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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lasagna Recipe

Updated on March 16, 2016

Mmmm...Is your mouth watering yet?

Did you know?

The word "lasagna" originated with the ancient Greeks.

The Italians were the ones who modified the dish to the form we know today.

Craving something sweet and spicy? Are you in the mood for Italian food? Well, satisfy both of those desires with this scrumptious sweet and spicy chicken lasagna recipe.

Lasagna is an Italian classic. But restaurant lasagna can cost $8 or $10 or even more for just one tiny portion. Making lasagna at home is a great alternative for a delicious meal on a budget. For under $20 you can feed an entire family with leftovers for the next day.

And you aren't going to find lasagna like this at a restaurant. The combination of the sweet and spicy chicken compliment each other perfectly making this a one of a kind Italian treat.

Plus chicken can be a healthier alternative to red meat, especially with the veggies added to the lasagna.

Lasagna is delicious and easier to make than you may think.There is no need to slave away with this. You can make each of the ingredients from scratch, but store bought sauce and noodles is perfectly fine with this recipe.

Each step of the recipe is broken down for easy understanding with pictures to guide you, so you won't miss a beat. Perfect for even first time lasagna makers. Don't forget to keep scrolling for side dish ideas and recipe alterations and suggestions.

The prep work is the most intensive part. Once that it done, you just stick it in the oven and then gobble it down. So turn on the oven and let's spice up dinner tonight...

Step-by-Step Video Guide for the Lasagna

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 8 big servings (4x4) or 16 small servings (2x2)
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here are the ingredients ready to put together.These are the spices you will need for the chicken: cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and a hot sauce of your choice.
Here are the ingredients ready to put together.
Here are the ingredients ready to put together.
These are the spices you will need for the chicken: cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and a hot sauce of your choice.
These are the spices you will need for the chicken: cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and a hot sauce of your choice.

Did you know?

Olive oil is cholesterol free. The Greek island of Crete has the highest per persona consumption of olive oil in the world and the lowest rate of death from heart related diseases.

Ingredients for Deliciousness

  • 16 oz. box lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, boneless
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Italian cheese mix
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bell pepper, red and/or green
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • hot sauce
  • oil, preferably olive oil
  • ricotta or cottage cheese, optional
  • 1/4 cup corn, optional
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Seasoning the water makes the noodles more flavorful.  Try to spread out the noodles when you put them in the pot so that they won't stick together as much.The noodles will absorb the water and move down into the pot.Drain the water, then run cold water over the noodles in the strainer to cool them off enough that you will be able to handle them later.
Seasoning the water makes the noodles more flavorful.
Seasoning the water makes the noodles more flavorful.
Try to spread out the noodles when you put them in the pot so that they won't stick together as much.
Try to spread out the noodles when you put them in the pot so that they won't stick together as much.
The noodles will absorb the water and move down into the pot.
The noodles will absorb the water and move down into the pot.
Drain the water, then run cold water over the noodles in the strainer to cool them off enough that you will be able to handle them later.
Drain the water, then run cold water over the noodles in the strainer to cool them off enough that you will be able to handle them later.

Did you know?

Lasagna noodles have curly edges to help keep sauces and ingredients in place.

Preparing the Noodles

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add in a pinch of salt, a spoonful of oil (olive oil preferably), and a teaspoon of butter or margarine. These are just to flavor the noodles and to keep them from sticking. Leave out the salt and/or butter if you are on a more restrictive diet.
  2. When the water is boiling, place the noodles in the water. Try to spread them out in the pot so they will boil more evenly.
  3. Carefully stir the noodles occasionally trying not to break or tear the noodles. Let the noodles boil for 10 minutes or until they are tender.
  4. Drain the noodles.
  5. Run cold water over the noodles and allow them to cool.

**I don't suggest using no-boil noodles. They are convenient, but they run the risk of turning out too crunchy. But if you do decide to use them, make sure to add lots of extra sauce so they will absorb plenty of moisture as they cook.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the chicken.When the chicken is done baking and is cooled, shred it into small pieces.The shredded chickenPut the shredded chicken and more seasoning into a frying pan to lock in the flavor.
Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the chicken.
Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the chicken.
When the chicken is done baking and is cooled, shred it into small pieces.
When the chicken is done baking and is cooled, shred it into small pieces.
The shredded chicken
The shredded chicken
Put the shredded chicken and more seasoning into a frying pan to lock in the flavor.
Put the shredded chicken and more seasoning into a frying pan to lock in the flavor.

Did you know?

Hot sauces have been made for thousands of years, but the first commercially bottled cayenne sauce was in Massachusetts in 1807.

The Scoville scale is used to determine how hot a hot sauce really is.

Preparing the Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o.
  2. Place the pieces of chicken in an oiled pan.
  3. Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon and cayenne pepper over the chicken. Add a few drops of hot sauce on each piece. A potent habanero type of hot sauce is recommended.
  4. Bake the chicken for about 25-30 minutes then remove it from the oven.
  5. Let the chicken cool for about 15 minutes or until it has cooled enough to handle. Shred the chicken into small pieces.
  6. Put the shredded chicken pieces into an oiled frying pan. Sprinkle it again with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and a bit more hot sauce.
  7. Fry the chicken on medium high for about 5-10 minutes in order to lock in the flavor of the seasoning.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dice the peppers, onions, and any other vegetables you are adding.Saute the veggies so that they are tender in the lasagna.You can make your own sauce from scratch with just tomato sauce and seasoning.Oil the pan well to prevent sticking.
Dice the peppers, onions, and any other vegetables you are adding.
Dice the peppers, onions, and any other vegetables you are adding.
Saute the veggies so that they are tender in the lasagna.
Saute the veggies so that they are tender in the lasagna.
You can make your own sauce from scratch with just tomato sauce and seasoning.
You can make your own sauce from scratch with just tomato sauce and seasoning.
Oil the pan well to prevent sticking.
Oil the pan well to prevent sticking.

Other Preparation

  1. Peppers and onions - Dice the peppers and onions. Sauté them in an oiled pan for about 10 minutes or until they are tender.
  2. Any other vegetable - Cook the corn and any other vegetables you are adding.
  3. If you are making your own sauce, fix it as well. Here's a quick and easy homemade sauce recipe. If you are using a canned sauce (Prego Three Cheese Sauce is suggested), there is no need to heat it ahead of time.
  4. You will need at a 13x9 inch pan that is at least a couple of inches deep. Oil the pan well to keep the lasagna from sticking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350o.

Layering the Lasagna

Pro Layering Tip: If you don't like crispy edges, coat the pan well with oil. Then remember the key to tender edges is sauce. Add plenty of sauce around the edges as you layer the lasagna. You can add a layer of sauce on the bottom before you add the noodles as well.

This is a suggested layering guideline perfected with lots of practice. Feel free to add whatever you want on each layer, though. You are the one eating it!

Step-By-Step Illustrations

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Layer the bottom of the pan with noodles.Add a layer of sauce, sprinkle on some veggies and some cheese.Add another layer of noodles.Now for the cheeseAnd another layer of noodlesNow for the meat, the brown sugar, some more veggies and cheese.Another layer of noodlesThe rest of the meat and veggies and some cheeseAnother layer of noodles and top it off with some Parmesan
Layer the bottom of the pan with noodles.
Layer the bottom of the pan with noodles.
Add a layer of sauce, sprinkle on some veggies and some cheese.
Add a layer of sauce, sprinkle on some veggies and some cheese.
Add another layer of noodles.
Add another layer of noodles.
Now for the cheese
Now for the cheese
And another layer of noodles
And another layer of noodles
Now for the meat, the brown sugar, some more veggies and cheese.
Now for the meat, the brown sugar, some more veggies and cheese.
Another layer of noodles
Another layer of noodles
The rest of the meat and veggies and some cheese
The rest of the meat and veggies and some cheese
Another layer of noodles and top it off with some Parmesan
Another layer of noodles and top it off with some Parmesan

Did you know?

The most famous lasagna fan of all time, Garfield the cat, was born in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant. In Mamma Leoni's Italian restaurant in 1971, the newborn orange kitten started scarfing all the lasagna in sight.

  1. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of the well-oiled pan. Make sure the noodles are covering the bottom, which will be about four or five noodles wide.
  2. Add a layer of sauce and then sprinkle on some veggies and the shredded cheese. Add another layer of noodles.
  3. The next layer will be just cheese. If you are using cottage cheese/ricotta cheese, add a thin layer now. If you are just using shredded cheese, sprinkle a layer thick enough to cover the noodles underneath. Add another layer of noodles.
  4. Add a thin coating of sauce onto the noodles. Then add most of the shredded chicken spreading it evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken layer making sure it is spread evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese on top of that. Then add another layer of noodles.
  5. Coat the noodles with sauce. Add the rest of the chicken, veggies and sprinkle cheese on top of it. No brown sugar with this layer.
  6. Add another layer of noodles to the top. Lightly coat it with sauce to prevent the noodles from becoming too dry. Then cover the top with the Parmesan and more of the shredded cheese.
Cook the lasagna on a rack in the middle of the oven.
Cook the lasagna on a rack in the middle of the oven.

Here is a lasagna secret:

Baking times and temp will vary by oven. There isn't a hard and fast temperature and time rule for lasagna. Go with 350o the first time you make it in your oven and start checking the lasagna after 30 minutes. Some ovens cook differently. You can bump it up to 375o or 400o if your oven seems to cook slower than most. We actually cook our lasagna at 450o to get it the way we like it.

Cooking Directions

  1. Make sure the oven is heated to 350o. Put the pan into the oven on the middle rack.
  2. Allow it to cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until the cheese is melted and the top is a golden brown.
  3. For crispier noodles and darker cheese leave the lasagna uncovered. If you want a "wetter" and "juicier" lasagna, cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first 30 or so minutes. Then uncover it for the last 15 to let the cheese melt. If you are worried about it bubbling over, you can sit the lasagna dish on a flat pan in the oven.
  4. Check to make sure the middle of the lasagna is cooked well. When the cheese is browned and the middle is done, remove it from the oven and allow the lasagna to cool. 10-15 minutes will do. Waiting for the lasagna to cool and set will make it easier and less messy to cut. The pieces will stay together better. Plus, you won't burn your tongue.
  5. Serve the lasagna and enjoy your marvelous culinary creation. Don't forget to make sounds like "mmmm" and to rub your tummy.

How Yummy Is It?

4.7 stars from 6 ratings of Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lasagna

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lasagna

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The finished product with a side salad.Golden brown on the top.The lasagna innards
The finished product with a side salad.
The finished product with a side salad.
Golden brown on the top.
Golden brown on the top.
The lasagna innards
The lasagna innards

Side Dish Suggestions

salad
garlic bread
peas
broccoli
carrots
cauliflower
asparagus
fruit salad

Dessert Suggestions

tiramasu
baklava
gelato
cannoli
cheesecake
sorbet

What to Serve with the Lasagna

Since the lasagna is mainly pasta and is a very heavy dish, serve light fruits and vegetables as sides for a well-balanced meal. Steamed vegetables are a good choice. So is salad with lots of fixings. Caesar or Italian salads would compliment the lasagna well.

If you want to stick with the Italian theme, there are Italian dessert suggestions to the right. Just about any dessert will go with lasagna, though. You could make cake, cookies, or brownies. For a healthier option, you could even serve fresh fruit. It is sweet and nutritious and is a simple option after the effort of making homemade lasagna.

Do I smell bacon?  Top the lasagna with bacon for a unique (and delicious) lasagna creation.
Do I smell bacon? Top the lasagna with bacon for a unique (and delicious) lasagna creation.

Did you know?

Eating lemons, carrots, mushrooms, or potatoes will get rid of garlic breath. That's another reason to eat your veggies.

Ways to Switch Up the Lasagna Recipe

  • Add a layer of bacon to the top of the lasagna. It adds extra flavor and crispiness. Check out the picture to the right.
  • You can use ground chicken instead of going through the process of shredding chicken breasts. Just add the spices in as you fry the chicken. Drain it and then add it to the lasagna just like the shredded version. That is a simpler and quicker way of cooking it.
  • You could also use ground beef, ground turkey, or even spicy sausage if you prefer.
  • Make lasagna roll ups. They are great for company and are a bit of a twist (literally) to traditional lasagna.
  • Try wheat noodles or gluten free noodles for a healthier alternative to regular pasta.
  • Leave out the hot sauce if you don't like spicy foods. It will have a sweet and savory flavor.
  • Make your own sauce from scratch for a less-processed dish. Homemade sauce is easy to make. Really all you need is tomato sauce and seasoning.
  • Add other veggies into the lasagna. Mushrooms will compliment the recipe well. But feel free to add your favorites.
  • Take out any of the veggies you don't like. No recipe is set in stone. If you don't like or can't have it, toss it out.

Pro Lasagna Making Tip: You can do the prep ahead of time (like the day before) if you are having company. Just cover the lasagna and stick it in the fridge. Then pop it in the oven about an hour before it is time to eat. That way there is no prep mess and hassle right before company arrives. This also allows the sauce and flavors to seep together. I think lasagna always tastes better the next day because it has time to "set" properly.

So what do you think?

What kind of lasagna are you going to make?

See results
Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)
Chicago Metallic Lasagna Trio Pan, 12-Inch by 15-Inch by 3-Inch (11-1/2-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch Cavities)

Make 3 different types of lasagna at once! Great for dinner parties, cooking for people on special or restricted diets, or just for sampling recipes.

 

Lasagna Pans

CHEFS Essentials Deep Lasagna Pan
CHEFS Essentials Deep Lasagna Pan

This is the ultimate lasagna pan. Stack your lasagna high with no worries of a mess in the stove.

 

What do you think? Chew your food first.

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    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      A twist on a classic. Everything you want to know about Lasanga in one lesson. Love the photos. A great recipe.

    • RASO profile image

      RASO 4 years ago from Slovenia

      I agree with a comment written above, excellent lasagna journey we got here. Great video and great recipe. Voted UP and everything else. Cheers.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      5 stars because its sooo yummy!

    • wayseeker profile image

      wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

      This has one of the best layouts I have ever seen! I love the addition of "Did you know?" facts as well as side dish recommendations, procedural pictures and video. I've learned a few things reading this one...not to mention having access to a great new lasagna recipe.

      Great work. Keep it up!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Ooooohmygosh. This Hub is filled with so many great ideas. Bacon in lasagna??? Spicy lasagna??? COCOPREME YOU ROCK!!!!!!

      But seriously... I need to stop being a vegetarian.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Great hub! Congrats on winning! Kelley

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I never thought of having chicken with lasagna, but you make it sound like a good idea!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      I was just looking through the recipe winners and I see this recipe won ... congratulations. I haven't made lasagna in years, mostly because my kids weren't too fond of my healthy version with layers of spinach. I never considered using chicken as a healthy alternative, so I may have to give this a try.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a unique and delicious recipe! Congrats on your win!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Okay - you just put several flavors into lasagna that I'd not thought of before - such as chicken, sweet and spicy (not just Italian spice!). This does look tasty - I will remember it! Voted up and up!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 4 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Congrats! This is one recipe I am going to use this wekend.Thanks for sharing, and yes, my mouth watered!

    • cocopreme profile image
      Author

      Candace Bacon 4 years ago from Far, far away

      Horatio Plot - Thanks so much! Classics need a twist sometimes.

      RASO - Double thanks!

      unknown spy - Thanks for the vote!

      wayseeker - Wow! Thanks for the praise. Glad to pass on some lasagna knowledge.

      Simone Smith - Thanks Simone! You could always use soy bacon. :)

      kelleyward - Thank you!

      Nettlemere - Chicken tastes great in lasagna. Thanks!

      ktrapp - Kids would probably like this better (maybe without the spice, though). Thanks!

      vespawoolf - Thanks so much!

      Marcy Goodfleisch - Thank you! My husband (the experimental cook) came up with this one.

      Purple Perl - Thanks! Ha ha :)

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