Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta

I love chicken parmesan - it's probably one of those classic Italian dishes that just about anyone will eat. We also love veal parmesan (I made a fantastic one not too long ago) and often order it out. Classic chicken or veal parmesan takes several steps to make so it's more effort than most want to put in on an average weekday for dinner.

Enter this dish.

This one pot meal (yes - even with the pasta! - if you use a cast iron or other oven friendly skillet) is made in a fraction of the time, with much less steps and dishes, but it still incorporates the best parts of chicken parmesan. Salty, crispy breaded chicken; flavorful tomato sauce; cheese; and pasta.

I took a cue from the blogger I got the recipe from and picked up {fried} chicken fingers from my favorite fried chicken spot (Chicken Express, of course!) and just diced those. You could pick up chicken fingers at a restaurant or your grocery deli counter, or use frozen ones.

We both loved this dish! Jason claimed the leftovers for his lunch the next day and I was sad to have not doubled it so I, too, could have more.

*I used my 12 inch cast iron skillet for easy stove to oven use thus eliminating another dish. I covered it with a baking sheet while the pasta cooked since I don't have a lid for it. Worked great!

Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta
1 (28-oz) can whole {peeled} or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 Tbs olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 - 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 oz. pasta shapes (ziti, penne, etc)
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1 lb. cooked {breaded} chicken tenders, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
 Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Using your food processor, or an immersion blender in a mixing bowl, pulse the canned tomatoes and their juices until coarsely ground. Set aside.

Cook the oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, water, 1 cup of the broth, and the pasta. Bring to a vigorous simmer, cover, and cook until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and the chopped chicken. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If the pasta seems dry, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth. Transfer to a baking dish (or leave it in your cast iron skillet!) and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle with basil and serve.
Source: Pink Parsley


  1. Looks yummy! Will have to try it out soon.

  2. Your recipes sound so good, I would love to see them in a print friendly form. Thanks so much!!


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