I needed a quick and hearty dinner. My husband and I were having a very busy couple of days where we would leave very early in the morning and return very late at night. Most days, we came home exhausted and I was not very inclined to cook. Fortunately, one of the days, we came home relatively early and after a short nap, I was ready to make a good dinner. Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand and since this makes at least 8 portions for us, it was a perfect dish for the remaining week. This is my version of a Chicken Parmesan Bake.
2-3 chicken breasts or 4-5 chicken thighs (I used thighs)
Panko Bread Crumbs (or Regular Bread Crumbs)
Milk (or buttermilk)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups of uncooked small pasta shells (any small pasta will do)
2-3 cups of pasta sauce
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cooking pasta as per instructions
- Place chicken breasts or thighs between two layers of plastic wrap and pound until chicken is flattened evenly
- Season bread crumbs with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and onion powder (if you are using Italian bread crumbs just season with cayenne)
- Dredge chicken in flour and shake off any excess
- Dip floured chicken into milk and then into bread crumbs
- Place chicken on a greased baking pan
- Spray the top of the chicken heavily with cooking spray
- Bake until golden brown on both sides (don’t worry about cooking it through)
- Reduce heat of oven to 375 F
- When pasta has finished cooking, drain and combine with some of the pasta sauce
- Place a thin layer of pasta sauce onto baking pan and add about half of the pasta
- Place a layer of chicken on top of the pasta.
- Add remaining pasta to pan and cover with remaining pasta sauce.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake Chicken Parmesan for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and starts to brown.