*This Easy Chicken Parmesan Casserole is one of the easiest casserole recipes ever. Zero precooking because the chicken cooks inside the casserole! A perfect dish to prep ahead of time and stick in the oven an hour before dinner. You just layer and bake when ready! One of our ALL time favorite Italian recipes. SO GOOD! We make it all the time!
5-ounce package of garlic croutons
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper (a light sprinking)
2 pounds chicken tenders (or breasts cut into strips)
5-6 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)
2 cups of tomato sauce (jarred or your favorite recipe)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Prep oven and croutons: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place garlic croutons in a plastic bag and beat with a meat hammer or heavy object until they’ve been crushed into smaller pieces. Do not beat these babies into breadcrumbs. But do break down any large, chunky pieces into smaller bits. Set aside.
Toss chicken with oil and spices: In a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish, drizzle the olive oil. Add the chicken tenders, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the oil and spices. Spread the fresh basil on top of the chicken.
Add sauce and pre-bake: Pour the tomato sauce on top of the chicken, distributing evenly. Slide into a pre-heated 350º F. oven for 30 minutes. Remove. Do not turn off oven!
Add layers of cheese, croutons & cheese: Spread half of the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the sauce. Next sprinkle all of the crushed croutons onto the sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of the remainder of the two cheeses.
After pre-baking, layer on half of the cheese…
Now add the crushed croutons….
Finally, add the rest of the cheese…
Final bake: Return the pan to your 350 degree F. oven for another 25 to 30 minutes. Casserole is done when all of the cheese is well melted. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares or spooning onto plates.