Use leftover rotisserie chicken, homemade breaded chicken, or chicken tenders to quickly put together this Chicken Parmesan Casserole. Toss in some pasta and tons of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. You can even prep this casserole up to 2 days in advance! Serve this casserole with a side of garlic bread with cheese.
Why Do I Love This Casserole Recipe?
- This hits my soft spot! Easy and can be made up to 2 days in advance.
- This recipe is great to use leftover breaded chicken!
- For an amazing shortcut, frozen chicken tenders can also be used!
Although, I love to use fresh chicken and just bread them myself. It’ll take a bit of time, so what I do is bread a big batch of chicken and freeze them for future meals. They freeze well!
What You Need To Make This Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Rigatoni Pasta: Or use penne pasta
Mozzarella Cheese: Shred a block of low-moisture mozzarella for superb results.
Parmesan Cheese: For best results, finely grate into a powder from a block.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Italian Breadcrumbs: I prefer to use homemade
Butter: This gives the chicken a beautiful golden color.
Fresh Parsley: For garnish
How To Make Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Step 1: Start by cooking the rigatoni a minute less than al dente. Then, drain.
Step 2: Into thinner strips, slice the chicken breast. Then, season and coat in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
Step 3: Fry the chicken strips until golden brown. Once done, slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Step 4: Mix the cooked rigatoni with marinara sauce. Place half of the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. On top, scatter half of the chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
Step 5: On top, add the other half of the rigatoni mixture followed by the rest of the chicken and cheese.
Step 6: Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered. Increase the oven temperature to 424 degrees and bake for 5 minutes more if you prefer a browner, crisper top.
If using frozen chicken tenders:
For about 5 minutes, allow the frozen chicken tenders to sit at room temperature before slicing them into smaller strips. Do this before adding the chicken to the casserole. Cook as directed in the recipe.
If using leftover rotisserie chicken:
Mix 1 c. breadcrumbs with 1/3 c. melted butter, then sprinkle over the casserole. This will add some crunch to the chicken. In the last 10 minutes of baking, adjust the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
How to make this casserole in advance?
You can assemble this casserole up to 2 days ahead. Allow the casserole to sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature before baking. Then, tent and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes.
How to store?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This casserole also freezes and reheats well. Before serving, defrost in the fridge overnight. To reheat, bake, or microwave. To prevent the pasta from drying out, you may want to spoon extra sauce on it before reheating.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- ¾ c. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¾ lb. rigatoni pasta
- 3 c. mozzarella cheese shredded & separated
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¾ c. flour
- 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ c. Italian breadcrumbs
- 32 ounces marinara sauce
- Fresh Parsley to garnish
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cook the rigatoni in boiling water for a minute less than al dente. When finished, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add 32 ounces of sauce along with 1/3 c. of the Parmesan cheese and 1 c. of the mozzarella. Toss well and set aside.
- Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry. Then, slice them into about half an inch thickness.
- Prepare an assembly line for the breading: First bowl: Mix 3/4 c. flour, 2 tsp seasoned salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Second bowl: Beat the eggs. Third bowl: Add 1.5 c. breadcrumbs.
- In the flour mixture, dredge the chicken. Briefly coat the chicken in the whisked eggs and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture until evenly coated. Gently flatten the chicken using your palms to coat the chicken a little more in the breadcrumbs.
- To a pan, add 1/4 inch of oil and butter. Melt the butter to medium-high heat.
- Carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil using kitchen tongs and cook (in batches) for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown. As the chicken cooks, you may need to add more oil.
- On a paper towel-lined plate, place the cooked strips.
- Into smaller bite-sized pieces, slice the strips.
To Assemble and bake:
- Set the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add half of the rigatoni/sauce mixture to a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. On top, arrange the chicken strips. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese and 1 c. mozzarella cheese.
- Top with the rest of the rigatoni followed by the chicken strips and the rest of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake without a cover for 25 minutes. Increase the heat to 425 degrees and bake for additional 5 minutes if you prefer a browner, crisper top.
- Before serving, garnish the casserole with some fresh parsley. Enjoy the casserole with Garlic Bread with Cheese!
- Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- If frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.
- Before reheating, you may want to spoon extra sauce to keep the casserole from drying out.
- Feel free to assemble the casserole up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Tent and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes.