Chicken Parmesan is and always will be one of the most crowd-pleasing dishes out there. It's crispy, cheesy, and just all-around awesome. And while I will never tire of the classic breaded chicken smothered in cheese and marinara, I'm always on the lookout for fun and new spins on the dish. I like eating it as a sandwich, kind of deconstructed in a salad, as a pizza.... the options are endless.
This baked pasta dish is yet another variation on chicken parmesan, but it is streamlined and simple, and only dirties a few dishes. One of the things I hate about making chicken parmesan is that I feel like it takes forever and dirties a dozen dishes.
This version is made in one big skillet, then popped in the oven briefly just to melt the cheese and heat everything through. It calls for using frozen breaded chicken cutlets, but I don't ever buy those, so I just had Joey pick up some chicken tenders from the deli on his way home. Another shortcut that saves time, energy, and dishes.
This dinner was so so easy, and even more importantly, it was super tasty. We all devoured it, and I enjoyed the leftovers for a few days afterward.
Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta
adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Pasta Revolution
- 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled 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 chicken tenders, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Pulse the tomatoes and their juices in the food processor until coarsely ground, about 12 pulses.
Cook the oil, garlic, 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 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.