top with another 4 lasagne sheets, the remaining chicken mixture, then a final layer of lasagne. Mix enough milk into the remaining mascarpone to make a smooth sauce – you need to aim for a consistency similar to white sauce. Season with remaining nutmeg, salt and pepper, then pour over the lasagne. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan and the pine nuts. Bake for 40 mins until piping hot in the centre and crunchy and golden on top. Scatter with a few extra basil leaves before serving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2013

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tohara1's picture
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I made this for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. I used a small cooked chicken instead of the breasts and added it to the onion/stock. I used 500ml of stock after reading previous reviews and that worked for me. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

jessica.l.appleby's picture
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This was great! Me and my husband loved it. I didn't find there was too much stock, but I let it bubble away for longer than the recipe said because it was quite liquid. This works and keeps the flavours in! I made it healthier by substituting the marscapone for half low fat cream cheese and half ricotta mixed together. I also only used a 150g tub of fresh pesto. I'll make this again, it was great! Portions are massive, but he loved that of course! I think it can serve 8 without trouble, especially if there's kids or your making it for the girls.

Nancy54321's picture
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I loved this recipe, great flavours and a bonus that you can make a couple of batches of it and put some in the freezer for one of those nights you cant be bothered to cook. Well worth the effort great with a crispy salad and nice crusty bread.

entity's picture
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Such a great lasagne. Made it for Christmas Day dinner for extended family; clean plates and compliments all the way around. This was the second time I've made this, but learnt from last time, and reduced the amount of stock by about a 1/3. Definitely recommend.

alliemma's picture

Amazing!! Reading previous comments about the stock I used the amount of stock required and made the following adjustments:
1. I took the chicken out to shred, while the chicken was out of the pan I drained off the majority of stock leaving a little in the pan with the onion and garlic mixture.
2. I added the mascarpone and pesto and let it melt a bit, I then added some of the stock I'd taken out gradually until I got a nice consistency.
3. Once I put the chicken back in the pan I needed a bit more stock.
I found I didn't use all the stock, only about half in the end. Didn't have any parmesan and i don't think you'd miss the pine nuts if you didn't have any.
Will DEFINITELY be having this again. Delicious.

Ellen4's picture

Really tasty:) I was dubious as pesto can be quite over powering but it was awesome. I didn't use basil as I didn't have any. But I didn't feel the dish lacked anything because of this. My husband had nothing negative to say. So win win

ldupuy's picture
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Has become a staple in our home, with a few adjustments: reduce the amount of pesto & mascarpone for the sauce by 25%, reduce the amount of mascarpone for the mock white sauce similarly & let the latter run around the pan (so that it "licks" a bit of the remaining pesto).
Still have issues with defrosting the top without it curling

gourmetone's picture
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Maybe there is something wrong with me.i hated this. Followed the recipe to the letter. Froze it until ready to use for a dinner party. It took ages to cook properly once defrosted. I found it bland - tasteless. My guests weren't overwhelmed by it and today the left overs ( lots) has gone in the the bin.

samuel295's picture
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Can thoroughly recommend this recipe -- the sauce was amazing. Just need to guard against it being a little bit runny. The addition of the butternut squash makes it really different and visually it looks great. Will definitely repeat.

annie6724's picture

This was delicious. I used a bag of ready prepared squash - there was just about enough. I had liquid left after assembling the lasagne. The stock keeps the chicken moist while poaching but isn't all needed in the assembled dish.

AyshaC's picture
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A delicious lasagne. Slightly less stock required though.

veggie84's picture

Delicious lasagne my fella loves it. It's easily adaptable for veggies using mushrooms which are also a lovely addition to the meaty version.

Great for a dinner party, I'm off to make it again now.

NickyCWilliamson's picture

I loved this recipe. Will definitely be making it again.

mmgrdivechick's picture

Hi, made this the other night, and unlike all the other reviews, I found it a little stodgy and wasn't that impressed. I love chicken pesto pasta and lasagne, but this was a poor comparison. Don't often find a recipe on BBCGoodFood that I don't like, but I won't be repeating it.

limpomc's picture

I just used natural yoghurt instead of mascarpone. It was absolutely delicious. Will definitely make again. And again!

eleanormayo's picture

Loved this, but am surprised by the other comments that they had chicken left over, mine only just stretched. I also managed to cut out a stage as my flatmate had previously roasted a whole crown prince pumpkin for gnocchi and there was half of it that needed using up. I also scattered the top with a mixture of wholemeal breadcrumbs and walnuts that needed using up, as opposed to pine nuts. Have half of the lasagne stashed in the freezer for January!

Zoe4's picture

You must try this recipe, it is delicious - I've served this at a couple of dinner parties! It's great as you can prepare ahead, then all you need to do is move it straight from the oven to the dinner table.

Only niggle - I found the chicken to dry out a little in this lasagne. Any tips to avoid this happening next time?

caro1986's picture

I made this for a dinner party with a few small changes - no pine nuts on top and substituting the Parmesan for half cheddar and half a strong sheeps cheese. My friends loved it and asked for the recipe. I had a small butternut squash and next time I'd use a bigger one as the layer was quite thin, and I had extra chicken mixture left over but we ate that for lunch the next day with some pasta. Lovely!

beckys86's picture

This was absolutely delicious! I'll put half the amount of pesto next time as it was slightly over powering for me...but there will definitely be a next time!

coruscating17's picture

I made this for Father's Day back in June and it was delicious! Making it again this weekend for a dinner party. Yum!