Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe: An Easy Freezer Meal

Chicken parmesan casserole. A family favorite that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is also freezer friendly. |Thriving Home #Freezermeal

(Looking for healthy freezer meal recipes? We have 70+ of our favorites HERE!)

Whenever I make my Roasted Whole Chicken and Vegetables (one my very favorite recipes), I sometimes have chicken leftover. So, I throw it in the freezer, along with leftover chicken from Crispy Baked Drumsticks (an oldie but a goodie) or Lemon-Garlic Chicken. When I’ve got a few cups of cooked chicken in the freezer, I’m ready to make this delicious Chicken Parmesan Casserole.

My family loves this simple recipe, because it’s an old family favorite in a comfort-food form. I bet you have most of these ingredients on hand: tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, panko or whole wheat bread crumbs, and maybe a few fresh herbs. That’s it. You can eat it by itself or serve it over pasta. It might be nice over a bed of rice, too.

Chicken parmesan casserole. A family favorite that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is also freezer friendly. |Thriving Home #Freezermeal

Look at these simple steps. Anyone can do this! Note: The recipe is for an 8×8 pan and the pictures below are in a 9×13. I did have to double the recipe to do this.

Chicken parmesan casserole. A family favorite that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is also freezer friendly. |Thriving Home #FreezermealThis delicious week night meal made for a whine-less dinner. Sure hope you enjoy it as much as Polly’s little guy did.

chicken parmesan casserole

The easy-to-print Chicken Parmesan Casserole recipe is below, but I wanted to mention that, as with so many of our freezer-friendly recipes, this Chicken Parmesan Casserole freezes wonderfully. Freezer meal directions are included at the bottom of the recipe. So be sure to make two and freeze one of them!

What kind of containers do you store freezer meals in?

We highly recommend using a BPA-free container or dish. While it may be easier to buy the disposable Glad ovenware containers, it really makes sense to stock up on some quality, safe dishes that you can bake AND store in. After searching long and hard, I highly recommend using these containers from MightyNest.

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (6 cup)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.26.21 PMGlass Baking Dish with Lid (3 Quart)

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.31.45 PMA few reasons I like these:

  1. Glass is a natural, non-porous material.
  2. Glass cookware doubles as food storageware.
  3. Glass is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  4. The clear lid allows easy visibility to your food.
  5. Because they are oven and microwave proof, you can cook, heat, and store your food all in one dish.
  6. Flat top allows for easy stacking.
  7. They are VERY affordable.

Swing by MightyNest and check these out!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe
An easy and delicious way to use up leftover chicken.
Serves: Makes: one 8x8 casserole dish
  • 4 cups fully-cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) of marinara sauce
  • ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup panko or whole wheat bread crumbs (Here is how to make your own)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh, chopped herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, etc), to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2) Grease an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. 3) Layer the chicken in the bottom. Dump in the marinara sauce and mix with the chicken. Next, top with both cheeses until all the chicken is covered.
  4. 4) In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a dash of salt and pepper together.
  5. 5) Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the top.
  6. 6) Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.
Freezer Meal Directions:
  1. Put casserole together and freeze it before baking. When you're ready to cook it, let it thaw in the fridge over night. If it's still slightly frozen in the middle, you'll just have to cook it longer than the recipe calls for or defrost a bit in the microwave before baking. Cover it with foil if the top gets too brown in the oven.

Check out our list of 70+ Healthy Freezer Meals here or pin it here!

70+ healthy freezer meals with instructions. Recipes your family will actually eat! |Thriving Home

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  1. Kayleigh says

    Thanks for the recipe! I am making a bunch of freezer meals for this next semester of nursing school, since I have clinicals until 6 PM one day every week. I definitely want to try this one out, but I was thinking about putting noodles on the bottom of the pan – Cooking them al dente so when I put them in the oven they will finish cooking. Do you think that would work?

    • Rachel says

      Hi Kayleigh,

      So glad you’re trying freezer cooking. What a great way to make your busy work life easier and to keep eating healthy. I really like your idea of adding in al dente noodles, but I’m thinking you’ll want to toss them with a little extra marinara to keep them moist. A little extra cheese couldn’t hurt either. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Shonda says

    How would you freeze this in a bag? Not quite sure how this works as a freezer meal for me.

    • I froze this one in a bag! (I just froze the cheese and the crumbs separately!) We’ll be eating it tonight – I’ll just assemble right before baking! )

      • Rachel says

        Cool! I hadn’t thought of doing that before. Thanks for sharing, Jac!

      • Breana Arvin says

        Great tip! I am going to try this one for our freezer meal swap!

  3. Rachel says

    Hi Shonda, I usually only freeze soups or meat in marinades in freezer bags. You’ll need to freeze this one in a casserole pan (wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil) or in a Gladware pan. Here is a link to what I use, but I do not bake the casserole in this since it’s plastic.×8/

  4. stefanie says


    Sorry, I’m super new to this whole freezer meal thing, but I’m going back to work soon after mat leave, and well, I need quick and healthy meals that all of us (including our daughter) can eat. I love that these recipes are so unprocessed b/c so many that I’ve looked at online have prepackaged/made food (ie. Italian season mix, salad dressings, etc) and I dont want our daughter on so much sodium so early. Thank you for sharing this.

    My question, (sorry if this is a really dumb one) is I freeze everything in the casserole dish (a glass one or something), I can just bake it in the oven for 350F and for 20-25 minutes and it will be hot enough? Do I have to defrost in fridge overnight? I also assume that the safe for baking glassware/corning wear won’t break from temperature change?

    Thanks so much!

    • Rachel says

      Hi Stefanie, if you are baking your dish from frozen, the cook time will definitely be increased. From my experience, it can sometimes be an hour more in the oven and you have to cover it with foil so it doesn’t get burned or dried up. Your best bet is to thaw the casserole for 24 hours in the fridge and even set it out for an hour before baking to bring the temp up before baking. Or, I often thaw my freezer foods in glass in the microwave on the defrost setting. That is the fastest way. Check out the USDA guidelines I list in my freezer meal post here to learn more:

      • Rachel says

        Also, I have never had a corningware or pyrex glass dish break from the heat changes.

        • Heather says

          Pyrex can actually shatter if it changes temperature too quickly. When I was about 8, we had a pan of brownies made in a pryex pan sitting on the stove. It was at room temperature and the burner was turned on. The pan shattered, after the burner only being on for five minutes. And Pyrex is not made from the same materials as it was 20 years ago, even Pyrex themselves have said that the materials are different. A co-worker of mine had a casserole cooling on the counter when the dish exploded and sent glass flying everywhere. Anchor-Hocking is a much better brand than the new Pyrex.

          • Rachel says

            Thanks for the heads up about this brand. I made the same mistake you did and left a glass casserole dish on a hot burner. It was so scary when it exploded! I didn’t know that Anchor-Hocking is a better brand…thank you!

          • Mandi says

            I had an Anchor-Hocking casserole dish explode in my oven before. I only use Pyrex now, and have never had an issue.

          • Rachel says

            I had a Pyrex explode years ago when I placed it on a hot burner by accident. It is very scary. I obviously didn’t follow directions, but it was still scary. I have never had one explode in my oven, especially at a normal temp like yours, though.

            I did a little investigation after your comment. I found this video report (below) on Consumer Reports. It sounds like it’s EXTREMELY important that Pyrex and Anchor Hocking (which are made of the exact same material) are used only as directed. Extreme temperature changes should be avoided. So, I will not put a frozen pan directly into a hot oven, for instance. Consumer Reports also reported that the European-made glassware (a different material and ironically what Pyrex and AH used to be made of) was less likely to shatter due to temp changes. It might be worth watching this video, just to make sure we are all using our glassware the right way.


  5. Aleena says

    Can I cook it with uncooked chicken for the casserole?

    • Rachel says

      I’ve actually used uncooked chicken in a similar casserole to this one many, many times. You just have to cook it for longer, usually 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is white all the way through. You may have to cover the top with foil if it starts getting too brown. I hope that helps!

  6. Christine says

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! It looks delicious! I want to try it tonight, but has anbody tried using one of those rotisserie chickens in this recipe? Would it become too dry?

    • Rachel says

      Christine, I think rotisserie chicken is a great idea. This casserole only bakes a short while and the chicken is covered in sauce and cheese. Should be fine.

  7. Susan O. says

    Looks good. Looks easy. But…Chicken Parmesan Casserole without Parmesan? I’ll be adding it.

    • Rachel says

      Stellar point! I’m throwing some in next time too and adapting the recipe. Thanks for the suggestion, Susan!

  8. Lauren says

    I wanted to let you know I saw your recipe on Pinterest, made it tonight, and we loved it!!! I used Parmesan herb panko and it tasted great! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Rachel says

      Oooh, that’s the answer. I need to mix the Parm in with the breadcrumbs. Thanks for the idea! So glad you guys liked it.

  9. Jennifer J says

    your recipe says 8×8 pan, but the photo looks like 9×13…I’d like to make this tonight and want to use the right pan.

    • Rachel says

      Great question, and I just made a note in the post about this. The recipe calls for an 8×8 pan, which is correct. The pictures were taken by Polly later and she did double the recipe and make it in a 9×13. I hope that helps!

  10. Kate says

    I am so confused! When you are ready to re-heat the meal, do you do it for the 20-25 minutes again after it’s thawed from the freezer? It won’t dry everything out?

    • Rachel says

      You don’t bake it before freezing. You will thaw and then bake according to directions.

  11. erika says

    Would it be possible to bake 1st and then reheat in micro when ready to eat

    • Rachel says

      Definitely. We are big fans of leftovers. This casserole is very forgiving.

  12. Heidi says

    I skimmed the posts on this recipe and didn’t see an answer to the following question, so I’m sorry if this was already asked and I just didn’t see it.

    I made this in a 9X13 pan (I don’t own an 8X8 pan) and doubled everything and now have a HUGE amount of leftovers that cannot be eaten before it goes bad. Could I freeze the rest for a later date?

    • Rachel says

      Hi Heidi. You for sure can freeze this for later! I do this all the time. Just thaw overnight in the fridge or defrost in the microwave when you’re ready to eat it. Then, a slow reheat in the oven or microwave will do the trick to warm it!

    • MgMama says

      I know this is late, but I just found this recipe on pinterest and was reading the comments. Once something has been frozen, then defrosted…you should not refreeze. Its not safe.

      • Rachel says

        Actually that’s just a myth. Here’s what says, “Thawed or partially thawed food in the freezer may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below. Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.”

  13. Nancy says

    I made this today. I doubled the recipe, but still baked for 25 minutes. Was I suppose to bake longer because it was doubled? The reason I ask is because the bread crumbs were really dry. I am making the spaghetti now to serve the dish for dinner. What can I do so that the bread crumbs don’t make the dish so dry?

    • Rachel says

      Hi Nancy. Did you combine the breadcrumbs with the olive oil? That’s part of what keeps them from drying out. And, I’m guessing you did this, but did you double the oil since you doubled the recipe? A quick fix for the breadcrumbs at this point would be to melt some butter and drizzle it over, if you think they need it. Can’t hurt! 😉

    • Rachel says

      Oh I also didn’t answer your question about baking longer. If you doubled the recipe and baked this in a 9×13, then it should take about the same amount of time in the oven. Just look for the sides to be bubbly and the top to be golden brown.

      • Alyssa says

        Would it be okay, to use shake and bake?

        • Rachel says

          I’ve never used it myself, so I’m sorry that I can’t help. If it’s just breadcrumbs (more or less), I bet it would work though.

  14. Bekah says

    Hey! So I just made this for dinner and my boyfriend and I LOVED it! It tastes just like chicken parmesan, but way cheesier. I have a question though. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the bread crumbs got kind of soggy, making the texture kind of weird. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? It might have something to do with the cook time since I used raw chicken so I cooked it for 40 minutes. But if you have any ideas, please let me know! Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      Glad you liked it! The raw chicken has more moisture so perhaps that was the problem. The other variable might be what kind of marinara you used. If it was a thinner, watery one, that could have contributed to sogginess. I use Newman’s Own Marinara and it’s a nice density. Another thing you can do at the end is broil the casserole for about 2 minutes to brown up and crisp up the breadcrumbs on the top. Just watch closely so you don’t burn it. I hope that helps!

  15. Ellen says

    Is there some way I could add pasta to this?

    • Rachel says

      I think you could add pasta that is cooked al dente to the bottom. Combine with the sauce and chicken. Top with the cheese and breadcrumbs. Good idea!

    • Michelle says

      What about veggies? Like broccoli.

      • Rachel says

        Hmm, I don’t know. Haven’t tried it.

      • Esther says

        I am thinking you could add a layer of chopped or baby spinach if you want to add veggies. In fact, I think I will try it. ?

  16. Sharry says

    Can you put this all together the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight?

    • Rachel says

      Definitely! But I might wait to top it with breadcrumbs until right before so they don’t get soggy.

  17. Jessica says

    This looks so yummy! My mother in law is coming over for dinner tomorrow night so I am going to try this!! Quick question, can I just use regular bread comes? Or will it not taste right

    • Jessica says

      **crumbs lol

    • Rachel says

      REgular bread crumbs will work perfectly!

      • Jessica says

        thank you so much!!

      • Carol says

        Do you have the nutritional information for this casserole?

        • Polly says

          Sorry, at this time we don’t provide the nutritional information. I think there are tools out there that you can plug the ingredients into to get this information but to be honest, I haven’t done much of this.

  18. Adrienne says

    Just made this for dinner and my husband was a little skeptical, but it was so good!! He thought so, too. The only thing I did differently was use less cheese (*gasp!) because my husband is weird and doesn’t like things too cheesy.

  19. Erin says

    Try topping it with croutons instead of bread crumbs. I discovered this little gem when I made this without checking to see if I had breadcrumbs. Now, I only make it with croutons.

  20. Maria says

    I just made this tonight and it was soo good. I added a bag of fresh spinach that I wilted as another layer and I didn’t have any marinara sauce so I just made some spaghetti sauce with chuck of tomatoes and it was a big hit at my house. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Kendell says

    This may be a silly question… the recipe calls for shredded chicken but the photo shows cubed. Has anyone had it both ways? Which is better?

    • Polly says

      A valid question. Either way really is fine. Just depends on the consistency that you prefer. Just as long as it’s cooked!

  22. Amanda says

    I just made this for dinner and I don’t want to waste the left overs do I just put in a zip lock bag and freeze

    • Rachel says

      Sure, I do that all the time. Works fine to warm on the defrost setting in the microwave later or to defrost in the fridge and warm up when ready.

  23. Roenia says

    I am wanting to make this recipe and was wandering if you boil your chicken and shred it or do you cube it and cook it in a skillet?

    • Polly says

      You really can do either. Just pick your preference on how you like to cook chicken. I like to bake chicken breasts in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, let them cool a bit and then chop them up. It really just depends on the consistency you prefer.

    • Rachel says

      You know, when I make this it’s usually because I have leftover chicken from making my Roasted Chicken and Veggies recipe. But, you can really cook the chicken however if easiest for you. The recipe is extremely forgiving. 🙂

  24. Gina H says

    About how many servings would you say the 8×8 pan feeds? I have a family of 6 so I am trying to see if I need to double or even triple this recipe.

    • Rachel says

      The 8×8 feeds my family of 5, but my younger ones don’t eat a ton. My guess is that the 9×13 would easily feed yours unless you have some hungry teenage boys.

  25. Lavinialuna says

    Oh my, this was good! I didn’t expect it to be this good (it was just jarred sauce after all…) But whoa, the flavors melded together and made this a new favorite. Thanks!

    • Polly says

      Glad you liked it! It’s always a hit in our house.

  26. Doris Kershaw says

    I boiled 4 chicken breast with the bone in, when they were done I chopped up the chicken. I even took out a cup full and saved it for chicken salad and it was very DRY. We ate it but it wasn’t that good. I will have to buy another jar of Marinara to finish off the casserole. I even got the 24 oz jar of Paul Newmans Marinara Sauce. The picture looked like it would be very good.

  27. Karla Karns says

    Can you freeze this with the breadcrumbs on it? I heard that will make them soggy.

    • Rachel says

      I do and have no problem, but that’s me. Anyone else is welcome to chime in!

      • Rachel says

        P.S. just broil it if it’s soggy at the end to crisp them up.

  28. Celeste says

    Made this tonight and it was a huge hit! Gave my husband a little taste before I started serving it and he wanted to eat it right out of the pan! Thank you, my family really enjoyed it.

  29. Terri says

    What are the nutritional values or WW points ?

  30. Ally says

    I did it with raw chicken, cut in ~1″ cubes, and 40min at 350 cooked it all through. I didn’t find I needed to cover it, it browned a fine amount. It does end up a bit wetter than with cooked chicken; a little saucy to eat on its own, to my taste, but perfect over pasta. I did also use regular dry bread crumbs this time, as opposed to panko when I made it with cooked chicken, and that could be part of it too.

  31. Crystal says

    About how many calories per serving does this have?

  32. Tammy says

    My family considers this a favorite recipe. I make large quantities of marinara sauce and store it in the freezer which comes in handy when making Chicken Parm. I’m not a “casserole” person so I wasn’t sold on the idea of Chicken Parm Casserole, but this casserole recipe somehow works. Thanks for sharing. It’s delicious!

    • Rachel says

      It’s so great to hear that, Tammy! Thanks!

  33. Veronica says

    This was super delicious! Everyone in the family loved it. It was also very easy to throw together.

    • Rachel says

      Awesome! So glad it was a hit!

  34. Amber says

    How many servings does this make?

    • Rachel says

      An 8×8 pan of this (what the recipe makes) serves 4-6.

  35. Brianna says

    Hi! I was wondering how you cooked the chicken? Just in a pan with salt and pepper or did you bake it? Trying to think of easy ways to make sure the chicken is cooked! 🙂

    • Rachel says

      Good question. There are several ways to cook chicken for a dish like this. 1) Boil it until no longer pink inside, but this will be the least flavorful. 2) Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like. Bake chicken breasts or thighs at 350 degrees until no longer pink (usually 20-25 minutes), depending on the size. 3) Season and grill chicken breasts/thighs, until they reach an internal temp of 160 degrees. 4) Roast a whole chicken or two, which is the cheapest option. Here’s my favorite recipe:

  36. I doubled this recipe and have 3 roommate’s was gone no left overs…yummy

    • Rachel says

      I love that! Thanks for dropping us a line, Barbara!

    • Polly says

      Love it!

  37. Caitie says

    This looks delicious! I’m going to try it tonight! My only question is, I don’t have marinara sauce, but I do have a pasta sauce that I can use. Do you think this will taste alright if I substituted the marinara with the pasta sauce?

    • Rachel says

      I’m not quite sure what the difference is or if there is one…so yes, I think you’ll be just fine!

  38. Kate says

    Delightful and very versatile dish, you can pair it with almost anything!! I added some Dry sliced pepperoni from Fantino&Mondello to mine, gave a great twist to this recipe. Thanks again, I will without a doubt try more of your recipes!

  39. Katina says

    So, I made this about an hour ago. I read the recipe a little too fast and layered it in reverse. I put the cheese on top and the breadcrumbs under the cheese. I tasted it and thought it was still good. What are your thoughts?! Thanks:)

    • Rachel says

      I say it’s hard to mess up this casserole! 🙂

  40. Emma says

    Hello, I am going to make this on Tuesday and wondered if you used grated or shredded parmesan?

    Also, a tip for anyone doing low carb – you can crush up pork rinds to make a breadcrumb-like topping. I’ve done this on another dish and it’s delicious!

    • Rachel says

      Either kind works fine. I’m partial to the freshly grated just because it doesn’t have additives.

  41. Michelle says

    What kind/how much herbs do you use? I would use dry. Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      Maybe a total of 1 teaspoon dried herbs, crushed in her hand.

      • Michelle says

        Thank you.

  42. Amanda Long says

    I just want to say this was pretty darn good. I bought new chicken breast and cooked them for about 45 minutes on 350 and chopped them up after they cooled off. I honestly didn’t feel like buying and cutting up fresh herbs so I coated the chicken prior to cooking with salt and a healthy amount of Italian seasoning. I used a reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. After about 30 minutes in the oven, I switched the broiler on to brown the breadcrumbs (I used Italian breadcrumbs). I served whole wheat thin spaghetti on the side. My five year old son ate this up!! Last night it took him almost two hours to eat what I made off of Pinterest. I will make this again for sure!!

  43. alyson says

    I made this and put in freezer and used the canned parmesan cheese…wondering if you think the canned will be okay? It didn’t specify and that was all I had on hand. Hoping I didn’t ruin it since I made two pans for the freezer.

  44. alyson says

    I made a couple pans of this for the freezer so haven’t eaten it yet. However, I used the canned parmesan instead of fresh and am wondering if you think that it will still taste okay? I am hoping I didn’t ruin it.

    • Rachel says

      Oh it will be totally fine! It’s hard to mess this one up.

  45. Hayley says

    This was AWESOME. I came home from work super late on a Monday night (the last Monday before Christmas break) and looked up easy recipes on Pinterest… This was perfect. I only used about half the amount of ingredients and didn’t use any breadcrumbs, but I can’t wait to make it again when I have more energy. Even with my lackluster effort, it was delicious and I’ll be eating the leftovers tomorrow over spaghetti squash. Next time, I’ll probably add kale or spinach and DEFINITELY make the full amount. Thanks for saving the day tonight… This was just what I needed. Can’t wait to make it again. (Btw: first time I’ve ever posted a comment, but I couldn’t resist.)

    • Polly says

      So glad you liked it and thanks for commenting! We love to hear from readers!

  46. Lisa says

    Made this tonight using gluten free bread crumbs and we all loved it. It was simple enough to just throw it all together with our pre-cooked chicken and bake.

    • Rachel says

      Alright! Glad you enjoyed it!

  47. Kim M says

    If I put this together tonight could I just keep it in the fridge until tomorrow? Or should I freeze it over night and put it in the fridge early in the morning?

    • Rachel says

      It can stay in the fridge tonight for sure. No problem. You could leave the breadcrumbs off and put them on at the last minute to make sure they stay crisp, but you wouldn’t have to.

  48. Brittany says

    I’m always looking for new recipes to freeze. We had this last night and it was delicious! The breadcrumbs took it over the top! It was super easy to make and I could easily hide some veggies in there. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Rachel says

      I love hidden veggies…the best!

  49. ashley says

    How many people would you say the 8×8 serves?

  50. Barb says

    After reading all the fantastic comments about this recipe, I had high hopes. I made it exactly as recipe stated. My husband said there is way too much chicken in it and I couldn’t eat much of it. I’m not sure where all the awesome comments came from, but we didn’t like this at all.

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