This Chicken Parmesan Casserole uses a fun ingredient to get this pasta dish a breeze to make! If you’re looking for a recipe that everyone will love and feeds a crowd – this hearty casserole is the one to make!
Hearty Chicken and Pasta Casserole Recipe
If you’re on the hunt for a new dinner recipe that is sure to become a family favorite, this Chicken Parmesan Casserole is the one to make.
Layers of ziti, sauce, cheese and a fun crispy chicken nugget layer to stand in for breading chicken cutlets that we don’t always have time to do.
I can guarantee that both kids and adults are going to love this pasta casserole, and the bonus is that it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to put together!
How To Make This Chicken and Pasta Casserole
Start by grabbing your favorite sauce, of course homemade is great but we’re taking some short cuts for this casserole recipe.
Cook the ziti according to the package directions, but drain the pasta a minute or two shy of the final cooking time. The pasta will cook a little bit more in the oven when the casserole bakes, so we don’t want the pasta to end up mushy.
While the pasta is cooking, bake a sheet pan of chicken nuggets until warmed through and crispy. Cut the nuggets into fourths, or just into bite sized pieces.
Mix the cooked pasta with marinara sauce, ricotta and parmesan cheese, then layer into a baking dish. Top with a layer of the cut up chicken nuggets.
Add another layer of pasta, cheese and sauce on top of the chicken nuggets layer and then finish with the remaining chicken nuggets on top.
Cover the chicken nuggets with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and get the casserole into the oven to bake.
This Chicken Parmesan Casserole only needs to warm through in the oven and melt the cheese on top, so just about 20 minutes is all it needs.
What Can I Serve With This Chicken Parmesan Casserole?
Our boys dive into this dinner forks first and don’t stop until their plates are clean. Seconds of this pasta casserole are a given, but a side dish is always a welcome addition!
Any vegetable will work with this pasta casserole. Salads, roasted vegetables or air fried vegetables will all be delicious! And maybe a delicious loaf of crusty bread on the side, too.
- Caesar Salad
- Crispy Garlic Broccoli
- Classic Garlic Bread
- Mini Roasted Peppers
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Green Beans
Can This Casserole Be Made Ahead Of Time?
You can certainly make this casserole ahead of time, but the chicken nuggets will loose a little of their crispy texture. Still, making this Chicken Parmesan Casserole in advance is going to be a huge time saver, and the flavor will still be amazing so if you need to do it, it’s totally fine.
Make the casserole up until the point of baking, cover with foil and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Remove the dish from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off, then bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is warmed through.
Looking For More Chicken Parm Inspired Recipes?
- Ground Chicken Parmesan
- Shredded Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
- Baked Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Easy Chicken Parmesan Tenderloins
- Chicken Parmesan Pizza (with a crispy, ground chicken pizza crust!)
This Chicken Parmesan Casserole uses a fun ingredient that I guarantee is already in your freezer. A comforting, super hearty pasta dish that feeds a crowd, making it perfect for holidays and parties.
- 22 ounce bag frozen chicken nuggets, baked per package instructions and cut into fourths
- 1 pound ziti or rigatoni
- (2) 24 ounce jars marinara sauce, divided
- 1 cup whole or part skim ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Boil the pasta 2 minutes shy of the cooking time, drain and pour back into the pot. While the pasta is cooking, bake the chicken nuggets according to the package directions. When the nuggets are done, cut into fourths or bite sized pieces and set aside.
- Add 1 jar of the marinara sauce to the pot with the pasta, along with the ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix to combine and then pour 1/2 of the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ – 2 quart baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place half of the chopped chicken nuggets on top of the pasta, followed by the remaining pasta mixture, spreading out into an even layer. Next add the remaining chicken nuggets to the top of the casserole, spreading into an even layer.
- Top the casserole with 2 cups of marinara sauce, the mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is warmed through.
You’ll need 2 jars of marinara sauce for this recipe, with a little leftover for serving if desired.
Store: Let the casserole come cool down to room temperature and then cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Reheat: Reheat leftover chicken parmesan casserole in the microwave until warm.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven / Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
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