Chicken Parmesan Casserole {Freezer Meal}


 

Chicken parmesan casserole. A family favorite freezer meal that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is also freezer friendly. #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) or Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, I sometimes have chicken leftover. So, I throw it in the freezer. When I’ve got a few cups of cooked chicken in the freezer, I’m ready to make this delicious Chicken Parmesan Casserole.

Casserole dish of Chicken Parmesan CasseroleMy 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. A family favorite that is super easy to make. This real food, healthy dinner recipe is also freezer friendly. |Thriving Home #Freezermeal

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?

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We 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, we highly recommend and use these containers below. We both have collected a huge stash of them over the years!

8 inch Square Glass Baking Dish with Lid
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3 Quart Glass Baking Dish with Lid

Looking for the best container to store freezer meals in? Look no further! Here are the best freezer containers that we can find.

Here is a picture of them in use.

Baked Penne Pasta Recipe--Freezer Friendly!-10

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: one 8x8 casserole dish

Description

This family favorite is super easy to make, made with real food ingredients, and also freezer friendly.


Ingredients

  • 1 jar (28 ounces) of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8×8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  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. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a dash of salt and pepper together.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the top.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Put casserole together and freeze it before baking.

To Prepare: 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 it a bit in the microwave before baking. Cover it with foil if the top gets too brown in the oven.

Also worth noting is that this recipe is in our free e-cookbook, Top 10 Easy Freezer Meals. You can download this, print it off, and have it for future reference when looking for great freezer meals.Click here to subscribe


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Comments

  1. Terrilynn says

    How long will this freeze for?

    • Rachel says

      If you wrap it tightly and freeze in the back of the freezer, it should be fine for at least 3 months.

  2. I pinned this recipe about a year ago and my family **loves** it! This meal regularly appears on my Monthly Meal planning page from Sisterswithasystem.com because it is easy, economical, nutritious and freezer-friendly. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Elsie says

    Second time making this dish, super easy to make, and practical, love it thank you!

    • Rachel says

      Great to hear, Elsie. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Pamela says

    I prefer freezing single portions so I made them in pie plates. Would I heat these the same as a casserole? What temp. and time would you recommend?

    • Rachel says

      I would say same temp, but it may take less time. Just look for them to be bubbly around the edges and you’ll know it’s ready to go.

  5. Christy says

    Really good

  6. Jody says

    I made this today, but was looking for recipes with rotisserie chicken.
    Instead of baking I combined the chicken and marinara sauce in a pan, added herbs de provence, seasoned black pepper, a little salt, sauteed mushrooms and a little cooked spinach. Once all the ingredients (plus the cheese) were mixed together I let it simmer, then put the Panko on top. I am typically low-carb so don’t usually eat a lot of pasta. Just put in a bowl and ate it – yummmm!!

    • Rachel says

      Yummy! Great idea. This is definitely a great dish to use rotisserie chicken in. I do the same.

  7. Skylar says

    I am currently in the process of making this and it is easy and seems like it should be good

  8. Bethany says

    Hello Rachel,

    I am trying this for my family tonight. You mention that Costco rotisserie chicken is gluten free, which is not a concern for my family, but we will be having a guest this weekend and I need to make a gluten free dish. I contacted Costco to confirm that the Hand Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Breast is gluten free and the customer service rep would not definitively say that there is no cross contamination during processing. Did you confirm with Costco that it is gluten free? Thank you.

    • Rachel says

      Hi Bethany. I’m sorry but I don’t remember saying that anywhere and am not familiar with Costco at all. Are you talking to another Rachel on this comment thread?

  9. Rebecca says

    THANK YOU! My husband loves this recipe and so many more that I have found here. I do a weekend of batch cooking/ freezing and we are set for a few weeks. Our food bill is down significantly because we don’t have any reason to eat out!

    • Rachel says

      This is one of the best comments ever. We love hearing that our site and recipes are helping others like this. Great job, Rebecca!

  10. Dale Biggs says

    Could I freeze the casserole after baking for a later meal?

    • Rachel says

      I freeze leftovers all the time and rewarm them, but it won’t taste as good as if you had prepped it ahead, frozen it fresh, thawed, and then baked. But, I honestly don’t mind leftovers that have been rewarmed, so it’s up to you!

  11. Miriam says

    Question- if I double the recipe and use a 13 X 9 pan- does the cook time remain the same or does that increase as well? Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      It’s close to the same. Just look for the sides to be bubbly and the top to be golden brown. Since everything is already fully cooked, you’re just wanting to warm it through.

  12. i love your recipes as i am a very busy gramma. have no time to cook a meal from scratch. so this is so simple and i can do it on weekend and have meals for the whole week or month depending on how much i make. thank you

    • Rachel says

      You’re welcome, Sue. We love hearing this!

  13. Colleen says

    This casserole is easy to make and very tasty. It’s great with dried herbs but even better with fresh basil. I like to serve it with a simple green salad with balsamic dressing.

    • Rachel says

      Yes, fresh herbs can make a huge flavor pop in this casserole topping. Thanks for the review, Colleen.

  14. eileen says

    This one is a keeper. Minutes to prepare and everybody loves it.

  15. Joan says

    Really good! Added chopped pepperoni and served as appetizer with baguettes

    • Rachel says

      Oh what a fabulous idea to jazz this up and serve as an appetizer!

  16. Nancy says

    Can you tell me how many adult servings you would get from the recipe as printed above. I’m feeding a group of 50 and I was thinking of adapting this.

  17. A says

    I couldn’t find any nutritional info at all. Do you know calories… carbs….ect? Thanks

    • Rachel says

      I’m sorry but we don’t provide that information on our recipes.

  18. Liz says

    What size dish should actually be used? In the pictures it’s a 9×13, but the recipe says 8×8. Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      8×8 is correct. Sorry for the confusion. The pictures show this recipe doubled.

  19. Kristin says

    How many servings is this recipe? I’m trying to feed a group of 22!

    • Rachel says

      I would say one 8×8 casserole dish feeds 4-6 people pretty generously. If serving over pasta, easily 6. Hope that helps!

  20. Allison says

    How many servings is the 8×8 and 9×13?
    Does anyone know the calories per serving?

  21. Sue Colby says

    This was an amazing dinner for my low carb family. We didn’t even MISS the pasta!

  22. Charlene says

    This is very good and my family liked it asking me to make it again soon. But I’m so glad I caught the directions for an 8 x 8 dish because it would have spread out too much using one like the picture shows. It was perfect putting it over pasta. Thanks

  23. KD says

    Thank you for your recipe! I make this quite a bit now! 😀 It’s yummy!
    I do use frozen, grilled and ready chicken, pre cut. I also use the suggestion of the croutons instead of breadcrumbs.

  24. Krissy says

    Does the chicken have to be cooked?

  25. R.K. says

    If you double the recipe and cook in a 9×13 glass casserole dish, would the amount of time to bake in the oven need to be updated?

    • Rachel says

      No, probably not. But just look for the corners to be bubbly and that it is hot all the way through.

  26. Sheri says

    My family and some friends that I’ve shared this recipe with LOVE this casserole!!! This casserole is going into our regular dinner rotation! Thank you so much!

  27. Christine says

    Just curious, since the Chicken is already fully cooked before putting it in the oven does the chicken get dried out after going in the oven? Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      Nope, it does quite well!

  28. Patricia says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I think I will opt for the uncooked chicken (cubed) as well as I do not normally care for the taste of reheated chicken. Thanks again!

    • Rachel says

      You’re welcome!

  29. Nicole says

    Can I just use with frozen chicken if I plan on making this a freezer meal? Or do I have to cook it first? (I’m a vegetarian so cooking with meat is a mystery to me!)

    • Rachel says

      Well, we recommended using pre-cooked chicken but you can use raw chicken if you cook it long enough until it’s done inside. If you use raw chicken though, it needs to be in bite-sized chunks so it cooks quickly and all the way through. And, I’m not sure how you can cut up frozen chicken easily. So, I would say that probably won’t work. Sorry!

  30. Trish says

    I have made this several times but i usually don’t freeze it. Always a hit. Thanks.

    • Rachel says

      You’re welcome, Trish. Love that it’s a hit!

  31. Danielle says

    Could you add Fresh Spinach?

  32. Tara Estridge says

    What is the purpose of the Olive oil? Would it work without it?

    • Rachel says

      The oil helps the breadcrumbs toast up and yet stay moist. It will be pretty dry on top without it.

  33. Love your freezer meals! Makes eating at home super easy!

  34. Becca says

    Could I just prepare and leave in the fridge for a couple of days? Going out of town for work and want my something ready for everyone to eat with no prep.

    • Rachel says

      Yes, it should be fine for about 2-3 days. Leave the breadcrumbs off so they don’t get soggy, though. Good luck!

  35. dEBBIE bAKER says

    Looks so good but I am confused by the pan size. In the directions it says 8×8 but that last photo of the dish complete it clearly looks like 9×13 pan Can you please clarify? Thanks!!

    • Rachel says

      Sorry for the confusion! It says this in the post, but the pictures show this casserole doubled and baked in a 9×13. The recipe is for an 8×8. Sorry again.

    • Polly says

      Yes- I could see how that would be confusing. We need to update the picture! Use a 8×8 dish.

  36. Tiffany says

    Just wanted to say, this came out great! I DID add cooked spaghetti to the dish and it worked great! I used a 12 oz box of spaghetti. I broke the spaghetti in half, cooked it for two minutes less than the time recommended on the box, and then mixed it with the chicken and pasta sauce – also, I used a 32 oz jar of pasta sauce (instead of a 28 oz jar) to give the spaghetti some more liquid. It made enough to fill two 8×8 pans with the spaghetti mixed in. Once reheated the spaghetti was perfect doneness.

    Also, I used gluten free spaghetti and it worked fine 🙂

    • Rachel says

      That’s such a great tip, Tiffany. We have readers ask often if you can add pasta. I’m glad you’ve tested it for us!

  37. Patience says

    Hello, what is your opinion on the aluminum foil pans for baking things like this as far as safety goes. I do have a glass pan (I’m trying to get rid of a lot of plastic in my life, especially things for eating and drinking) , but I am thinking of getting some foil pans for freezer meals.

    • Rachel says

      I personally try to avoid foil if I can, just because some research has shown a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. Not sure how strong the connection is, but glass is always a safe option.

  38. Kristina says

    How many pounds of chicken breast would you say is nexessary for this recipe?

    • Polly says

      About 1.5 pounds. I added that to the recipe in case someone else had the same question. Thanks!

  39. Monique says

    How many calories is in one serving?

  40. Joy says

    Since I’m low-carbing it, I will swap crushed pork rinds for the breadcrumbs, or leave them out entirely! The pork rinds will add a hint of bacon flavor.

  41. Jamje says

    Wondering if you think this would work with eggplant?
    Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      I have yet to try eggplant in this way yet, but from the recipes I’ve read, I bet it would if you let it drain over a colander first. Good idea! Please let us know if you try it and it works.

  42. Michele M says

    This is delicious! My husband doesn’t really like white meat chicken, but if I put it with sauce or gravy, he’ll eat it. I cut chicken breasts into small pieces and made this in a 13″x 9″ dish so that the chicken would be more covered with sauce. My family really liked it and my husband said over and over how good it was. I’m so surprised that he acted that way about a chicken dish! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel says

      Sweet! We love a good success story.

  43. 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.

  44. ashley says

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

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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!!

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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! 🙂

  55. 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!

  56. 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!

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

    • Rachel says

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

    • Polly says

      Love it!

  58. 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: https://thrivinghomeblog.com/2012/05/healthy-roasted-chicken-and-vegetables-recipe/

  59. Amber says

    How many servings does this make?

    • Rachel says

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

  60. 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!

  61. 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!

  62. Crystal says

    About how many calories per serving does this have?

  63. 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.

  64. Terri says

    What are the nutritional values or WW points ?

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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. 🙂

  71. 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.

  72. 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!

  73. 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!

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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. ?

  79. 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!

  80. 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.

  81. 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 foodsafety.gov 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.”

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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!

  89. stefanie says

    Hi,

    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: https://thrivinghomeblog.com/healthy-recipes-index/healthy-freezer-meals-recipes/

      • 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.

            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/january/home-garden/glass-cookware/glass-cookware/index.htm

  90. 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. http://www.glad.com/food-storage/containers/ovenware-8×8/

  91. 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!

  92. 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!