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Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

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This easy chicken parmesan pasta has all of the delicious flavors of chicken parm, but without all the work and fuss. Chewy pasta is topped with cheesy chicken and marinara and finished off with crunchy breadcrumbs and parmesan for major comfort food that’s ready in 30 minutes. Serve with a simple veggie side like kale salad or a 5-minute Italian chopped salad.

If you love easy pasta dish recipes for weeknight dinners (which happens at least once a week at our house!), be sure to try my orecchiette with sausage10-minute pesto tortellinicreamy tomato pasta, or sheet pan pierogi dinner next time.

Plate with chicken parmesan pasta and fresh basil.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love About Chicken Parmesan Pasta

  • Delicious, comfort-food flavor
  • Best part of chicken parm, without the work and fuss
  • Easy to make
  • Chewy, tender, creamy, and crunchy textures
  • Just 5 minutes prep time
  • Just 25 minutes total time
  • Made with just 10 simple ingredients

Ingredients

  • Onion – Use a white or yellow onion.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic cloves for best flavor or frozen garlic for a quick and convenient shortcut.
  • Chicken – The recipe calls for chicken breast tenders as they are easier to cut up since part of it is already done, but any skinless and boneless chicken breast will work. You could also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Olive oil – Use a high quality cooking olive oil.
  • Pasta –  I love to use cavatappi pasta, but any similar shape will work. Alternatives like fusilli, farfalle, or even rigatoni are good alternatives as I know sometimes finding cavatappi can be tough.
  • Butter – Use high quality butter for best flavor.
  • Panko – Use panko breadcrumbs for the best crunch. Their larger, flatter shape gives them more surface area, more opportunity for browning, and more crunch!
  • Marinara sauce – Use high-quality marinara sauce for best flavor.
  • Mozzarella cheese – Use freshly shredded mozzarella cheese to make things easy.
  • Parmesan cheese – You can buy shredded Parmesan cheese or shred it yourself.
  • Toppings – olive oil, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes, fresh basil
Ingredients to make chicken parmesan pasta recipe.

How to Make Chicken Parmesan Pasta

This is an overview on how to make chicken Parmesan pasta, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep ingredients. Dice onion, mince garlic, and cut chicken into small pieces. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Cook chicken. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and chicken is cooked through.
Sauteed chicken in a skillet for chicken parm skillet meal.
Toast panko bread crumbs. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet and toast bread crumbs until golden brown.
Crunchy bread crumbs in skillet
Finish chicken. Stir in marinara sauce to chicken mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese.
Skillet with chicken, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
Serve. Place a serving of pasta onto a plate and top with chicken mixture, toasted bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and any extras to taste – I recommend a drizzle of good olive oil, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
Chicken parmesan being spooned over pasta.

FAQs

Can I use a different pasta shape?

You can use any shorter pasta for this chicken parm pasta. I love cavatappi, but bow-ties, penne pasta, or fusilli would also work well. Using a shorter pasta ensures that each bite has a bit of everything.

Can I add extra veggies?

Yes! Want to add extra veggies to this meal? While the onions are cooking, you can also add chopped mushrooms, chopped baby spinach or kale, or even chopped artichokes (canned).

Bowl of chicken parmesan skillet meal.

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover chicken parmesan pasta recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store breadcrumbs separately in an airtight container at room temperature.

How to reheat

Reheat chicken and pasta leftovers in the microwave or a hot skillet and top with bread crumbs.

Can you freeze chicken parmesan pasta?

You could freeze the chicken mixture in an airtight container for 1-2 months if you need to. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Plate of easy chicken parmesan skillet.

What to Serve with Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Chicken and pasta recipes like this one are best served with a simple veggie side or salad. Here are a few favorites to try:

How to Feed Parmesan Chicken Pasta to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the chicken mixture in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food and let everyone top their own pasta. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter if they don’t like pasta.

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Plate of chicken parmesan pasta with basil.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

If you like this chicken garlic parmesan pasta, you might also like some of these other easy pasta recipes:

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Bowl of chicken parmesan skillet meal.

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

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Description

The whole family will love this EASY chicken parmesan pasta. All the delicious flavor of chicken parm, without all the work or fuss.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. short pasta like cavatappi
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups high-quality marinara sauce (16 oz.)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Prepare ingredients:
    Dice onion.
    Mince garlic.
    Cut chicken into 1″ pieces and season with sea salt. (Using kitchen shears makes this quick!)
    Start boiling pasta water.
  2. Prepare pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, cook chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and chicken and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. (Turn down the heat to medium if things are browning.)
  4. While chicken is cooking, melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add panko bread crumbs. Stir frequently and cook until golden brown, removing from heat and transferring to a bowl immediately to stop cooking.
  5. When the chicken is cooked through, stir in marinara sauce. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir mozzarella cheese into chicken mixture.
  6. Place serving of pasta onto a plate and top with chicken mixture, toasted bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste. 

Notes

  • Make it creamy. If you want a super creamy chicken parm, drizzle in a bit of heavy cream right when you take it off the heat.
  • Panko bread crumbs. Definitely use panko for this recipe and not regular breadcrumbs! They don’t toast up as well. You can find them in the breadcrumb or asian section. 

Keywords: chicken parmesan pasta, chicken parmesan pasta recipe, parmesan garlic chicken pasta

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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