Cheesy Chicken Parm Pasta

After what feels like 600 years of winter, it’s finally starting to get warm out. With that said, those hearty, hot dinners will have to be put on the back burner until it starts to get cool out again. I decided to squeeze in one last hearty meal before the spring weather hits for good, and that’s where this pasta bake comes in. It highlights two comfort food favorites: Chicken parm and cheesy pasta.

There are a few ways to make this dish even more simple than it already is. You can purchase pre-cooked chicken at the grocery store as well as jarred tomato sauce. By not having to cook these items, you save yourself a ton of time. Of course, if you want to cook your own chicken and make your own sauce, more power to you.

1 box penne pasta
2 cups shredded chicken (about 3 cutlets)
Olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella
3 cups tomato sauce

Heat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to box instructions. Cook chicken cutlets on medium in a small amount of olive oil until cooked to 165 (about 4 minutes on each side). Shred into 2 cups’ worth of chicken and set aside. Sauté onion and garlic in a small pan with a bit of olive oil on medium-low for about five minutes, or until softened. In a large, oven-safe dish, add half of pasta, half of chicken, half of onions and garlic, half of ricotta, half of sauce, then half of mozzarella, and repeat with remaining half to create two layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit for five minutes, then serve.

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