With only 4 ingredients, this chicken parmesan pasta bake might be the easiest recipe on my blog. And that’s saying something because I made some seriously minimal recipes when I first started blogging about food!
I’ll walk you through the recipe below and cover ingredient substitutions as we go. There’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post as well. Let’s get it.
Step 1: Mix your choice of pasta and marinara together in a baking dish.
Make sure your baking dish is similar in size. More surface area will likely reduce the cook time and less surface area will increase the cook time. Don’t worry—you can always cover and bake a bit longer if your pasta is undercooked.
And feel free to use another pasta.
Step 2: Top with shredded cheese.
Okay, I know I always talk about how freshly shredded cheese is so much better than pre-shredded, and it is. I just wanted this pasta bake to be as simple as possible. I’d still recommend grating some fresh mozzarella and parmesan for best results.
And as far as cheese options go, the version in the finished recipe photos actually used Trader Joe’s quattro formaggio cheese blend (asiago, fontina, provolone, parmesan). It’s hard to go wrong here!
Step 3: Add Perdue Farms Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks.
Since you can’t have chicken parmesan without the chicken, the recipe calls for Perdue Farms Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks. This is one of my favorite products from Perdue. The chicken gets crispy golden brown on the outside while staying juicy on the inside. And that’s straight from the freezer!
Where to buy: Target is my go-to for frozen Perdue chicken, but you can use the store locator on the product page.
I’ll add that I’m a Perdue Farms ambassador and you can use my affiliate link (perduefarms.com/mason) to get a free box of this diced chicken breast and 15% off your order. Then you can make other recipes like my honey sesame chicken, buttermilk pan fried chicken, or chili garlic chicken fried chicken cauliflower rice.
And lastly, Costco has a very similar product, which you can check out in my healthy sweet and sour chicken recipe.
Step 4: Top with more marinara and cheese, cover, and bake.
I added some crushed red pepper flakes and dried parsley, but that’s totally optional.
Step 5: Uncover and continue baking for a melty, crispy top.
Parmesan and hard cheeses will give you the extra crispy look in the photo above. While a softer cheese like mozzarella will be more melty and give you that cheese pull effect. There is no right or wrong here.
Final Recipe Notes
I guess it wouldn’t technically be chicken parm if you added a bunch of stuff. Still, I wanted to toss out the idea of adding some extras like mushrooms or cherry tomatoes like in my Italian Sausage and Veggie Pasta Bake. Or if you like extra spice, a little Italian Bomba Pepper Sauce like I used in my Sausage and Mushroom Cauliflower Gnocchi might tickle your fancy.
These suggestions are purely speculation, but I bet extra goodies would increase the amount of diggity exponentially.
That’s a wrap. If you have any questions about this recipe, drop a comment below or join my Facebook group. There are more than 12k awesome home cooks in the group to help you out!
- 8 oz Dry Pasta (I used Banza Cavatappi)
- 24 oz jar Marinara
- 16 oz Perdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
- 1 1/4 C (140g) Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper and Parsley Flakes (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 450F.
- Mix 3/4 of the marinara with the dry pasta in a 13x8 baking dish.
- Add 3/4 C (84g) cheese on top of the pasta and marinara, followed by the chicken. Pour remaining marinara in the gaps and top with remaining cheese and the optional red pepper and parsley flakes.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and the chicken is crispy golden brown.
Each serving has 12 WW SmartPoints (blue plan).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Servings Serving Size: 240 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 17gCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 31g