Chicken Parm Casserole
- 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
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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!
- 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.
- 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.
Using Frozen Chicken Tenders
- Frozen chicken tenders are a great way to make this recipe in a short amount of time.
- Let them sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes and carefully slice them into smaller strips prior to adding to the casserole.
- No modifications to the baking temperature or cooking time should be required.
Using Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
- This recipe is a perfect way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken and cut out the time it takes to bread the chicken cutlets.
- To add some crunch, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs with 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle it over the top of the casserole and bake at 375° F for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Best Cheese for Melting
- Low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella shredded from a block will melt the best in this recipe!
Nutritional information shared is an estimate and is based on the ingredients in the recipe card. The information provided is per serving, there are 5 servings in this recipe.