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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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

Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
Prep: 20 minsCook: 25 minsTotal: 45 mins
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups (about 1.5 pounds) fully-cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (see Cooking Notes for how to cook the chicken)
  • 1 jar (about 28 ounces) of marinara sauce (or make your own)
  • 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) (Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal instead.)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Layer the fully-cooked 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.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the top. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-4. Cover the casserole tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and/or foil, squeezing out as much air as possible. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the fridge over night and follow Step 5. Note: 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.

COOKING NOTES:

How to Cook the Chicken: For this recipe you can use rotisserie chicken from the store, which is a great short-cut! Or cook some boneless, skinless chicken breasts using one of these methods until it’s done (165°F internally or no longer pink inside):

  • Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out.
  • Instant Pot: Place chicken and 1 cup chicken broth in a 6 quart Instant Pot. (Note: If using an 8 quart, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth.) Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. (Note: It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.)
  • Grill: Pound out the chicken to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even cooking. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness.

Notes/Tips

Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.A woman standing on her front porch holding a box from Butcher Box meats.

© Author: Thriving Home
Cuisine: American Method: Baking