Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a comforting and flavorful dish that brings all the delicious flavors of classic chicken parmesan in an easy-to-make casserole form. Tender chicken breast cubes are combined with al dente penne pasta, savory marinara sauce, and gooey melted cheese to create a hearty and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this casserole is perfect for busy weeknights or whenever you’re craving a comforting Italian-inspired dish.


  • 8 ounces penne pasta (cooked al dente)
  • 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ⅓ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil for topping


1. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Cook Pasta: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to the package directions for al dente pasta. Drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl.

3. Prepare Pasta Mixture: Pour ¾ of the jar of marinara sauce over the pasta. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir together until everything is well incorporated.

4. Assemble Casserole: Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Layer 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta and spread it evenly. Add the cubed chicken on top of the mozzarella cheese and spread it evenly. Cover the chicken with the remaining marinara sauce.

5. Add Cheese Toppings: Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ cup of mozzarella cheese and the grated parmesan cheese on top of the chicken.

6. Bake: Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

7. Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving. Enjoy warm!

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Suggestions:

  • Pair with a Side Salad: Serve the Chicken Parmesan Casserole with a fresh green salad or Caesar salad for a balanced meal.
  • Garlic Bread: Complement the casserole with warm garlic bread or breadsticks for a complete Italian-inspired dinner.
  • Wine Pairing: A glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot, pairs wonderfully with the rich flavors of the casserole.
  • Vegetable Side: Steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or green beans make excellent side dishes.

Storage Tips:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, let the casserole cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through, approximately 20-25 minutes. If reheating from frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Prepare Ahead: Assemble the casserole up to the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking.
  • Freezer Meal: Assemble the casserole, wrap it tightly, and freeze it before baking. When ready to cook, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.

Variation Ideas:

  • Vegetable Additions: Add vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers to the casserole for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Different Proteins: Substitute the chicken with cooked turkey, Italian sausage, or ground beef for a different twist.
  • Spicy Kick: Add red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeños to the marinara sauce for a spicy version of the casserole.
  • Cheese Variety: Mix in different types of cheese, such as provolone, fontina, or gouda, for a unique flavor profile.

Presentation Tips:

  • Garnish: Garnish the casserole with fresh basil leaves or parsley for a pop of color and fresh flavor.
  • Serve in Individual Portions: For a more elegant presentation, portion the casserole into individual ramekins before baking.
  • Family Style: Serve the casserole family-style in the baking dish, allowing everyone to help themselves to the delicious meal.

With these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy Chicken Parmesan Casserole fresh, as leftovers, or even prepared ahead of time. This versatile dish is sure to become a family favorite, providing a comforting and satisfying meal for any occasion.

Variations :

1. Vegetable-Loaded Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add sautéed vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini to the pasta mixture for a nutritious boost.

2. Spicy Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño to the marinara sauce for a spicy kick.

3. Pesto Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Mix a couple of tablespoons of pesto sauce into the marinara for a rich, basil-infused flavor.

4. Chicken Alfredo Parmesan Casserole:

  • Replace the marinara sauce with Alfredo sauce for a creamy, indulgent twist on the classic dish.

5. Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Use gluten-free pasta and ensure the marinara sauce is gluten-free to make the dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

6. Low-Carb Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Substitute the pasta with cooked spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative.

7. BBQ Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Mix some barbecue sauce into the marinara for a tangy and sweet variation.

8. Buffalo Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add buffalo sauce to the marinara and sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over the top for a spicy and tangy flavor.

9. Cheesier Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Use a blend of cheeses like mozzarella, provolone, and fontina for an extra cheesy version.

10. Mediterranean Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add ingredients like black olives, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes to the pasta mixture for a Mediterranean twist.

11. Herb-Crusted Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Mix Italian breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan and sprinkle over the top before baking for a crunchy, herb-infused crust.

12. Mexican Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Use salsa instead of marinara sauce and add a layer of black beans and corn for a Mexican-inspired casserole. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

13. Chicken and Broccoli Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add steamed broccoli florets to the pasta mixture for a chicken and broccoli combination.

14. Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Stir in a bit of cream cheese or heavy cream into the marinara sauce and add fresh chopped basil for a creamy tomato basil flavor.

15. Meatball Chicken Parmesan Casserole:

  • Add cooked meatballs to the casserole along with the chicken for a hearty, meatier version.

Experimenting with these variations can help you discover new favorite flavors and combinations, making Chicken Parmesan Casserole a versatile dish that can suit any taste or dietary preference.


1. Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this casserole?

  • Yes, you can use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken. Simply cut it into cubes and follow the recipe as directed, reducing the baking time slightly since the chicken is already cooked.

2. Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

  • Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole up to the baking step, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove it from the refrigerator and bake as directed.

3. How can I make this casserole gluten-free?

  • To make the casserole gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and ensure that your marinara sauce and other ingredients are gluten-free.

4. Can I freeze Chicken Parmesan Casserole?

  • Yes, you can freeze the casserole. Assemble it as directed, then cover it tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

5. What can I serve with Chicken Parmesan Casserole?

  • This casserole pairs well with a side salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables. You can also serve it with a side of roasted asparagus or green beans for a complete meal.

6. Can I use a different type of cheese?

  • Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheeses. Provolone, fontina, or a blend of Italian cheeses can be used instead of or in addition to mozzarella and Parmesan.

7. How do I know when the casserole is done?

  • The casserole is done when the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink inside), and the cheese is melted and bubbly. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Can I add more vegetables to this casserole?

  • Absolutely! You can add vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to the pasta mixture for added nutrition and flavor.

9. Is it possible to make this dish dairy-free?

  • Yes, you can make a dairy-free version by using dairy-free cheese alternatives and ensuring that your marinara sauce does not contain any dairy products.

10. How can I make this casserole healthier?

  • To make the casserole healthier, you can use whole grain pasta, reduce the amount of cheese, and add more vegetables. You can also use low-fat cheese and a marinara sauce with no added sugar.

This Chicken Parmesan Casserole is an easy and delicious way to enjoy the classic flavors of chicken parmesan without the fuss. With its combination of tender chicken, flavorful marinara sauce, and melty cheese, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Perfect for busy weeknights or a cozy dinner, this casserole brings comfort and satisfaction in every bite. Try it today and savor the deliciousness of this Italian-inspired dish!