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Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe For Two

Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole is an easy way to get all the flavors of a traditional Chicken Parmesan dish without all of the work. Picture chunks of breaded chicken and pasta tossed in marinara sauce and coated in layer of melted cheese.

It is a delicious and easy to make dinner recipe thanks to a couple of shortcut ingredients. First, instead of breading individual chicken breasts for this recipe, store-bought frozen popcorn chicken is used.

It is a great way to get that breaded chicken flavor without spending time breading the chicken yourself. Then instead of making your own homemade pasta sauce, jarred marinara sauce is used to help get dinner on the table quickly.

popcorn chicken parmesan casserole
Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole takes only minutes to prepare thanks to a couple shortcut ingredients.

By using these two shortcut ingredients, you can make an easy, yet delicious dinner on a busy weeknight. However this casserole is so good that it can also be served as the main dish for Sunday dinner.

Add a side salad and bread sticks and you will have a meal that the you will want to make over and over again.

Popcorn Chicken 

So what exactly is popcorn chicken? Popcorn chicken is a delicious and popular snack or meal option that consists of bite-size pieces of chicken that have been breaded and fried.

Each piece of chicken is crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Although most often they are made to serve with a dipping sauce they are often used in casserole dishes as well.

You can find bags of popcorn chicken in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. However with most recipes you won’t use the entire portion at once. 

Therefore enjoy your leftover popcorn chicken as a snack during your favorite t.v. series or with other easy dinner recipes like this Popcorn Chicken Mashed Potato Bowl Recipe.

Popcorn Chicken
Popcorn chicken will give you that classic crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside taste that is found in traditional Chicken Parmesan recipes.

Other Chicken Options To Make Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole

In addition to popcorn chicken, there are other common chicken options you can swap out if you don’t have popcorn chicken on hand.

Breaded Chicken Strips:

These are longer pieces of chicken breast that have been breaded and seasoned. They are much larger than popcorn chicken pieces, however they can be cut down into bite-sized pieces to use in this recipe.

Breaded Chicken Fillet: 

Similar to chicken strips, breaded chicken filets are thicker pieces of chicken breast that are breaded and seasoned. They are often used in sandwiches or as a stand alone main dish.

Again, for this recipe you can cut the fillets into smaller pieces for the popcorn chicken parmesan casserole recipe.

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken: 

If you aren’t a fan of breaded chicken, you can use the meat from a Rotisserie chicken. Simply dice or shred the meat and mix it in with the other ingredients.

What Type Of Pasta To Use

When making this recipe I most often use bow-tie pasta. It is fantastic for this popcorn chicken parmesan casserole for a few reasons.

Bow-tie Pasta
Bow-tie, or “butterfly” pasta, is a tender pasta that goes so well with popcorn chicken parmesan.

Also known as Farfalle or “butterfly” pasta, its unique bow-tie shape makes for a tender pasta that’s not stringy or messy like longer strands of spaghetti or fettuccine. Therefore the pasta is able to hold onto the marinara sauce and cheese easily and with less mess.

Additionally, bow-tie pasta is just the right size to pair with the bite-sized pieces of popcorn chicken. This means you get a balanced mix of pasta and chicken in every bite.

Other Types of Pasta To Use In Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole

However, if you don’t have bow-tie pasta on hand there are several other pasta options that work well in this recipe.

1. Penne Pasta

Penne pasta has a textured surface that helps it hold onto sauces, making it a great option for dishes with chunky or thick marinaras.

2. Rotini Pasta

Rotini pasta is spiral shape, which helps trap the sauce and cheese. This bite sized pasta also goes well with the smaller portions of popcorn chicken.

3. Ziti Pasta

Ziti is a smooth, tubular pasta that’s larger and wider than penne. It has straight-cut ends and a smooth surface. This larger size allows ziti to hold more sauce inside its hollow center.

4. Elbow Macaroni

Elbow macaroni is a classic choice for casseroles with its short, curved shape. While it’s popularly known to go with macaroni and cheese, it can also be a fantastic option for this Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Casserole.

Italian seasoning on marinara sauce and bow tie pasta
No matter what type of sauce that you use, be sure to add a little Italian seasoning to add fantastic flavor to your casserole.

Popcorn Chicken Parmesan Recipe

*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb. frozen popcorn chicken
  • 1/2 lb. bow-tie pasta
  • 12 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, more for serving if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and then lightly spray a 8 x 8 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Bring a pot of generously salted water to boil and cook pasta until “al dente” according to package directions. Drain and then place the pasta in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the chicken, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and all of the Parmesan cheese to the pasta and stir until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly around the edges and the cheese has melted and is beginning to turn light golden brown on top. 

5. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley if desired.

popcorn chicken parmesan casserole
Popcorn Chicken Parmesan is an easy to make dinner that is full of amazing flavor.

Make Ahead Option:

As an easy plan-ahead option, prepare the popcorn chicken parmesan as instructed, however do not bake it. Then, cover and place in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat, remove the casserole from the refrigerator before preheating the oven and then bake as instructed.

Storing Leftovers:

To store leftover popcorn chicken parmesan, let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. It will stay good for up to 4 days, however the breading on the chicken will be more moist when you reheat leftovers.

Reheating Leftovers:

When you want to enjoy your leftovers, you have the option to either heat your Popcorn Chicken Parmesan in the oven or microwave. 

For oven directions, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. 

When microwaving your leftovers, place your portion on a microwaveable safe plate and add a few drops of water to the plate. This helps to create steam and creates a more moist texture to the pasta. Cover and microwave for 60-90 seconds or until heated through.

Enjoy! Mary

OTHER EASY DINNER RECIPES

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To receive FREE recipes delivered directly to your email, be sure to sign up for the iCookfortwo newsletter. A sign up form is located in the middle of this article. If you have any questions, comments, or want to submit an idea for a recipe for two, feel free to email at mary@icookfortwo.com

popcorn chicken parmesan casserole

Popcorn Chicken Parmesan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

With just 6 ingredients you can make a delicious, comfort food meal with only 10 minutes of prep time required. Breaded popcorn chicken and bow-tie pasta tossed in marinara sauce and topped with cheese for an easy dinner recipe that makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. frozen popcorn chicken
  • 1/2 lb. bow-tie pasta
  • 12 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, more for serving if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 8 x 8 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of generously salted water to boil and cook pasta until "al dente" according to package directions. Drain and place the pasta in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chicken, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and all of the Parmesan cheese to the pasta and stir until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly around the edges and the cheese has melted and is beginning to turn light golden brown on top. 
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Sprinkle the top of Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • Use any variety of pasta that you prefer. Just be sure to cook it just until it is al' dente so that it holds up better when tossed with the other ingredients.
  • Feel free to substitute the marinara sauce with your favorite pizza or pasta sauce.
  • Serve with a piece of crusty bread and/or a side salad for a complete meal.

Make Ahead Option:

Prepare the casserole as instructed (but don't bake it) and then cover and place in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat, remove the casserole from the refrigerator before preheating the oven. Then bake as instructed.

Storing Leftovers:

Store leftovers in a closed container for up to 4 days.

Reheating Leftovers:

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Or place desired portion on a microwaveable safe plate and add 4-5 drops of water to the plate. Cover and microwave for 60-90 seconds or until heated through.

Recipe provided by iCookfortwo.com

Nutrition Information
Yield 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 434Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 66mgSodium 906mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 22g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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