This is one of my go to recipes for those busy days or when I just want to spend quality time with family and friends and not worry about dinner. My boys LOVE chicken parmesan, but it takes some time to prep. From patting down the chicken to the 3 step breading and then pan frying...it's sometimes too much, not to mention the dishes and cleanup.
This is one of those easy one pot casseroles where you don't have to worry about extra dishes or a messy kitchen to clean up. There is no set recipe either. It's just throwing in a bunch of stuff and letting your oven do its magic!
So let's get started!
You want to start with heating 2 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet, or any pan that also goes in the oven. Then you want to season 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half with salt and pepper on both sides, and brown them.
**If you do not have an oven proof pan, do this step in a pan then follow with the rest of the steps in a casserole dish that can go in the oven. Just be sure to drizzle some olive oil at the bottom of the dish. :)
Once your chicken is no longer pink on both sides, sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon of chopped parsley, 1 large minced garlic clove, a tsp of Cajun seasoning and for some extra optional heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Now you want to add your favorite tomato sauce over top. I like a good garlic basil tomato sauce. Just add enough to cover all the chicken, I added about 3/4 of a 25 oz. pasta sauce jar.
Now we are just going to layer it like a lasagna. I add about a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 1/2 a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese...hence the parmesan chicken. ;)
Now stay with me here...chicken parmesan is known for its crispy exterior, so we of course need to add that crunch to the casserole. I add a heaping cup to a cup and a half of homemade garlic croutons. But you can use any store bought croutons you like.
Last, Just add another layer of parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the croutons and garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced grape tomatoes if desired. Bake it at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until its golden and bubbly and the chicken is cooked through.
Prep and layer your casserole ready for baking right before dinner, and you have yourself a delicious, crispy, no mess Chicken Parmesan Casserole. :)