This Chicken Parmesan Casserole is perfect for weeknights and family gatherings. They can be paired with my Parmesan Garlic Knots.
THE CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE EXPLAINED:
Penne pasta layered with a creamy alfredo sauce, fried chicken, MORE pasta, tomato sauce, MORE fried chicken, and lots of cheese!
what different types of pasta can I use?
I used penne, but different types that I like include: rotini, rigatoni, ziti, vermicelli, and angel hair.
will this recipe work if halved?
yes! a normal 13×9 baking dish or something comparable instead of a deeper casserole dish.
can this recipe be made in a instapot or ninja foodi?
I have not tried it but I really don’t see why not! I will include directions below under “an easier way”
- 2 boxes of penne pasta
- tomato sauce
- mozzarella cheese, fresh or shredded
- heavy cream
- parmesan, freshly grated
- garlic cloves or powder
- chicken tenders or breasts
- olive oil
- peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 qt casserole dish
- mixing bowls
- frying pan
AN EASIER WAY:
not necessarily ‘easier’ but an alternative:
Step 1 in the recipe card – You can do this step on the stove or in the Instapot or Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker by using the sear/saute function.
Skip step 2 in the recipe card.
Step 3 in the recipe card – You can do this step on the stove or in the Instapot or Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker by using the sear/saute function.
Step 4 in the recipe card – This step should be done on the stove, however, can be done in the Instapot or Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker. In order to do so, transfer the above sauce into a bowl and clean the pot. Using the air-fry basket, place the breaded chicken in the basket and spray them with avocado or olive oil. Air fry or air crisp for 15 minutes on 375 F or until golden brown.
Step 5 in the recipe card – You can do this step by cleaning out the pot and assembling as described in the pot. Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- 2 boxes of Penne pasta cooked
- 1 tbsp butter- dish
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 12 oz mozzarella cheese fresh or shredded
- ½ cup pasta water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup parmesan freshly grated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts cut in half
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 1/4 cup panko
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Olive oil
- Peanut canola, or vegetable oil
- Cook both boxes of pasta according to box direction but make sure that you add salt and set aside about ¼-½ cup of the cooked pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare a 2 ½ qt. casserole dish by buttering the dish. Pour 1 box of the cooked pasta into the buttered dish and set all aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and stir in pasta water. Whisk in milk and heavy cream, let it sit until it starts to boil and then reduce heat to low. Stir in parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until it starts to become thicker, remove from heat and the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- While sauce is cooling, prepare the chicken breading station. 3 bowls; first bowl, flour. Second bowl, whisked egg and milk. Third bowl will be panko, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Bread chicken in that order, flour both sides, dip into egg wash, and cover both sides in bread crumbs and set aside to be pan fried. To pan fry, pour approximately ¼ cup olive oil in the pan along with ½ cup of peanut oil (or other oil of your choice) let oil get hot while heat is set at medium-high. Cook chicken on each side until golden brown and the meat thermometer reads at least 165 F. Place on paper towel when done to drain excess grease. Slice into ½ inch pieces (horizontally)
- Once sauce is slightly cooled, pour and stir into the pasta sitting in the prepared dish. Top this layer with half of the sliced chicken and top with 4 oz of mozzarella cheese. Pour the remaining pasta over the first layer of pasta, chicken, and cheese. Top with the remaining sliced chicken, pour tomato sauce over top of the chicken and finally, top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and it’s starting to bubble.