Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Bake Recipe

If you order chicken Parmesan in a restaurant, it might come with a side of spaghetti marinara. This casserole, however, combines both elements in a spaghetti bake that, according to recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse, "comes together quickly for a hearty dish that will serve a crowd," although it also makes for good leftovers if you won't be feeding large numbers of people. The difficulty level is minimal, too. As Rosenhouse tells us, "If you can boil spaghetti, you can prepare this recipe."

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Rosenhouse calls this pasta dish "a great weeknight meal to throw together when you want something hot on the table in a little over an hour." While it's practically a one-pot meal, what with the noodles, meat, cheese, and tomato sauce, Rosenhouse says she likes to add a side of cooked vegetables to give her dinner a little more depth. A green salad and some garlic bread, too, might make for nice additions to the meal.

Collect the ingredients for this cheesy chicken Parmesan spaghetti bake

The main ingredients of this chicken spaghetti bake include spaghetti, tomato sauce, and cooked shredded chicken. As Rosenhouse points out, it's "a great way to transform leftovers" in case you happen to have cooked our basic but foolproof whole roast chicken the night before. You'll also need mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, panko (as opposed to plain) breadcrumbs, butter, and a few different seasonings including salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and basil.

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Step 1: Turn on the oven

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Boil a pot full of water

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Season with 2 teaspoons salt.

Step 3: Cook the pasta

Add spaghetti and cook for 7 to 9 minutes until a little shy of al dente.

Step 4: Drain the cooked noodles

Drain and return spaghetti to the pot.

Step 5: Stir the sauce, meat, and seasonings into the spaghetti

Add tomato sauce, chicken, garlic, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir to combine.

Step 6: Put half the spaghetti in a pan

Transfer half the spaghetti mixture to a 5-quart baking dish.

Step 7: Add a layer of basil and cheese

Sprinkle evenly with half the basil, then half the mozzarella.

Step 8: Put the rest of the spaghetti, basil, and cheese into the pan

Repeat with remaining spaghetti mixture, basil, and mozzarella.

Step 9: Mix the panko, Parmesan, and butter

In a small bowl, stir to combine panko, Parmesan, and butter.

Step 10: Top the casserole with crumbs

Sprinkle panko mixture over the mozzarella layer to coat.

Step 11: Cook the casserole

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Step 12: Cool the casserole

Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

What changes can I make to this cheesy chicken Parmesan spaghetti bake recipe?

If you want to make a few tweaks to this casserole recipe, Rosenhouse says that's perfectly okay with her as she feels that "this dish is totally customizable." For starters, she says that you can use any kind of pasta you like — either long and thin or short and chunky varieties will work. She does, however, recommend that you subtract 1 or 2 minutes of cooking time from the one provided on the box since the pasta will soften up further as it bakes in the sauce.

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Speaking of sauce, Rosenhouse advises using "any flavorful, thick tomato sauce," although she says that a meaty one such as Bolognese might be redundant due to the chicken in the casserole. She does note, though that "you can also sneak in some vegetables" if you want to make the dish more nutritious. Among her suggestions are bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, all of which can be sauteed and then added to the sauce.

What can I do with leftover cheesy chicken Parmesan spaghetti bake?

While this dish, as previously noted, was designed to feed a fair number of people — it makes 8 servings in all –- you need not feel compelled to eat it all up the same day it's made. The leftovers, Rosenhouse notes, will last for about 3 days in the refrigerator, although you can also freeze them if you'd like some extra time to finish them.

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The quickest, easiest way to heat any frozen casserole is to stick it straight in the microwave, but in Rosenhouse's opinion, leftover cheesy chicken Parmesan spaghetti bake will taste best if you have the patience to allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once it has thawed out, she advises baking it at 350 F in a covered pan (a piece of foil will work if you don't have one with a fitted lid). She says you can also reheat the casserole in a pan on the stove, suggesting that you can "add a splash of water or broth if the sauce is too thick."

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Bake Recipe

5 (15 ratings)

This cheesy chicken Parmesan casserole combines with a spaghetti bake that comes together quickly for a delicious, hearty dish that will serve a crowd.

Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
42
minutes
servings
8
Servings
spaghetti casserole in pan
Total time: 1 hour, 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars tomato sauce
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup roughly chopped basil leaves, divided
  • 1 (16-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Optional Ingredients

  • Basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Season with 2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Add spaghetti and cook for 7 to 9 minutes until a little shy of al dente.
  4. Drain and return spaghetti to pot.
  5. Add tomato sauce, chicken, garlic, Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir to combine.
  6. Transfer half the spaghetti mixture to a 5-quart baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle evenly with half the basil, then half the mozzarella.
  8. Repeat with remaining spaghetti mixture, basil, and mozzarella.
  9. In a small bowl, stir to combine panko, Parmesan, and butter.
  10. Sprinkle the panko mixture over mozzarella layer to coat.
  11. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 599
Total Fat 21.7 g
Saturated Fat 12.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 109.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 59.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Total Sugars 8.4 g
Sodium 1,320.8 mg
Protein 41.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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