There’s almost no combination of food more heartwarming than chicken, pasta, and cheese. Chicken Parmesan Casserole combines all those elements for a take on the classic Italian-American dish of chicken Parmesan. To make the recipe even simpler and quicker, use frozen breaded chicken tenders instead of breading and frying fresh chicken. Chicken Parmesan Casserole freezes well and makes a great gift for those needing a little homemade comfort.

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  • 3/4 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 32 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 small chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • fresh parsley, to garnish


Step 1 –Prepare the rigatoni following the package instructions, cooking for about 1 minute less than al dente (refer to the package for the cooking time).

Step 2 –When the pasta is just shy of al dente, drain it of all liquid and put it back in the pot.

Step 3 –Toss the pasta with your marinara sauce, about 1/3 of the parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Then, set it aside.

Step 4 –Create an assembly line for breading the chicken.

Step 5 –In the first bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper.

Step 6 –In the second bowl, pour the beaten eggs.

Step 7 –In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.

Step 8 –Move the chicken through the assembly line, first coating the chicken in the flour mixture, then dip the breasts in the beaten eggs, and finally cover them in the breadcrumb mixture until they are completely covered. Use your palms and fingers to lightly press the breadcrumbs into the chicken breasts.

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Step 9 –Once all the chicken is coated in breadcrumbs, set them aside.

Step 10 –Using a heavy skillet or dutch oven on the stove-top, add the oil until it is about 1/4 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat.

Step 11 –Add the butter to the oil.

Step 12 –When the oil is hot, use tongs to carefully lower the chicken into the cookware.

Step 13 –Fry the strips in batches. Frying in batches ensures that the oil doesn’t cool too much and thus ruins the cooking of the later strips.

Step 14 –Cook the breasts until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. You might need to add oil in between the batches to maintain the depth.

Step 15 –Move the fried strips to a paper towel-lined plate or pan, to help absorb the oil and create crispier chicken.

Step 16 –Slice up the fried and drained strips into smaller pieces.

Step 17 –Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 18 –Gently grease a 9×13 inch oven-safe dish. Add half of the pasta and sauce mixture to the greased dish.

Step 19 –Place the chicken strips on top, then add 1/3 of the parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella.

Step 20 –Top it with the remaining rigatoni and sauce mixture, the rest of the chicken strips, and the remaining cheeses.

Step 21 –Bake the dish uncovered for around 25-35 minutes. If you want a crisper top, increase the heat to 425 degrees F, and bake for about 5 more minutes.

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Step 22 –Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot.