Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheater Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Yesterday I took the kiddos on our weekly grocery shopping trip. Costco, Trader Joes, and Super Target were graced with our company far longer than I think they hoped or wanted. I had a 9 year old gabbing on and on about her top 10 list for why Jacob is so "hot", not that she even gets what "hot" means, but just to press her point that she is "totally team Jacob". Oh mercy, I am in trouble. I had a 5 year old who thinks all things are for climbing, scaling, balancing on, flipping over, and doing complicated poses in precarious places. I think the Olympics have gone to her head....even though these are the winter Olympics. Ok, I think I am just trying to make myself feel better that she is a wild jungle cat who frequently hisses at people. Not to be topped, my 3 year old was oh-so good at being 3, like crazy overachieving, gold medal good. Screeching, singing "Chuggington" at the top of his lungs, pulling his sister's hair, and perfecting his back seat (cart) driving technique. It made for a very long, exhausting afternoon.
This is one of those tasty quick and easy recipes for those days. Heck it is tasty, quick and easy for any day! You can make 10 of them as easily as 2. As a total bonus, since these look like giant chicken nuggets and my incredibly picky 3-year old gobbles them up. You can call this semi-homemade, almost home-made, I touched it therefore I cooked it, or, as I do, a cheater recipe. It also goes VERY well with the 1/2 bottle of wine I consumed after a day like that, haha!
Here we go!

8 fully cooked breaded chicken breast patties. I used the Tyson brand bag from Costco.
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce. I used Trader Joes Tomato Basil Marinara.
1 box of your choice of pasta. I used Barilla Spaghetti noodles.
1 bag pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 TBSP Garlic Bread Sprinkle. I used the McCormick, but Johnny's has a really good one too.
3 TBSP butter, cubed
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While oven is pre-heating, get a pot of water boiling for your pasta. Bake your chicken patties for 15 minutes. While your chicken is cooking, salt your pasta water and get your noodles cooking. While those 2 things are going, warm up your marinara sauce.
When chicken is done, turn on your broiler. Top each piece of chicken with a spoonful of sauce, spread to cover entire top, then add shredded mozzarella cheese (enough to cover) and a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler to get top melted and slightly browned. Keep a close eye so it doesn't burn.
When pasta is done, drain off the water and add butter and olive oil to coat pasta, add garlic bread sprinkle and remaining Parmesan cheese. Toss together to get all noddles coated. Add a couple of grinds of pepper to finish off.
Serve the chicken with pasta and extra marinara sauce. Round out the meal with some crusty bread and a salad. Enjoy!


  1. Made this for my family a couple of weeks ago and loved it! The only ingredient I didn't have on hand was the garlic bread sprinkle. I almost just left it out but thought better of it and made a special trip to the store for to pick some up. So glad I did! This dish was fabulous and so very tasty! My meat and potato eater husband loved it and the flavor added by the garlic and parmesan mix was wonderful. Can't wait to make it again!

  2. I am so glad you liked it Vava! Yeah! Hope you are feeling well and enjoying your weekend! xoxo

  3. Adding this to the grocery list for next week! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. This is real food, for real moms, who are real busy! ;0) Thank you!

  4. Thank you Nikki! I appreciate you stopping by my little piece of planet blog, lol!