Chicken Parmesan Casserole

A lighter twist on classic chicken parm.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Photo: Photographer: Will Dickey Prop Stylist: Missie Crawford Food Stylist: Erin Merhar
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

You can never go wrong by turning to Italian for dinner. Simple, hearty, and packed with flavor, an Italian-style casserole bake can be as comforting as a big bowl of soup. This recipe is like a delicious—and lighter—twist on classic Chicken Parmesan. There is enough sauce for every bite of chicken, the panko adds the perfect amount of crunch, and the mozzarella cheese melts nicely over the top into a gooey finish. A garnish of parsley at the end keeps things bright and adds a nice freshness. While the casserole isn't packed with heartier carbs like pasta or buckets of cheese, it makes a wonderful pairing with pasta noodles on the side or simple steamed vegetables. Everyone gets to build their own meal, and who doesn't love that? Make this Chicken Parmesan Casserole tonight and expect rave reviews. Bonus tip: Any leftovers make an extra tasty version of a meatball sub.


  • 1 cup marinara sauce (such as Rao's Homemade)

  • 4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 (1-oz.) slices

  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with 1 rack in middle position and 1 rack positioned 6 inches from heat source. Pour marinara sauce into an 11- x 7-inch broiler-safe baking dish, and set aside.

  2. Season chicken with salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Cook chicken, smooth sides down, undisturbed, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip chicken, and cook until chicken is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Arrange chicken breasts evenly over marinara sauce in prepared dish, and top each with a slice of mozzarella. Transfer baking dish to middle rack in preheated oven, and bake until sauce is bubbling and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 160°F, about 20 minutes. (Temperature will rise after broiling.)

  4. Meanwhile, stir together panko, Parmesan, butter, and thyme in a small bowl. Set aside.

  5. Remove from chicken oven, and top each chicken breast with panko mixture. Place baking dish on rack 6 inches from heat source. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil until panko mixture and cheese start to lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven, and garnish with parsley.

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