This Easy Chicken Parmesan recipe is your next date night at home meal! Crispy chicken breasts topped with tangy tomato sauce and cheese baked until golden and bubbly. It's your favorite restaurant dish, made at home in simple steps. Use the how to video below to help you!
Easy Chicken Parm
Hello, Friday date night! I'm a big proponent of the at-home date night. You can spend a ridiculous amount of time on the first bottle of wine while leisurely cooking for each other. I love to divide and conquer the chopping of vegetables or the steps of a recipe. Easy chicken parmesan is a great meal to cook together with your partner.
I don't know a single person that doesn't love chicken Parmesan. Crispy chicken topped with a tangy tomato sauce and creamy cheese is just something that can't be beat.
What is Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken Parmesan is an Italian-American dish that consists of a thin chicken cutlet coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown. It is typically served over spaghetti with a marinara sauce and a few slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Easy Chicken Parmesan method:
I've made a lot of chicken Parmesan in my day. I've tried all sorts of coatings (fresh bread crumbs, stale/toasted bread crumbs, onion focaccia), and I've opened a jar of store-bought marinara more times than I've made a sauce from scratch. It's one of those dishes that almost doesn't require a recipe once you know the method. But, when you follow a recipe that works, you'll get great results every time.
This easy chicken parmesan recipe below is meant to be a starting place if you've never made the dish before. Once you've nailed it, feel free to make substitutions. You can double or triple this recipe to feed a crowd.
Whatever you do, do not skip the step of adding Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs! This gives the chicken crust a crisp, cheesy flavor that makes this recipe better than any other recipe!
Ingredients for Chicken Parmesan
For the quick tomato sauce:
- Canned Tomatoes. One 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes. Alternatively, you can buy crushed tomatoes.
- Olive Oil. Extra virgin olive oil isn’t necessary here because we’re cooking with it--save the extra virigin for salad dressings.
- Garlic. Two cloves of fresh garlic, minced. You can use 1 teaspoon of dried garlic granules if you don’t have fresh.
- Basil. Two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil brings so much anise-like green freshness to the sauce. Dried basil just isn’t the same, but you can use ½ teaspoon in place of the fresh, if you need to.
- Sugar. The smallest amount of sugar can balance the acidity in a tomato sauce, especially one made with San Marzano tomatoes, which are known for their bright acidity. This is optional--taste your sauce and decide if it needs sweetness.
For the chicken and pasta:
- Flour. Regular all-purpose flour.
- Egg. One large egg is enough for this recipe because we’re only making two thin chicken cutlets, but you can scale up as needed.
- Breadcrumbs. Instead of traditional Italian breadcrumbs which are very finely ground, reach for Panko breadcrumbs. They are much larger, and their coarse texture makes a superior crunchy crust.
- Parmesan Cheese. For an extra golden brown crust, I always stir some grated Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs.
- Chicken. Two 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat and pounded mostly flat.
- Oil. Neutral oil for frying the chicken--regular olive oil or vegetable oil are both fine. Use any oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor so that it doesn’t contribute to the overall flavor of the final dish.
- Mozzarella. The best Chicken Parmesan is made with fresh mozzarella because it is so creamy! But, I definitely grew up on the sliced regular mozzarella from the dairy section. Use whatever you prefer, but try it with fresh just once.
- Basil. Fresh basil is optional but so delicious here.
- Spaghetti. I like to serve my chicken over spaghetti noodles mixed with the rest of the tomato sauce.
How to make Chicken Parmesan:
First, make a simple tomato sauce: pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 6 pulses. You can also skip this and use a jar of your favorite pasta sauce instead!
Next, saute the garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skille before stirring in the tomatoe. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in the basil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
Now, make the chicken: turn the broiler to high and place the rack 4-inches from the heating element. Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Beat the egg in a second shallow dish. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan in a third shallow dish.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breaset in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
Heat the oil in a 10" large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Gently lay the chicken in the oil, and cook until golden brown on each side and the chicken registers 160 degrees (about 4-6 minutes per side).
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Divide the cheese over the chicken, and broil until the cheese melts.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta in boiling water, and toss with tomato sauce.
Serve each chicken parmesan cutlet with extra tomato sauce on top and the pasta on the side.
Best Chicken Parmesan Recipe Tips
- Chicken - You can use one large chicken breast that you cut butterfly into two cutlets, or you can buy chicken cutlets already sliced at the grocery store.
- Breadcrumbs - I think we all grew up on finely ground Italian breadcrumbs that were seasoned with Italian herbs. Not to knock them too much, but Panko is just so much better if you want a big crunch in your crust.
- Parmesan - While Parmesan isn’t traditional in the breadcrumb coating, it makes the best crust on the chicken when it browns in the pan!
What goes good with Chicken Parmesan?
I serve this over pasta mixed with the rest of the tomato sauce and a side salad.
How to Store this Chicken Parmesan Recipe
Store the chicken separately from the pasta in food storage containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to reheat Easy Chicken Parmesan
Reheat the pasta in the microwave until warm, and reheat the chicken in the air fryer or oven to maintain its crisp crust.
Best Chicken Parmesan Recipe FAQs
How do you get breading to stick to chicken parmesan?
The best way to get crust to stick to chicken is to coat the chicken in flour first. Then, dip in beaten egg to give the chicken enough moisture to make the breading stick to chicken parmesan.
How to flatten chicken breast for chicken parmesan?
If your chicken breasts are an uneven thickness, it is best to make them even before cooking, so that they cook evenly. Place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board, and use a meat mallet to gently flatten it.
What can I use if I don't have breadcrumbs for chicken parmesan?
You can use Panko breadcrumbs, or you can toast a few slices of bread in the toaster or air fryer. Grind the bread into crumbs and proceed.
Why is my chicken parmesan tough?
Chicken is always tough when it is overcooked. Lower the heat and use a meat thermometer to remove it when it is perfectly cooked, keeping in mind that food temperature continues to rise a bit when it is removed from the pan.
More like this Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe:
Quick tomato sauce:
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
For the chicken and spaghetti:
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 ounces whole-milk fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves
- 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- First, make the sauce: pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground, 6-8 pulses. Next, saute the garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet until fragrant but not burned, about 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in the basil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
- For the chicken and spaghetti: adjust an oven rack to be 4 inches from the broiling element. Turn the broiler to high.
- Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Beat the egg in a second shallow dish. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan in a third shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breaset in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
- Heat the oil in a 10" large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Gently lay the chicken in the oil, and cook until golden brown on each side and the chicken registers 160 degrees (about 4-6 minutes per side). Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet.
- Divide the cheese over the chicken, and broil until the cheese melts. Serve with the tomato sauce.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in ample boiling water, and toss with tomato sauce before serving on the side.
You can skip the quick tomato sauce and use a jar of your favorite pasta sauce instead!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1509Total Fat: 76gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 58gCholesterol: 311mgSodium: 1290mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 9gSugar: 17gProtein: 99g