Chicken and Penne Parmesan Casserole

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Home-cooked casseroles can be healthy, too!

There is something about a warm, gooey pasta casserole that sparks cravings and makes you want to dig right in. While your oven cranks up the warmth and the perfume of home cooking permeates the house, you get the sense that wholesome, home-cooked meals are the best way to nourish yourself and your family. This chicken and penne parmesan casserole has loads of flavor, but is low in excess fat and calories. And did we mention the applause you’ll receive when you bring this dish to the table?

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Chicken and Penne Parmesan Casserole

Low in fat and high in protein, this home-cooked casserole is full of wholesome ingredients that will have everyone running to the dinner table.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce jar, no sugar added, store bought or homemade
  • 12 ounces whole-grain penne uncooked (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan freshly grated, divided
  • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley coarsely chopped, loosely packed or garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Boil a pot of salted water for the pasta and cook according to package directions, until the pasta is al dente.
  • Over medium heat, in a skillet, cook the ground poultry for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add all of the marinara sauce and stir.
  • Mix the drained pasta with the sauce,1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the mozzarella cheese. Transfer the pasta to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray or greased with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top of the pasta then drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a golden crust forms on top.
  • Let it rest for about 5 - 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley just prior to serving, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 156mg | Fiber: 5g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Diabetic-Friendly, Kid-Friendly

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Mozzarella and Penne Pasta Bake

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15 Pasta Dishes That Won’t Pack on the Pounds

5 Healthy Pasta Combinations to Try

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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

More by Rowena

11 Comments

    1. Stephanie, Add the sauce to the ground meat when it is done cooking, then add the meat sauce to the casserole with the cheese as directed.

  1. Skinny Ms
    I have Italian Seasoned ground chicken, do you think this would be over kill using an already seasoned sauce. Thanks

  2. I’ve made this several times and am bringing it to a family as a dinner. How far in advance can I make this? Can it stay in the fridge for 24 hours before baking?

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