Baked Ziti with Chicken Parmesan is such a comforting baked chicken pasta dish. Crispy chicken in a delicious tomato sauce, married up with tender ziti and smothered in melty mozzarella, filling and delicious.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, season chicken tenders with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the breadcrumbs and ¼ cup parmesan cheese to a small plate. Mix together. Add flour to another small plate. Crack egg into a small bowl and whisk with one tablespoon of water.
Dredge chicken tender in flour. Pat any excess off. Dredge in egg, let any excess drip off. Coat in breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
Heat a large skillet to a medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, add chicken tenders. Cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan when done and let cool slightly. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
While the chicken cooks, drop the ziti into the pasta water. Cook until just UNDER aldente. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water and then drain the noodles. Add the pasta back to the pot along with the jarred marinara and pasta water. Stir to combine.
To assemble: Spoon half of the ziti in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half of the diced chicken. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Cover with remaining pasta and sauce, followed by remaining chicken, then mozzarella, and finally the remainder of the grated parmesan.
Bake in the oven until hot and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Serve right away.
Make sure to grease your baking dish.
Generously salt your pasta water, it's the only time you'll get to season your pasta.
Stir your pasta right after you drop it in the water. This stops the pasta from sticking together, or to the bottom of the pot.
If you have leftovers, cover tightly or place in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. It will stay good for 4-5 days.