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chicken parmesan casserole in a glass baking dish

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


  • 4 cups (about 1 1/2 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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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.


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). Be sure to season well with salt and pepper first.

  • 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 2 1/2 to 3 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 or water 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: Cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you have thinner pieces (this helps 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.

Gluten-Free Version: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. I like to make my own with gluten-free breadcrumbs, because I can’t stand the gummy rice flour ones at the store. To do this, simply throw small pieces of GF bread in a blender or food processor and process until crumbly. 

Reader Tip: Several of our readers have said they add cooked pasta as the bottom layer of the casserole with success. We would suggest cooking pasta just until it’s al dente, so it doesn’t get too soft after baking. Also, make sure it gets coated in the marinara sauce so it doesn’t dry out.

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: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: American Method: Baking