Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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My family loves all things Italian…particularly food.  I am always looking for new ways to re-invent family favorites.  One evening as I was trying to figure out what to cook for my family, and I had an idea…what if I try to turn Chicken Parmesan into a casserole and voila … Chicken Parmesan Casserole.  But just how to do that was another story.

I didn’t want to take the time to defrost chicken so precooked chicken was my best bet.  I’m always amazed at the many ways to repurpose a rotisserie chicken.  My idea for this casserole seemed like a perfect time to use this precooked and readily available source of protein.

I was brought back to a dish that I fell in love with many years ago.  Our local mall had a restaurant called “The Brick Oven” and one of their signature dishes was Chicken Fromage.  It was made with layers of pasta, chicken, sauce and cheese, and it was delicious.

Off to the grocery store I went for a few basic ingredients.  All I had to buy was a rotisserie chicken and Parmesan cheese because all the other ingredients were in my fridge and panty.  I created layers using thinly sliced yellow squash instead of pasta, but you could use eggplant, zucchini or even lasagna noodles.  I also used good quality store-bought marinara sauce that didn’t have added sugar, but you could easily make your own from scratch.

Making the layers with veggies and sauce seemed like it would be a juicy challenge so I sweated my squash and cooked the pepper and onion mixture till most of the moisture had evaporated.  That seemed to provide delicious layers that weren’t watery.

I served this to my family with a salad for a complete meal.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/6 recipe

Gather

2 yellow squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 large or 2 small cloves minced garlic (about 1.5 teaspoons)
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and large cubed
1 jar pasta sauce (I like marinara for this recipe.)
4 ounces grated Parmesan
4 ounces shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup Italian panko bread crumbs
Fresh basil for garnish

Step by Step

    Preparation: Thinly slice yellow squash using a mandolin. Place slices in single layer on a layer of paper towels on a baking pan. Lightly sprinkle with salt to begin the sweating process. It is a good idea to allow the squash to sweat for at least 15 minutes. Set aside. Carefully dry the squash before using in the recipe.
  1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook the bell pepper, onion and garlic making sure to season lightly with salt to help draw the moisture out. Cook for about 5 minutes or until
  2. softened and moisture begins to evaporate. Set aside.
  3. Debone the chicken and dice the meat into large cubes. Set aside.
  4. Lightly spray non-stick spray into an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking dish.
  5. Assembly:
  6. Place ½ of the chicken in the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Top with ½ of the pepper, onion and garlic mixture.
  8. Drop 1/3 of the pasta sauce over the chicken.
  9. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Parmesan, mozzarella and panko bread crumbs over the top.
  10. Top the entire surface with ½ of the squash.
  11. Repeat above steps.
  12. Press down on the squash to compress just a little.
  13. Spread the remaining pasta sauce over the squash.
  14. Top with remaining cheeses and bread crumbs.
  15. Cover with foil sprayed with non-stick spray.
  16. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.
  17. Remove foil and continue to bake for 15-20 more minutes.
  18. Remove from oven and let rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting.
  19. Top with torn basil leaves and serve with extra Parmesan and crushed red pepper.

Nutrition

WW PP 6; Calories 289; Total Fat 7.8g12%Saturated Fat 3.0g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Cholesterol 94mg; Sodium 860mg; Potassium 429mg; Total Carbohydrates 20.0g; Dietary Fiber 3.1g; Sugars 7.9g; Protein 35.2g

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