PARMESAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE RECIPE
Make this easy Chicken Parmesan Casserole with homemade breaded chicken, chicken tenders, or with leftover rotisserie chicken! Add in some pasta and lots of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
When you combine super crispy breaded chicken with rigatoni, warm marinara sauce, and loads of hot melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, good things happen.
Want to hear my 3 favorite things about this casserole recipe?
You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time. Score!
It’s a great way to use up leftover breaded chicken.
You can use frozen chicken tenders for an amazing shortcut.
Personally, I like to use fresh chicken and bread it myself.
I know that can be a process, so I tend to bread a ton of chicken all at once and freeze it for future meals. Breaded chicken (before or after baking/frying), freezes super well.
PRO Tips For Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- I like to use my own homemade breadcrumbs when I bread chicken.
- I also prefer to bread large quantities of chicken at once and freeze it for easy weekday chicken Parmesan.
- Rao’s marinara sauce is superb with this casserole and is worth the cost.
- ¾ pound rigatoni pasta
- 32 oz. marinara sauce
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded & separated
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¾ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Fresh Parsley, to garnish
- Tip: Bread the chicken while you wait for your pasta water to boil and for the pasta to cook.
- Prepare the Pasta
- Boil water and cook the rigatoni for 1 minute less than al dente- (Refer to package for cooking time).
- When the pasta is ready, drain it add it back to the pot. Toss with 32 oz. of sauce, 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Set aside.
- Prepare the chicken
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and cut into strips about ½ inch thick.
- Create an assembly line for breading the chicken: - Bowl #1: 3/4 cup flour + 2 tsp seasoned salt + 1/4 tsp pepper. - Bowl #2: 2 whisked eggs. - Bowl #3: 1.5 cups breadcrumbs
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then briefly in the whisked eggs, then smother them in the breadcrumb mixture until completely covered. Use your palms to gently flatten the chicken a little bit more once it’s coated in the breadcrumbs.
- Add ¼ inch of oil to a pan along with the butter, which helps give the chicken a golden color. Turn to medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is heated, use kitchen tongs to carefully lower the chicken into the oil, you’ll need to cook the strips in batches. Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. You may need to add more oil as the chicken cooks.
- Place the cooked strips on a paper towel lined plate. The paper towels absorb the excess oil, leaving you with crispier chicken.
- Slice the strips into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Assemble the Casserole and Bake
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Add half of the rigatoni/sauce mixture. Top with half of the chicken strips, 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Add the remaining rigatoni. Add the chicken strips and the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. If you prefer a browner, crisper top, increase heat to 425 and bake for about 5 more minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with Cheesy homemade garlic bread and enjoy!