Our chicken parmesan recipe is your family’s favorite comfort food made easy: just cover crispy breaded chicken cutlets in molten cheese, smother them in marinara, and bake until everything is golden and bubbly.
This recipe is a classic Italian-American crowd-pleaser, but did you know that chicken parmigiana isn’t even a thing in the old country? The dish we know and love is based on traditional Italian eggplant Parmesan…
… but leave it to Americans to make it even more delicious and indulgent with pan-fried chicken (or veal) and plenty of melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. (We wouldn’t have it any other way.)
The key to the best chicken Parmesan recipe is the balance between the crispy coating on the chicken and all that saucy, cheesy goodness. We used panko because it’s crunchy enough to withstand getting sauced, and then we mixed some Parmesan cheese in with the breading to get cheesy flavor in every bite.
A lot of chicken Parm recipes tell you to put the lid on the skillet to melt that cheese — but what’s the point of getting your perfectly cooked chicken all soggy? Our secret to keeping it crispy is to take the whole skillet on a little trip to the oven, where we bake it until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is gooey.
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Serve your homemade chicken Parmesan on top of a pile of spaghetti or your favorite pasta — or between two slices of crusty bread for the best chicken Parm sandwich you’ve ever had.
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Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon milk or water
- 1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- ½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
- 12 ounces spaghetti pasta, cooked
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Here’s a tip for pounding the chicken flat without making a mess: place the chicken breast halves between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a resealable freezer bag) on a solid, level surface. Use the smooth side of a meat mallet (or a rolling pin) to pound the chicken into an even ½-inch thickness. Remove the plastic wrap and season the chicken with salt and ground black pepper.
- Set up your breading bowls: place the flour in a shallow dish and set it aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk (or water) until they’re well combined. On a plate (or another wide, shallow bowl), mix the breadcrumbs and ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
- One at a time, lightly dredge both sides of each chicken breast half in the flour, and shake off the excess. Dip each flour-covered chicken breast half in the beaten eggs. Flip them over to coat them completely in the egg wash and allow any excess to drip off. Transfer each chicken breast half to the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat process for the remaining chicken, and set all of it aside.
- Heat the butter and olive oil together in a large, oven safe skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot, add the breaded chicken breasts and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until they’re nice and golden brown.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and keep them warm. Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and heat through. Carefully add the chicken breasts back to the pan with the sauce, and top each one with slices of mozzarella cheese.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake the chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve on top of spaghetti.
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