Friday, February 8, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

I am obsessed- I repeat- OBSESSED- with this meal. When I saw it in a recap post on Cassie's blog recently I thought "Hmm... interesting..." because I have a big bag of Trader Joe's chicken tenders in my freezer that are just sitting there. I bought them with the intention of giving them to Landon but he seems to have missed the memo that children like breaded chicken products and tends to snub my offerings. So there the bag sat- untouched. I never put this meal on my menu but kept thinking of it, so one day when I didn't feel like cooking my original meal and I made this and was in for a pleasant surprise. Part of the amazingness was Trader Joe's chicken tenders. If you've never had them they are perfect. The breading is so thick and crisp, and the chicken is all white meat and real since it's from Trader Joe's. They added a lot to the dish. However, as a chicken parmesan lover I just thought this dinner was perfect. I used far less cheese than the recipe calls for because I wanted it to lightly coat the dish and not turn it into a cheesy pasta (I know, who am I??) Overall this is one of my favorite meals of recent history, and really, it's not revolutionary or anything, it's just delicious.

Source: Adapted from Cassie Craves

1/2 pound breaded chicken tenders, heated and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jar of your favorite sauce, or equivalent of homemade
Italian seasoning to taste
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 pound penne or other short pasta

1- Cook pasta according to packaging directions, and set aside.
2- Meanwhile, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is softened. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds, then stir in the spaghetti sauce. Add Italian seasoning and additional salt and pepper to taste.
3- Combine pasta, chicken pieces, sauce, and stir until everything is evenly heated. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover, and let sit over a low flame until it melts. Serve hot.


  1. It makes me so happy to read this! I'm so glad you liked this. It is definitely a favorite in our house. And you're right, it's a great use-up for chicken tenders!

  2. I feel like this would be a huge hit with my husband! Love that it is an easy recipe too!

  3. My mom made this it's soooo yummy

  4. Made this for my husband for dinner tonight and he really enjoyed it. We used popcorn chicken so there was one less thing to cut!

  5. What a great idea for a quick and easy meal for a busy night! I always seem to have half a bag of tenders (breaded and grilled) lefover in the freezer, never quite enough for everyone as a "meat" to a meal. Pinning this one!

  6. This was great, Steph! Definitely going to be put on our "repeat" list :)