chicken parm baked ziti

dinner main course pasta recipes

This chicken parm baked ziti recipe came about by accident. I had a friend coming over to watch the Bachelor, and I needed to whip up a quick dinner. I had some leftover shredded chicken in the refrigerator, marinara, and a lot of cheese. The rest was history!

chicken parm baked ziti

Everything that you love about chicken parmesan, in a baked pasta dish!

course Main Course
cuisine Italian
keyword cheese, chicken, easy recipe, pasta, shredded chicken
prep time 5 minutes
cook time 50 minutes
total time 55 minutes


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 c marinara *
  • 1 lb short cut pasta like ziti, penne, or rigatoni
  • 1 15 oz containter ricotta
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/8 c grated parmesan
  • torn basil leaves for garnish


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pour marinara in a pot and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred, and mix back into the marinara.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. You want it to be extra al dente, because the pasta is going to continue to cook in the sauce while it bakes.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining and add it to the pot with the marinara. Place the drained pasta, reserved pasta water, marinara, shredded chicken, ricotta, and mozzarella in a large bowl. Mix until well incorporated, and taste for seasoning. Be careful not to oversalt- the sauce is going to reduce a little bit when it bakes.
  6. Transfer pasta mixture to a greased 11 x 17 or 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and bubbling.
  8. Remove from oven and top with torn basil.

recipe notes

*If you don’t have time to make your own marinara, my favorite jarred sauce is Barilla.