chicken parm baked pasta

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 (28 oz.) jar marinara sauce
  • ½ lb. uncooked bow-tie or penne pasta (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped


  • Heat oven to 425°F. Spray 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Add 1 jar marinara sauce, ½ lb. pasta, and 1 cup water to baking dish and carefully stir to combine.
  • Season 1 lb. chicken tenders liberally with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken on top of pasta mixture in a single layer.
  • Top with 2 cups shredded mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 35 minutes or until pasta is tender and most of the sauce is absorbed. Remove foil; let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile increase oven temperature to broil.
  • In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon oil, ½ cup panko, remaining ¼ cup Parmesan, and a pinch salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly across the baked pasta.
  • Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, watching closely, until breadcrumbs are toasted.
  • Finish by topping with ½ cup chopped fresh basil.


  • Serve with garlic bread or breadsticks and a big Caesar salad to complete this meal.


  • Protein: Chicken can be substituted with 1 lb. any cooked ground protein (beef, pork, turkey, etc.) or protein substitute.
  • Vegetarian: Rather than using chicken in this recipe, stir in a 5 oz. bag spinach.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs for this recipe.
  • Other: You can use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken torn into pieces in this recipe. Aim for 2-3 cups chicken.


  • Entire dish can be prepped up to 3 days in advance before baking. Reserve the bread crumb mixture.


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 969IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 378mg | Iron: 2mg