This recipe for chicken parmesan casserole takes your kids favorite food, frozen chicken nuggets, and turns them into an easy, weeknight dinner they will request time and time again!
Are you ready for the easiest, family friendly recipe ever? This is it!
Our kids love frozen popcorn chicken, but I'm sure they get a little tired of the same ole chicken nuggets and ketchup!
Here's a quick and easy casserole recipe that you can put together in about 20 minutes.
This chicken parmesan casserole has everything they love, chicken nuggets, pasta, marinara and cheese! What kid wouldn't love that combination?
The kiddos are going to love the taste and you are going to love how simple it is to make, I promise!
Step by step instructions
This couldn't be easier to put together so let's dive straight into the details, shall we?
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9" x 13" casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta the the "al dente" stage according to package directions. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
- To the bowl add the chicken, marinara sauce, chopped basil, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheeses on top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a side of garlic bread for an extra special treat!
Tips for success
- Use any kind of chicken you have on hand. It doesn't have to be frozen chicken nuggets. You can use leftover chicken from an air fried chicken, shredded chicken or frozen chicken strips.
- Substitute bowtie pasta with any shape pasta you prefer!
- You can always make this a gluten-free chicken parmesan casserole by using un-breaded chicken, gluten-free pasta, and cheese that has not been pre-shredded.
- I used 1 jar of marinara sauce, but grab an extra just incase it's not saucy enough for your family!
- Don't over cook the pasta when boiling it. You want it to get to the al dente stage so that it doesn't turn mushy during baking.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to freeze
This chicken parmesan casserole can be made ahead and frozen.
- Assemble the casserole and pour into a freezer safe casserole dish. I like to use aluminum baking dishes. Cover the top with plastic wrap and then wrap tightly in foil.
- Keep in freezer up to 3 months.
How to reheat
TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN
To reheat a frozen casserole, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap the and "tent" the foil on top. Bake for up to 75 minutes, taking the foil off during the last 15 minutes. It may require more baking time.
TO REHEAT FROM THAWED
The night before you want to bake the casserole, remove it from the freezer and place in your refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Other family-friendly casseroles you may like:
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- Breakfast Casserole
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole
We hope your family loves this recipe as much as we do! Let us know in the comment section below!!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe
- 1.5 lbs. frozen popcorn chicken
- 1 lb. pasta
- 1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce (use more if you like it saucy )
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided in half)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 9" x 13" casserole dish with cooking spray. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta until "al dente" according to package directions. Drain and pour into a large mixing bowl.
- To the pasta, add the frozen chicken, marinara sauce, 1 cup of parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Stir together until evenly mixed. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is starting to turn a golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil and more parmesan cheese if desired.
- To Store: Keep leftovers covered in the fridge up to 4 days.
- To Reheat: Heat in microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- To Freeze: Place in freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
This post was originally published in March 2016 and updated in March 2020 with new photos and updated tips, tricks and instructions.