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Dec 04
163

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Comfort food season is upon us, and in celebration I am offering up this cheesy, tomatoey*, garlicky Italian casserole that’s a perfect balance of gooey and saucy with a crunchy topping. You’d never know from tasting it that each serving is only around 300 calories and 6 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. Serve this as a main course with a side salad and some light Italian dressing and you have a family-pleasing, company-ready meal that comes together with only around 10 minutes of prep time. That’s it! Who doesn’t have ten minutes to put dinner in the oven?

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Chicken Parmesan has always been a favorite of mine, and this is definitely my favorite new way to capture all the flavors with the least amount of effort. Now that is comforting.

*Merriam-Webster says it’s a word! Take that, spell-check.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole


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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

2 lbs raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste if you want it hot)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cups marinara/pasta sauce (I used Wegmans Tomato Basil)
1 ½ cups 2% reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I used the smallest holed side of my box grater), divided
3.5 oz garlic croutons, roughly crushed, leaving some larger pieces (I used New York Texas Toast brand Garlic & Butter)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the cubed pieces of chicken across the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and basil evenly over the chicken. Spread the sauce evenly across the top. On top of the sauce layer, sprinkle ¾ cup of the Mozzarella and one ounce of the Parmesan evenly across the dish. Sprinkle the crushed croutons across the top and follow with the remaining cheese.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
6 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com), a serving was 8 SP on the previous program

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
303 calories, 15 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 37 g protein, 1 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

adapted from Food.com

163 comments on “Chicken Parmesan Casserole”

  1. This will be perfect for this coming weekend’s dinner! It’s supposed to be rainy and blah, and this, with a salad, will be absolutely amazing!

  2. Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for all of your awesome recipes. 🙂

  3. yum! this looks absolutely amazing! welcome comfort food season!

  4. I love that photo. It’s a great perspective/texture shot. The circles on the place mat really draw the eye in. And, as always, the recipe seems delicious!

  5. My mom is getting ready to have surgery & I told her I would make some dinners for her.

  6. I made this for my family on Friday and there was literally none left! Shame for me, who planned on eating a leftover portion (we’re a family of four) for lunch the next day. Oh, well.

    My father is a HORRIBLY critical eater when it comes to recipes because he lived next door to a gourmet chef when he grew up in the Bronx, so he is very hard to please when it comes to food. Truthfully, he could certainly stand to lose more than a few pounds, but is so picky that it’s hard to get him to budge on anything that doesn’t taste just like the original.

    And chicken? Pfft. Get ready for a windstorm of criticism…

    Except, there wasn’t any. He went back for a second helping and told me for days how much he loved it. It was SO easy to make and I loved it. It really has the full effect of Chicken Parm without the guilt. The only thing I’d say is that, for anyone else who keeps thin cut chicken breasts in the house, you only need to use 1 lb, rather than the 2 lb of regular cut, because you’ll never get a single layer. And that is nothing in criticism of Emily, that’s just what I learned from experience. Though, I wonder if that would affect the points total? Hmm…

    This was and IS an amazeballs recipe! Keep up the awesome work, girl!

    • I’m so glad to hear it was a hit, even with your picky father!

      I would not recommend using only one pound of chicken…with 8 servings that would not be very filling and it would definitely mess up what I consider to be the perfect ratio of chicken to the other ingredients. If you cut up your 2 lbs chicken breasts into cubes they should fit in about a single layer in the dish, and if they don’t all fit and you have to throw a few pieces on top that’s no big deal.

  7. For the croutons did you buy the frozen toast cook it and cut it up or is there an actual crouton that they make?

  8. Absolutely delicious! I have told everyone about this!

  9. Another big hit at our house. Both my husband and son loved it. (Me too, but I really loved how easy it was.) I’ve been craving a similar recipe for a few weeks, I’m so glad you published your lightened version before I caved into my cravings! I served it with parmesan noodles and Italian blend veggies. My husband said the leftovers were great, too.

  10. This looks absolutely delicious and I totally want to try it. I have one question, is the chicken cooked first or does it cook in the casserole? I have another casserole recipe and you have to cook the chicken first before adding it to all the other ingredients. thanks.

  11. I can’t wait to make this. Newly married and with a busy work schedule I am always struggling to find things to make for me and my husband that don’t take a ton of prep time. I am sort of new to real cooking (more than just pasta with some chicken thrown in) and this recipe looks like it is simple but satisfying! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

  12. Loved this dish. Can’t wait to try other recipes such as sesame noodles. Love your site

  13. I made this last night and it was wonderful! Thanks!

  14. If I don’t have freshly grated parmesan, would this work with the pre-grated kind? If yes, would I use the same amount or less?

    • If you don’t want to buy a block of Parmesan and grate it then I’d suggest buying the shredded kind over the grated kind in the green plastic can.

  15. This is in the oven right now, I can’t wait to try it!

  16. This was very easy and a big hit!

  17. This looks amazing!! I have a yearly bucket list and on 2013’s list is to cook/bake one new thing each month and I would like to make this and link up to your blog for the recipe. Would that be ok?

    Gina

    http://itypecrazyfast.wordpress.com/

    • It really depends on how you’re planning to post it. If you want to write about making it and then link to my blog for the recipe then that’s fine!

  18. I made this for lunch today and wow was it good! Yum! As always, TFS!

  19. I’m new to the weight watchers scene and i was wondering how much is in one serving whether it be one cup of it or what? it looks so good

  20. Emily! You’ve done it again! I love it and so did my hubby! A simple and delicious dinner with a nice big side salad. I’m having some trouble with the recipe builder though. When I enter your stats into the calculator I get 8pp but when I put the ingredients into the recipe builder I get 9pp??? What are the stats on the marinara that you used?

  21. I just made this for lunch today!!! It was amazing. I will definitely make it again. My three kids loved it too. Thanks so much Emily!!

  22. This is a completely awesome recipe. Super easy to make and very tasty. Will make again!

  23. Just finished making this! Tasted a little spoonfull and its delish! my only problem was when i was getting the spoonfull there was alot of water in the bottom??? has anyone else had this problem?

    • Same happened to me, but I assume it was from the jarred marinara. Mine thickened up as it sat. I may try mixing tomsto paste w the sauce ndxt time. My casserole seemed…flat. like, much thinner. It wasnt filling at all and im trying to figure out what went wrong! Flavor was awesome though!

      Kris

    • Hi ladies! If you’re having problem with excess liquid you may want to partially bake the chicken layer first and then drain it, add the other ingredients and continue baking like I did in my Spinach & Artichoke Chicken recipe: http://emilybites.com/2013/01/skinny-spinach-artichoke-chicken.html

      Hope that helps!

  24. Awesome!!!! Rachel, I had the same with the liquid…I used defrosted frozen chicken and think that’s where it comes from. Wasn’t enough to be a problem and my husband LOVES it. I served mine over some fresh sauteed zucchini. Great recipe, thank you!

  25. I made this the other night for my fiance and I, it was delicious! I accidentally cut it into 6 servings (10pp per serving instead of 8), but it was definitely worth the extra points. Leftovers were gone by the next day. Will definitely be making this one again!

  26. I made it tonight with a couple substitutions.. it’s still in the oven..hope it’s delicious! I used Texas toast instead of croutons, did not add pepper flakes, used Italian seasoning instead of basil, and used Colby jack cheese on my first cheese level and mozzarella cheese on top.

    • I have to give the update ..it honestly wasn’t my favorite but I have to say maybe the basil and what nots woulda made it a lil better (worked with what I had in the kitchen) but it was good.. thanks for the post.

    • Interesting substitutions! Sorry you didn’t love it but I definitely recommend trying with the croutons.

  27. I just made this for my husband and parents. My mother is a very picky eater and everyone ended up loving it. Three out of the four of us are following weight watchers so we split it pretty much into the 8 servings as best as we could. I’m stuffed from my serving. Your recipes are so easy and so yummy at the same time. I look forward to making each new concoction of yours and thank you for taking the time to put in the WW PPV. You’re awesome!

  28. I’ve got this in the oven now & it smells uh-may-zing! Super easy for someone like me (who most would say does not belong IN or NEAR a kitchen!) 😉 …I’m trying though! Made your shredded buffalo chicken burgers last weekend. Yum! My boyfriend & I both loved them & I want to thank you for your easy (even for the kitchen-challenged!) (WW friendly) meals! Off to check on my casserole I go! Have a great night Emily! 🙂

  29. Does this get baked covered or uncovered?

  30. Made this tonight and it was not a big hit for my family. It tasted delicious, but didn’t feel like a complete meal. I prefer casseroles which are one dish meals. A small amount of pasta added would have fixed that and may be tried in the future. However, we all agreed that this would make an INCREDIBLE chicken parm sub. I will be tracking down some sort of multi-grain crusty roll to swap for the croutons. Any suggestions on brands?

  31. Just made this – family approved. 8 thumbs up!

  32. This was great – thanks for the recipe. Even the kids ate it!

  33. This is wonderful. We decided that we could easily have it as a “company coming over” meal. I halved it for our little family and it worked great.

  34. I just made this and it was 3 skinless breast cut up. Iput it in a 9X9 pan and it fit perfectly. I cant imagine this feeding eight people with 3 breast. Its just my hubby and i so we shall see.

    • Two pounds of chicken was only 3 breasts? Those suckers must be HUGE! Haha. The recommended serving size for chicken breasts is 3 oz cooked (about the size of a deck of cards). Each portion in my recipe gets 4 oz raw weight, which is usually around 3 oz cooked.

      I’m also surprised you got 2 lbs of chicken to lay in a single layer in a 9×9 pan, but whatever works for you!

      this is a main dish, so you can feel free to serve it with salad or vegetables or whatever other side dishes you like. Enjoy!

  35. Sounds delish! Thinking about trying it using my crockpot.

  36. This was absolutely delicious! I cut the recipe in half since there are just two of us and baked in an 8×8 pan. I also pre-cooked the chicken just for a few minutes, drained, and then finished the recipe. Not really sure I needed to do that in hindsight. This one will definitely go into the rotation.

  37. I would like to make this the night before and take to a family member the following day. How would it be reheated? Would the croutons become mushy?

  38. Made this tonight for the first time – it was really good! Followed the directions exactly except for cutting it in half to make 4 portions. Couldn’t be easier! Saving half for another dinner (there are just 2 of us) and I’m confident it will reheat well. Thanks Emily!

  39. Made this tonight for the first time and it was FANTASTIC. My husband is a picky eater and was unsure of the idea of a chicken parm casserole, but he loved it too. Only problem…we ate too much of it 🙂 I made it in 6 portions instead of 8 and used part-skim mozzarella. It came to 12 points a piece. Delish. Thanks! Allyson

  40. Found this on Pinterest and it is on my menu for next week (Maybe even for my mother-in-law’s birthday party on Friday)! So funny, but where are you from that you used Wegmans sauce? Obviously the best store ever! And I use Wegmans Smooth Marinara all the time for pizza sauce, how do you beat $.99?! Thanks for such a yummy-looking recipe, I’ll definitely be browsing the whole blog!

  41. Any suggestions on making this ahead of time (in the morning) and then sticking it in the oven (when I get home from work)? Would it get soggy while waiting? Thanks!

  42. In the oven right now, smells DELISH!!! I love all of the cheese in this recipe 🙂

  43. Made this recipe tonight for myself, my boyfriend, and my roommate. With the addition of buttered rotini for a bit of starch (roommate needs it as an EMT), it was a huge hit here! Thank you for this recipe, we shall use it again!

  44. Have you ever frozen this? I want to stock up my freezer before my baby arrives and this looks delish!

  45. Have you ever frozen this? I want to stock up my freezer before my baby arrives and this looks delish!

  46. Made this tonight and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!

  47. Made this for dinner tonight! It was delicious! The husband and son loved it!

  48. Would this be ok to serve at a wedding?

  49. We loved this!! So glad we have leftovers! Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

  50. Made this for my family last night and it was absolutely delicious!! My picky little four year old even ate it. Great recipe!

  51. Made this tonight with 250cal per serving and it was a hit! We all loved it and it was incredibly filling. Wonderful recipe, thank you!

  52. This looks delicious! Have you ever frozen it before cooking it? Then deforsted it and topped it with croutons? Just curious because I am a part of a once a month cooking club and this looks, yummy, and fast to assemble.

  53. Made this tonight…it was soooooo good!!!!

  54. This was delicious! I actually made half with chicken and half with eggplant and it was an instant family favorite!

  55. This was amazing. Instant hit and a requested do over 🙂 !!!!!! Even better that it was easy and calorie friendly.

  56. Will be making tomorrow… hubby and son are so picky I hope they like!

  57. Made this tonight and it was great but next time I will wait to add the cheese on top until its cooked through…the top cheese burned a bit. Thanks!

  58. i made this tonight, taste was great, however it came out a little watery….is this normal? im guessing it was the sauce i used.

  59. Looks delicious.Can u put pasta in it if u want?

  60. I have made this several times and we love it 🙂 I do serve with whole grain pasta, salad & sometimes a little garlic bread 🙂

  61. Have you ever doubled the recipe? Would yiu double all the ingredients and would the cooking time increase, thanks!

  62. Wow! So good! Didn’t have fresh basil or red pepper flakes but still very tasty. Thanks for the great recipes!

  63. Perfect for a day off from work w loved ones today!!! Blizzard in WNY..BUFFALO..WOOHOO

    • lol, I’m so happy I live in the northtowns. It’s freezing and crazy windy and we got a bunch of snow, but it’s nothing like what hit the southtowns. I was lucky I got to work from home today – hope you’re staying warm!

  64. Emily, your recipes are awesome…I just wish I could “Pin” them so I could have easy access…this one is great!

  65. OK, ignore that last comment. SO HAPPY I can pin the recipes…some days are better than others, haha.

  66. Do i put the raw chicken into the dish to cook in the oven or do i cook the chicken first?…..im cooking iy for dinner!

  67. Hey Emily! Thanks for another great recipe! Made this last week and it was a real hit. It was soooo simple to make…I felt a little silly continuing with the routine I’ve adopted of always making 2 casseroles and freezing one…I have a feeling I did not save myself any time or effort. 🙂
    The next time I make this, I think I’ll divide it into 6 portions instead…it did seem pretty filling and was great with a salad but I think I’ll be happier with slightly bigger pieces at 404 calories each. My man’s comment was “you should make this when we have company” which is very high praise from him and not at all common. Thanks!

  68. I made this last night and it was delish, but I’m not sure if I used enough croutons :(. I bought the 5 oz bag of the croutons you used and crushed them, but the one end of my casserole was clearly lacking and not as “together”. Did I do something wrong?

  69. I made this for dinner last night and all I have to say is AWESOME!! Hubby and I both LOVED IT!!!!

  70. Delicious dinner! Easy to prepare and clean up too. And no guilt after the enjoyment! It’s a keeper in the recipe book. Thanks:)

  71. this sounds really good! would it be easy to double it?

  72. I made this tonight and it is so good! Simple to make and so delicious!

  73. I made it last night and it was a hit with me and the bf! I added mushrooms for some extra veggie and served it with spinach salad. So good and easy, I will definitely make it again!

  74. what is the serving size? I know it makes 8 servings but how do you tell what a serving is? I’m guessing 3 oz, but not sure

  75. I just saw this recipe and it sounds awesome! I have one question, though. When using uncooked chicken, do you find there is too much liquid? Raw chicken produces lots of juice and I wondered if anyone thought the casserole was too liquidy. Thanks!

  76. Great chicken soup

  77. You can’t go wrong with this it is amazing and everyone loves it!

  78. how much is a serving?
    1/2 cup?

  79. I hate cutting up raw chicken. Can I use whole chicken breasts but, cut before serving? Would I need to bake longer? I really want to try this recipe!Thanks!

    • I’m sure you can do it that way. It may need to cook for longer, but I can’t really say because I haven’t done it like that (and it probably depends how thick your breasts are). I suggest cutting into a breast to check it at the time it says in the recipe and if it needs more just stick it back in. 🙂

  80. Thanks for this awesome recipe! It will definitely go into my regular rotation. It’s very adaptable also. I didn’t have basil, so I substituted parsley from my garden. Also used shredded (bagged) parm since that was what I had on hand. Can’t wait to have leftovers tomorrow!

  81. Commenting again, because I love this so much. I did use the suggestion to bake just the chicken for 20 minutes, then drain, add toppings, and continue baking. I was amazed at the amount of broth/liquid/whatever that drained off the chicken after 20 minutes – I think the texture of the dish was much nicer with this additional step. Thanks for the suggestion, Emily!

  82. i am wondering how I could add pasta to this dish? Anyone tried this with good results? I know it’s throwing off the weight watcher points but I’m not too concerned about that lol thanks!

  83. How many servings would you say are in these? Want to make sure I don’t over eat. 🙂
    Love your recipes!!

    • Hi Brenda, the serving information is located right underneath the recipe title in the recipe section of the post!

  84. I made this tonight for my family….and it was amazing. Everyone loved it!!!!!!
    Awesome for a big family.
    I doubled the recipe…

  85. Hi! I made this last night. Are you suppose to use 1/4 cup basil?! I think I used too much! Would have been better if I had used less! Just a little too much.

  86. I plan on making this tomorrow night for dinner. Thought I would boil my chicken to help save time as I thought the recipe called for it but just noticed now you are suppose to use it raw. Would I cook it for the same amount of time or less? HELP!

    • I’ve never made it using pre-cooked chicken, but it should work! I would cook it for less time, you just need to heat it through and melt the cheese, so I’d check it after 20-25 minutes and see if it’s ready. Hope you like it!

  87. Awesome recipe- even the hubs who hates all of my “diet food” loved it. A huge hit at our house & leftovers for once won’t just be me eating them for a week! Thanks!

  88. i want to try this with eggplant and “maybe” even vegetarian chicken nuggets.

  89. This is my family’ s favorite, that they ask me to make for them, all the time. It always turns out good!!!

  90. good blog

  91. Made this last night and LOVED it! A little watery but thatabsolutely didn’t ruin the dish. I will try precooking the chicken as recommended to get the excess water out which I’m sure will solve the issue. My boyfriend is so picky about his Italian food and even he had no complaints! This dish gets a special place in my recipe book for sure!

  92. I made this tonight to bring to bible study for our monthly meal together. It was a hit. I brought per-cooked spaghetti to serve with it and because it’s always pot-luck, one pan full went a long way. I was even asked for the recipe. I’m glad I found your site and look forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks.

  93. What is the serving size?

  94. Well…unfortunately nobody liked this but me. BUT…i feed some VERY picky people. My husband said it was too salty (from what i have no idea, maybe the crutons) and my daughter (who is almost 4) saw dad not liking it so she didnt like it. Oh well, i thought it was good…..

  95. It was very easy to make usually in most recpes the chicken has to be cooked first. This is soo simple just cut the chicken up and put it in the pan. It was effortlesss I love it! I did follow the recipe to a tee but the chicken came out slightly dry. I cooked it uncovered maybe it should have been covered?? It was good though everybody liked it.

  96. Hi! I’m dying to make this recipie but I cannot find frozen croutons is there an alternative? Thanks soo much!!

  97. Hi Emily, I am new to your blog and am looking over some recipes that I can’t wait to try! However, how do you figure the serving size if it’s not listed? This one for example is it one piece of chicken, or the average 3 oz/serving?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Julie,
      Welcome, I’m glad you found me! The serving information is always listed directly under the recipe title in the recipe section of the post. For casseroles I often just list the number of servings so you can cut the casserole into that many pieces and serve from there. I hope that helps!

  98. Just saw it states it makes 8 servings- crisis averted!

  99. Made this tonight for dinner, tasted amazing. Fiancé was surprised to find out it was weight watcher friendly and said I could definitely make it again. Thank you for the recipes!

  100. Hi Emily. I love your comfort food! This is the second recipe I entered in the ww calculator that the smart points do not match what you have posted. I came up with 9 points. Any suggestions to what is wrong?

    Thank you.
    Cindy

    • Hi Cindy, It’s hard for me to say since I can’t see what you’re entering, but these responses from my site FAQs might be able to help!

      I made one of your recipes and when I ran it through the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder it gave me a different SmartPoints value – what gives?
      I use the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder to calculate the SmartPoints values for every one of my recipes unless otherwise noted. Any discrepancies are most likely due to us using different brands or ingredients. The nutrition information of similar products from different brands can vary drastically. I try to post the brand name of the products I use as often as possible. If you are concerned you may be using different brands than I did, making substitutions or if I didn’t list a brand, feel free to run the recipe through yourself and use the SP value you come up with!

      I ran the nutrition information you posted through my points calculator and it doesn’t match the SmartPoints value you listed for the recipe – which one is right?
      One of the changes Weight Watchers made in the switch to SmartPoints is that the recipe builder no longer counts the values of 0 SP fruits and vegetables when determining the final SP value for a recipe. Therefore, the SPs you get from the recipe builder may not match the SPs you get from running the nutrition information through the Weight Watchers SP calculator, because the nutrition information will contain the calories, etc from the fruits and vegetables.

      The SPs I list are a guideline and are what I got when I entered the ingredients in the recipe builder, but different brands/ingredients may change the results so feel free to calculate your own if you prefer. Glad you’re loving the recipes!

  101. Hi Emily? Thank you for responding! I am sure it must be the different labels for the ingredients. Either way it was delicious!

  102. Happy that someone pinned this, it looks like a great casserole to add to my list of crowd-pleasers for the bereavement ministry at church. I have a question since you know WW points and I do not…if I added a layer of quinoa in the bottom of the dish to ‘bulk up’ the recipe (because I never know what other dishes will be showing up and would rather have a starch included) and absorb some of the delicious chicken liquid, would it add a whole lot of extra WW points or just a few? I like to label my dishes and bet that if I were to post the points next to the dish a lot of folks would be pleased. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  103. Can this be doubled, and if so, how long would you bake it.

  104. What would be a serving size for chicken parm casserole?

  105. What’s the difference between weight watchers smart points & weight watchers points plus?
    This recipe sounds amazing .

    • SmartPoints is the current program and PointsPlus is the previous program. The points are calculated using different nutrients 🙂

  106. Have you ever made this and frozen it? Either before cooking or after cooking and cooling? Thanks!

  107. Hi Emily! My bff makes your recipes ALL the time, and I’m so excited to try some!! I have rotisserie chicken I wanted to use for this–do you have recommendations for about how much cooked chicken I could use? Thanks in advance

    • Thanks Michelle, I’m glad he’s a fan! I’m guessing about 1 1/2 lbs cooked would do the trick.

  108. How much is one serving? Measuring is very important with WW!

  109. I have made this many times over the past several years. It’s delicious and a family favorite especially with my daughter who eats very healthy, nothing fried! I usually steam broccoli on the side and make a salad and sometimes angel hair pasta for my skinny husband! Thanks for the recipe Emily!! Love it!

  110. I made this for a company dinner. My biggest problem was it was quite watery. Having so much liquid in the bottom diluted the flavor somewhat. I would recommend sauteing the chicken before hand, as others have mentioned. I also found the croutons to be overly baked. If I make it again I would add the croutons the last 10 or 15 minutes. Thank you for posting the recipe.

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