A one-dish chicken Parmesan casserole with quinoa – all the ingredients get put in a casserole dish and baked – no need to pre-cook the chicken or quinoa!
Right after the husband and I came home from the hospital after having little Grey, my sister-in-law brought over dinner for us. It was chicken Parmesan and I still remember that meal. Best kind of comfort food right after having a baby, I’m telling you that! Not to mention my sister-in-law can cook and she can do it welllll.
This is probably completely crazy, but that was my first time having homemade chicken Parmesan. And as life-changing as it was, I still don’t make it that often. The reason? I
kind of really hate cooking chicken in a skillet. I know, crazy right. I don’t know what it is about cooking chicken in a skillet on the stove-top, but I drrread it.
So one of my favorite meals never gets made and, well, to be honest, the Olive Garden version has nothing on homemade chicken parm.
So I decided to make an easier chicken parm – one that required no skillet chicken cooking. You read that right – no need to pre-cook this chicken! It goes in the casserole and gets baked with everything else.
Not only is this an easier chicken parm, but also quite a bit healthier. Mainly because the base is quinoa, not pasta. And although chicken parm is usually served over a bed of pasta, I have to say, the quinoa is definitely my favorite! But y’all probably could have guessed that with the amount of quinoa that is featured here!
So after mixing the quinoa with the spaghetti sauce and water, it all gets put into the bottom of your casserole dish and the chicken just get’s laid on top. How simple is that? I should mention, the chicken gets “breaded” first, but no need for dredging the chicken in egg or anything – just toss all the little chicken tenderloins in a few ingredients that have been combined (bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and some seasonings).
Then you set it in the oven and forget about it. At least for about 30 minutes since it will need a good stir at about that time. Twenty-five minutes and some cheese + breading topping later and you’ve got yourself one heck of a delicious and healthy meal. All in one. single. casserole. dish.
Time to celebrate not having a sink full of dishes!!
- 1 jar (24 ounces) garlic and herb flavored spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs separated
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese separated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Optional: fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Combine the spaghetti sauce, quinoa, and chicken broth (or water) into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Slice the chicken into small tenderloins.
Combine 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Wet the chicken tenderloins (just in broth or water) and toss them in this mixture until all of the mixture is covering the chicken tenderloins.
Evenly place the chicken on top of the quinoa and spaghetti sauce mixture.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, stir everything together well, and return to the oven.
Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is absorbed in the liquid and the chicken is completely cooked through.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Return the casserole to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty on top.
Optionally garnish with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!
Some more casserole dinners:
Hawaiian Haystack Casserole