Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a quick weeknight meal that is ready to bake in ten minutes with mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce and a crouton crunch topping for the perfect Chicken Parmesan flavor!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a dish that took some convincing in our household at first. This isn’t a dish I’ve ever made for a client but looking through recipes online we came across this one a handful of times and when a couple of friends told us how much they loved it too we decided to give it a shot.
At first glance I know what you are thinking, croutons?! Yes, I agree I was thinking the same thing. I can’t say I’ve ever baked anything with croutons before (though I keep them in stock for tons of salads, I’m addicted to croutons) but the idea was at least worth exploring.
Here’s what I found about using the croutons in this otherwise pretty simple chicken, marinara and cheese bake. They’re magic. Half the croutons get this warm soft garlic bread texture (from touching the cheese and sitting amongst the sauce) and the other half stay crispy and buttery providing a flavor similar to the breading we didn’t make.
For a ten minute prep? No egg washes, no dredging and crumbs and the flavors are great.
I can understand if this Chicken Parmesan Casserole makes you skeptical, but I implore you to give it a shot. The first time we made it my husband said “wow this is actually really good!” and yes, I have to agree, it totally is.
And if you want, you can double or triple this and bake it off in foil pans. We love making it in larger quantities and adding extra veggies to the side. Freezer meals for the win.
So with such a short list of ingredients to work with here I have to say I stick to as high quality as I can and get as much flavor as I can out of the dish.
- I brown my chicken breasts before putting them into the pan. It takes just a few minutes on the stove top with a bit of olive oil but the flavor it adds is very important.
- I make my own marinara sauce (I keep this on hand in the freezer at all times, but if you’re making it today it doesn’t take long I promise).
- I use high quality croutons, they taste fantastic and hold on to a little bit of moisture regular store croutons don’t which makes for a better topping on the casserole.
Tools Used in the making of this Chicken Parmesan Casserole:
9×13 Baking Pan: I normally use my straight edge baking pans but for family meals I do sometimes like this metal one with a curved bottom which helps in removing the pieces of chicken a lot easier than the straight edge pans.
Croutons: I love these croutons because they’re natural and have a bit of a chew still in the center which makes a for a delicious addition to this meal
Marinara Sauce: If you don’t use homemade I highly recommend Newman’s Own Organic Marinara Sauce, it isn’t very expensive and the flavor isn’t “bottled” for lack of a better word. Add in a few fresh herbs and you’ll have a delicious meal.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 4 oz chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese divided
- 2 cups croutons garlic and butter flavor
- parsley optional for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium high heat and brown the chicken on both sides for 3-5 minutes on each side.
Add the chicken to the baking dish and pour over any juices from the pan.
Add the chili flakes and the marinara sauce over each piece of chicken.
Add 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the chicken.
Add the croutons on top then finally top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
Garnish with parsley, optional. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Food.com