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Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

This easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake – full of pasta, sauce, lots of tender chicken, and melty cheese – is a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to become a dinnertime favorite!

If you love chicken parmesan and you love pasta (doesn’t everyone?), this yummy casserole is going to make you very, very happy. Think chicken parm meets baked ziti. It’s got everything you love about both all in one glorious dish!

I even managed to get the breadcrumbs in there! They would get soggy if you breaded and fried the chicken and then mixed it with all that sauce, so I put them on top so they get nice and crunchy.

And, honestly, this pasta bake really couldn’t be much easier – just boil the pasta, cook the chicken, mix everything together, top it with cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake. Done!

The whole process takes less than an hour, which makes this dish perfect for a weeknight meal, but it’s absolutely good enough for Sunday dinner or guests too.

The ingredient list is short and simple – all staples that most of us usually keep on hand – so if you’re well-stocked, you could whip up this recipe any time without having to make a trip to the grocery store. Yessss!!

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray
  • Ziti
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Chicken tenderloins (or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti sauce (jarred or homemade spaghetti sauce)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs

Here’s a look at how to make Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake:

two images showing the steps to make chicken parmesan pasta bake
two images showing the steps to make chicken parmesan pasta bake
two images showing the steps to make chicken parmesan pasta bake
two images showing how to make chicken parmesan pasta bake
two images showing how to make chicken parmesan pasta bake

Tips & Tidbits:

  • I like ziti in this recipe, but you can use any larger shaped pasta you have, such as rigatoni, penne, bowties, etc.
  • Cook the pasta for 1 to 2 minutes less than what it says on the package – just until it is cooked but ever so slightly firm. This helps ensure that the pasta doesn’t get overcooked and mushy in the oven.
  • I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but generously salt your pasta cooking water. That’s the only time you get to season the pasta. I cook 8 ounces of pasta in 2 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (but feel free to adjust the salt to suit your own tastes).
  • If you like to meal prep and have precooked chicken on hand or if you have leftover roasted chicken or even a store-bought rotisserie chicken, you could use that and skip the step of cooking the chicken. You will need about 2 cups of cooked chicken.
  • Panko breadcrumbs will give you extra crispiness, but regular breadcrumbs will work too.
  • You could use chopped fresh basil instead of parsley.
  • This recipe gives you 4 servings, but if you’ve got a bigger family or a crowd to feed (or if you’d like to have some leftovers for another day of the week), double it and use a larger 9×13-inch baking dish to get 8 servings. You may need to bake it a few minutes longer.
spoonful of chicken parmesan pasta bake being lifted out of the baking dish

The perfect sides for this awesome meal? A green salad and some garlic bread, of course. Absolute perfection!

I hope you try this recipe for Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

This easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake – full of pasta, sauce, lots of tender chicken, and melty cheese – is a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to become a dinnertime favorite!
Print Recipe Rate/Comment Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 787
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 8 ounces ziti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces (or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cups spaghetti sauce, jarred (one 24-ounce jar) or homemade
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs, or regular breadcrumbs
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray (the baking dish that I use is 12 x 8 x 2½ inches).
  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 2 minutes less than the cooking time called for on the package; drain. Note: Cooking the pasta for a shorter time will help prevent it from getting overcooked and mushy when it bakes in the oven.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, season with the garlic powder and some salt and pepper (when adding the salt, keep in mind that the parmesan cheese will add some saltiness). Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just cooked through.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the chicken along with the spaghetti sauce, ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese; stir to combine.
  • Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and mix it with the breadcrumbs until well-combined; sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly, the cheese is melted, and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

  • I like ziti in this recipe, but you can use any larger shaped pasta you have, such as rigatoni, penne, bowties, etc.
  • If you like to meal prep and have precooked chicken on hand or if you have leftover roasted chicken or even a store-bought rotisserie chicken, you could use that and skip the step of cooking the chicken. You will need about 2 cups of cooked chicken.
  • If you’ve got a bigger family or a crowd to feed (or if you’d like to have some leftovers for another day of the week), double the recipe and use a larger (9×13-inch) baking dish to get 8 servings. You may need to bake it a few minutes longer.
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