Your favorite chicken parmesan is now an easy-to-make pasta bake! Full of melty mozzarella cheese and a simple, flavorful tomato sauce, this satisfying weeknight dinner recipe might just be a new family favorite!
There’s a reason why chicken parmesan is an Italian-American classic. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with chicken, tomato sauce, and melty cheese. This recipe takes those same bold flavors and adds pasta. It’s like a mix between lasagna, chicken parmesan, and a nice and melty mac ‘n cheese (complete with the bubbly mozzarella and toasted breadcrumbs on top for added crunch).
This recipe was created in partnership with Delallo®, our go-to brand for authentic Italian flavor, including pastas, sauces, and specialty imports.
In terms of weeknight dinner recipes, this one checks all the boxes: an easy recipe that yields plenty of leftovers (kill two meals with one recipe? I’m in!) and is ready to eat in under an hour (though only half of that time requires your active attention, so I’d still consider it a quick recipe.)
The whole dish is assembled on the stovetop, the pasta boiled in one pan and the shortcut homemade tomato sauce cooked in the same pan as the chicken, and then layered in a baking dish with plenty of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. We’ve topped it with a sprinkle of Panko breadcrumbs and a dash of Italian seasoning for good measure.
Taylor loves recipes like this that finish in the oven: it means he’s able to get all the dishes completely done (all of two pots and one spoon needed to make this) before we even sit down to enjoy a hot meal.
Because the ingredients list is so minimal, it’s important that each ingredient be the best and most flavorful you can find. Take tomato puree, for instance. They are not all created equal. DeLallo’s new Passata Rustica Rich Tomato Purée is thick, velvety and robust, about as close as you can get to a ripe summer tomato in a can (excuse me, jar – and what a gorgeous jar it is!) It’s easily the best canned tomato purée I’ve ever tried.
A tomato purée this good really doesn’t need much to become a luscious tomato sauce: a bit of garlic and onion, fresh basil, and some salt and pepper and that’s about it. Talk about an easy homemade tomato sauce in no time.
This recipe makes enough for 8 hungry people, served in a 13-by-9-inch (3 quart) casserole dish. It also keeps very well if you want to assemble it in two smaller casserole dishes (like we did – the dish above is a 2 quart casserole and holds about 2/3 of the full batch) and refrigerate or even freeze the other one for another day.
If you are baking the pasta from chilled, add 10 to 20 minutes to the cook time to ensure it is hot through and the cheese is fully melted (if you’re unsure if it’s done in the middle, stick a digital thermometer into the center – it should read about 130-140 degrees).
Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake
Your favorite chicken parmesan in an easy-to-make pasta bake! Full of melty mozzarella cheese and a simple, flavorful tomato sauce, this satisfying dinner recipe might just be a new family favorite!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 (24 ounce) jar DeLallo Passata Rustica Rich Tomato Purée
- 2 medium chicken breasts (about 1 pound), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound dried pasta (we used DeLallo Organic Gemelli Pasta)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko breadrcumbs
- dried Italian herb seasoning blend
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 3 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ontion and garlic and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Add tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened slightly and chicken is just cooked through. Stir in fresh basil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until not quite al-dente (subtract 2-3 minutes from the cooking time listed on the package, in the case of the DeLallo gemelli we used, we boiled it for exactly 7 minutes—it will finish cooking in the oven). Reserve a cup or so of pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Using a large slotted spoon, strain pasta and transfer to sauce. Add a few splashes of pasta water and stir until evenly pasta is evenly coated with sauce.
- Transfer half of the pasta to the prepared casserole dish, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle with half of mozzarella and half of parmesan cheese. Top with remaining pasta, followed by the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Italian herb seasoning.
- Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and pasta is heated through (if your pasta was cool or cold when you put it in the oven–for example if you made the pasta ahead of time and refrigerated it overnight–it will likely need more time). If desired, broil for 2 to 3 minutes at the very end until cheese is browned in spots. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with DeLallo. As always, all opinions written are purely our own. We’re incredibly grateful for opportunities like these that allow us to continue sharing delicious recipes with you, so thank you for supporting us and the brands we love.
This was good, but I wish the sauce was more flavorful. Any advice or ideas on what could be added to increase the flavor? Besides salt? Thank you!
My mother makes a delicious Parma yesterday. I think I will have to try this dish tonight.
Family loves it
Just made this. It is actually in the oven with cheese melting now. But I tasted it before I put it in and it tasted really good. Love recipes like this!!!!
Pasta question. Do I use one 8 ounce box of pasta for this recipe?
Yes I did make it. The flavor is wonderful. It’s a little dry because I think I used to much pasta. I’ll simply add extra sauce when serving this dish.
We used a full pound of dried pasta for ours. It’s not supposed to be swimming in sauce, but you could certainly increase the sauce quantities if you prefer saucier pastas. :)
Needed an easy recipe to use up the leftover chicken from last night. Super easy considering we had all the other staples on hand. Perfect for a quarantine dinner!
Im super stoked to try this! I cannot wait neither can my family. We all try too cook together once out twice a week and we always look for random receipes to make! So we choose yours, we’re a huge Itailan family so we will have to make this times by 5 or 6 to equal enough for everyone, since there’s close to 50 of us at our family get together’s! We will be sure to post after dinner comments about the cooking time and any tweaks we added or took out! Thanks again and Happy Feasting everyone!!!
This was an amazing dish. Took a little while to make, but it was so worth it. Will definitly make it again.
Do i cover it when it goes in the oven
No, you do not need to cover it as it doesn’t bake long enough to brown/burn much.
Just tried it and it’s it came out perfect. Didn’t had basil so I used Italian seasoning instead. Absolutely delicious and very easy to make!
Made this with a few (necessary for me) tweaks. I made my own sauce and cooked the chicken, onions, and garlic in it. I used elbow macaroni and dried basil because that’s what I had on hand. I also used more cheese because why not, lol. It is DELICIOUS!!!! ?????
Love a homemade sauce that cooks with the chicken! Plus breadcrumbs for some crunch — this looks delicious!
Hi I’m just reading the recipe but I do not see where you are adding the chicken and sauce to the dish. You are only mentioning the pasta and cheese. Can you please tell me where you would add it.
The recipe sounds so good.
It’s in there! The chicken gets added to the sauce, then add the pasta, then transfer it all to a baking dish along with the cheese.
A mix between lasagna, chicken parmesan and mac and cheese – sounds like heaven on a plate! Just think of all of that cheese … yum!
That’s exactly what it is!! :)
Wow Lindsay your Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake looks absolutely delicious! I love comforting meals like this! Can’t wait to give it a try!
Comfort food at it’s finest, no matter the season! ;)