Chicken parmesan pasta casserole

A one-pot wonder of a meal!

This dish offers all the great flavour of classic chicken parmesan, combined in a super easy one-pot pasta dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes – and even less if you cook the chicken ahead of time. It can be prepared in a larger oven-safe pot or, for a slightly elevated presentation, prepare the dish to the point of stirring in the parmesan and some of the mozzarella, then scoop into individual oven-safe ramekins. Sprinkle with remaining cheese then top with breadcrumbs (to mimic the breading on classic chicken parm) then broil and serve.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340g ) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces            
  • Few pinches salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (.5 g) each dried basil and oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon (.8 g) garlic powder
  • 1 medium sized onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 oz / 285 g) dried short pasta (I used shells; use gluten-free if you like)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) marinara sauce (purchased or homemade)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups (625 – 750 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) Panko (or use gluten-free breadcrumbs)

Method

  • To a large pot (I used my Dutch oven) placed over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Add chicken; season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and garlic powder. Cook, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the middle (about 5 minutes).
  • Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Stir in marinara sauce and 2 1/2 cups of water, then bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; when the pot comes back to the boil, reduce heat to a steady simmer and cover pot. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender. Add a little more water if the mixture is looking dry towards the end of the cooking time.
  • When pasta is just about cooked, preheat broiler and adjust rack as needed. Stir parmesan and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese into the cooked pasta. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top of the dish then sprinkle Panko on top of that. Broil until cheese is bubbly and melted, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Scatter fresh basil on top then serve hot.

Serves 4 – 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and YouTube.

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