Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

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(89 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins


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

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal692
  • fat50g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre4g
  • protein31g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 500g tub mascarpone
  • 190g jar pesto



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


  • bunch basil, leaves picked and chopped, save a few small whole leaves to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • good grating of nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 12 lasagne sheets
  • 85g parmesan, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • splash of milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 50g pine nut


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Jun, 2020
My very fussy girlfriend gave it 5 stars. She has no problem telling me when she doesn't like what I have cooked, but she loves this. I did make my own pesto and pasta though.
mhchevalier's picture
5th May, 2020
This was absolutely delicious. Although expensive and time consuming (it took longer than indicated but that was expected) it was well worth it. It was texturally interesting and the butternut squash married well with the pesto and chicken. This was not the healthiest so I shall make it as a treat! Would recommend. (っˆڡˆς)
22nd Aug, 2019
While this recipe is delicious, the calorie information included is way off. After calculating myself using a calorie counting app, and even using less chicken than indicated, the count is closer to 980 per portion than the 692 advised. Still yummy though, and a nice treat.
Dishesbydawn's picture
30th Jun, 2019
Loved this! I made it ahead in the morning for a family meal that night and it was perfect. I took advice from others and halved the mascarpone and replaced with ricotta. I also used chicken chunks rather than shredding the breasts and also used slightly less pesto (100g) and added spinach at the same time as the basil. Tip, let it stand for a good 5 mins so it cuts and serves better.
26th Apr, 2019
Rich and delicious. I added corn flour (1-2 Tbs) to the pesto chicken sauce to thicken it. I also made it the day before and left in the fridge for over 24 hours until cooking. Cooked perfectly. Not a quick mid week recipe, but will definitely do it again.
12th Mar, 2019
Made this recipe a few times now and it always goes down a treat. Six super decent portions every time (perfect for 2 people for 3 sets of meals - great for the commuter) Last attempt, something wasn't quite right.....turns out it was me and only added half the amount of mascarpone...doh!! We live in Sweden where its sold in 250g tubs and didn't read the amounts right :/ Definitely one on the list to make again and again - with all correct amounts this time :D
3rd Mar, 2019
This is a firm family favourite, works every time! I like to make the butternut squash layer with frozen squash cubes, which I microwave in the way described in the recipe. This means you can have a thicker layer of the squash and no pealing and chopping required.
5th Feb, 2018
This was delicious with requests to make it again. The quantity would have fed 8 people easily. I served it with some green beans,broccoli florets and garlic ciabatta with parmesan. A delightful change from the usual beef lasagne and I'm sure it will become a regular.
12th Jan, 2018
Such a yummy recipe! Very decadent and wants to be paired with a salad. I swapped out the mascapone for equal parts of smooth ricotta and cream cheese then ricotta on top.
13th Dec, 2017
Really tasty and rich. If you want to make it slightly more healthy I think you can get away with using only one 250g tub of mascapone, putting 2/3rds with the chicken then 1/3 on top at the end. Also I use the biggest butternut squash I can find and roast it instead of microwaving. It takes longer but just means you have to put the squash on before starting the chicken mixture.


15th Jul, 2020
Hi, this is regular in our house in autumn or winter, but which veggie would you advise to replace butternut squash in the summer (as it is unfortunately totally unavailable in France)? Thanks a lot for your help.
lulu_grimes's picture
17th Jul, 2020
Hi, If you can't get any other kind of summer squash I'd use courgettes instead, add them as a layer of fried, thin slices. You could also use pureed spinach, stir in a little of the mascarpone. I hope this helps, Lulu
26th Aug, 2017
How much butternut squash would you recommend for this recipe I have made it today, I halved the quantities and had about 600g of squash, the layer looks a little thin, not tried it yet, cooking it tonight. Could you give some idea in the recipe about the amount as butternut squash vary so much where I live.
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Aug, 2017
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest going for a medium-large sized squash for this recipe. An exact weight is not essential for success. If your layer is looking a little thin, don't worry just spread it out as best you can. It'll still be delicious!
6th Nov, 2016
Could I use sweet potato instead of squash?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2016
Thanks for your question, you could try it with sweet potato but this would give both a different taste and texture. We'd suggest sticking with the original unless you dislike squash.
1st Jan, 2014
Hi, I made this recipe once before and loved it, so would like to make it again. My problem is, that butternut squash is a bit hard to find where I live. Does anyone have an idea as to what I can use instead of butternut? My first thought were sweet potatoes, but they are even harder to find. Thank you for any suggestions.
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