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Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe: A Cheesy Delight

Introduction

If you’re a fan of the classic Chicken Parmesan but crave the comfort of a casserole, then the Chicken Parmesan Casserole is your culinary dream come true. This dish combines tender chicken, zesty marinara sauce, al dente pasta, and layers of gooey cheese into a satisfying and heartwarming meal. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to create this cheesy delight that’s perfect for gatherings or a cozy family dinner.

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Table of Contents

  1. A Fusion of Flavors: Chicken Parmesan Casserole
  2. Gathering Your Ingredients: What You’ll Need
  3. Starting Strong: Preparing the Chicken
  4. Layer by Layer: Assembling the Casserole
  5. Cheese Lover’s Paradise: Mozzarella Magic
  6. Baking Brilliance: Cooking the Casserole
  7. Serving with Style: Garnishes and Accompaniments
  8. A Healthier Twist: Making It Light
  9. FAQs About Chicken Parmesan Casserole

A Fusion of Flavors: Chicken Parmesan Casserole

The Chicken Parmesan Casserole brings together the soul-satisfying elements of two beloved dishes: Chicken Parmesan and classic casserole comfort. It’s a marriage of tender protein, rich tomato sauce, melted cheese, and the warmth of Italian spices.

Gathering Your Ingredients: What You’ll Need

  • Chicken breasts (2, boneless and skinless)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • All-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
  • Eggs (2, beaten)
  • Bread crumbs (1 cup)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Marinara sauce (2 cups)
  • Cooked pasta (2 cups, penne or spaghetti)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)

Starting Strong: Preparing the Chicken

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Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge each breast in flour, dip in beaten eggs, and coat with bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the breaded chicken until golden and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and slice into thin strips.

Layer by Layer: Assembling the Casserole

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In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce. Top with half of the cooked pasta, followed by a layer of sliced chicken. Pour more marinara sauce over the chicken, ensuring an even coverage.

Cheese Lover’s Paradise: Mozzarella Magic

Sprinkle a generous layer of shredded mozzarella cheese over the chicken. This gooey layer will melt into cheesy perfection as the casserole bakes.

Baking Brilliance: Cooking the Casserole

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Serving with Style: Garnishes and Accompaniments

Once out of the oven, let the casserole rest for a few minutes. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves for a burst of color and flavor. Serve portions of the Chicken Parmesan Casserole alongside a simple green salad or garlic bread.

A Healthier Twist: Making It Light

For a lighter version, consider using whole wheat bread crumbs and opting for whole wheat or gluten-free pasta. You can also use part-skim mozzarella cheese and leaner cuts of chicken to reduce the calorie count.

FAQs About Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Q1: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

A: Absolutely! Chicken thighs can work well, and they often offer a slightly juicier result.

Q2: Can I prepare the casserole in advance?

A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.

Q3: Can I use store-bought marinara sauce?

A: Definitely. Choose a good-quality marinara sauce or use your favorite homemade recipe.

Q4: Can I freeze leftovers?

A: Yes, you can freeze individual portions of the casserole. Make sure to wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap before placing in a resealable freezer bag.

Q5: Can I add vegetables to the casserole?

A: Absolutely! You can layer in sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers, or even lightly steamed broccoli for added flavor and nutrients.

Conclusion

Indulge in the comforting embrace of the Chicken Parmesan Casserole, where tender chicken, pasta, marinara sauce, and a blanket of melted cheese unite in a single dish. This recipe takes the essence of Chicken Parmesan and transforms it into a cheesy, gooey, and utterly satisfying casserole that will leave your taste buds dancing. Whether for a family meal or a potluck dinner, this casserole is sure to become a new favorite.

Source: thecozycook.com

Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe

Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

If you're a fan of the classic Chicken Parmesan but crave the comfort of a casserole, then the Chicken Parmesan Casserole is your culinary dream come true. This dish combines tender chicken, zesty marinara sauce, al dente pasta, and layers of gooey cheese into a satisfying and heartwarming meal. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to create this cheesy delight that's perfect for gatherings or a cozy family dinner.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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 Garlic Bread with Cheese!

Notes

Storage

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • This pasta also freezes well and reheats best if defrosted in the fridge overnight prior to microwaving or baking.
  • You may want to spoon additional sauce on it before reheating to prevent the pasta from becoming dry.

Make-Ahead Method

  • This casserole can be assembled up to 2 days ahead of time.
  • Before baking, let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Cover and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 25 more minutes.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 5
Amount Per ServingCalories 5634Total Fat 321gSaturated Fat 87gTrans Fat 6gUnsaturated Fat 208gCholesterol 954mgSodium 13272mgCarbohydrates 431gFiber 40gSugar 69gProtein 248g

The information contained herein is subject to change.

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