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This is the best, crispiest chicken Parmesan ever! It’s the perfect combination of juicy chicken with a crunchy coating, melty mozzarella, and zingy Parmesan, topped with tangy marinara sauce.  In this recipe the cheeses are melted right onto the crispy chicken cutlets, and then the sauce is spooned right on the top. The chicken stays perfectly crispy, not at all soggy.

All you need to round out the meal is a nice green salad like the Kale Crunch Salad.

two plates of Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmesan vs. Chicken Parmigiana

What’s the difference? Nothing, just the name. Parmigiana is Italian, and Parmesan is the American way of saying Parmigiana, which actually apparently comes from the French simplification of the work Parmigiana. And many of us know it affectionately as Chicken Parm. Either way it’s a beloved Italian-American staple.

Chicken Parmigiana Origins

It is believed that Chicken Parmesan actually originated as a twist on Eggplant Parmigiana, popular in Southern Italy, where lots of eggplant is grown. Eggplant Parmigiana is fried slices of eggplant topped or layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked . In the mid 1900s Italian immigrants living in America (and other places in the world) decided to try chicken in place of the eggplant, and this Italian-American classic was born.

Chicken Parmigiana on a plate with a colorful rim served over spaghetti

Ingredients

  • Olive oil – the base of the sauce and also used to pan fry the breaded chicken breasts
  • Minced garlic – it’s hard to imagine an Italian tomato sauce based dish without garlic! Use fresh if at all possible.
  • Crushed tomatoes – you can use a can of pre-crushed tomatoes, or puree or chop up whole canned tomatoes
  • Dried oregano and basil
  • Pinch of sugar – balances out the acidity in the tomatoes
  • All-purpose flour – this is used in the first step of dredging the cutlets, and helps the egg adhere to the chicken,
  • Eggs – after the chicken breasts are dredged in the flour, they are coated with beaten egg, which then allows the bread crumbs to stick to the chicken
  • Panko bread crumbs – this makes the chicken cutlets get nice and crunchy.
  • Parmesan cheese – put the Parmesan in chicken Parmesan!
  • Boneless skinless chicken cutlets – you can either buy thin sliced cutlets or slice regular chicken breasts horizontally into two thinner cutlets.
  • Mozzarella cheese – use fresh if possible
  • Pasta – you don’t have to serve the chicken Parm with hot cooked pasta, but it’s a classic accompaniment! Pick a long skinny noodle like spaghetti or angel hair.

Cooking Tips

  • In this recipe the cheese is melted directly onto the breaded and browned cutlets. Then they are baked to finish cooking the chicken and melt the mozzarella. After, the sauce is spooned over so the chicken stays nice and crispy, not at all soggy.
  • If you don’t feel like making the marinara sauce, don’t you worry yourself about that for a minute.  That is in fact what jarred sauce is for: to make life easier.  If homemade sauce stands between you and Chicken Parmigiana, that would be a crime.
  • Start the pasta while you are browning the chicken breasts. It should be ready to drain and sauce when you are finishing the chicken under the broiler.
  • Using a wire rack on top of the baking sheet allows air to circulate under the chicken so that is is crispy top and bottom.

Chicken Parmigiana (or Chicken Parmesan) is total comfort food…and this recipe has a little twist to keep the chicken crispy!

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Chicken Parmesan being cut on a plate

Chicken Parmigiana (or Chicken Parmesan, depending on how authentic you are feeling!) is one of the world’s greatest comfort foods…and this recipe has a little twist to keep the chicken crispy!

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How to Make Chicken Parmigiana

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet.
  2. Make the sauce. in a medium saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds until it starts to turn golden, then add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bread the chicken cutlets. Set up the flour, beaten eggs and Panko Parmesan in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then dip it into the eggs, then coat with the Panko.  As you finish, place the breaded cutlets on the wire rack.
  4. Brown the chicken. Cook the chicken cutlets for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is browned and crispy and cooked through. Return the cooked chicken to a clean wire rack on the baking sheet. 
  5. Broil the chicken. Sprinkle the mozzarella and a bit of Parmesan over each breast.  Broil for about 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Make the pasta. Sauce the hot pasta with the warm tomato sauce, reserving about 1 cup.
  7. Serve. Top the pasta with the chicken, and drizzle the remaining sauce over the cutlets.
A piece of Chicken Parmigiana sliced with a fork on a plate with a colorful border.

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan:

A salad!

Chicken Parmigiana served over spaghetti on two dinner plates with extra sauce on the side, and Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

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Chicken Parmigiana

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 People
One of the world’s greatest comfort foods…and this recipe has a little twist to keep the chicken crispy!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided if needed
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken cutlets about 3 ounces each, ½ to ¾-inch thick
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese preferably fresh
  • ½ pound hot cooked spaghetti or other long skinny pasta

Instructions 

  • Preheat the broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet.
  • To make the sauce: in a medium saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds until it starts to turn golden, then add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bread the chicken cutlets. Place the flour in another shallow bowl. Beat the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl. Place the Panko and 1/2 cup Parmesan in another shallow bowl. 
  • Place each chicken cutlet in the bowl with the flour and press it so that the flour coats the cutlets. Transfer it to the bowl with the eggs, and turn so it is coated with the egg mixture, then make sure any excess egg is allowed to drip back into the bowl — tongs are helpful for this. Transfer the chicken to the Panko bowl and turn to coat, pressing gently onto the cutlet so that the crumbs adhere. Place the breaded cutlets on the wire rack as they are finished, and let them rest for at least 5 minutes so the coating dries out a bit and will stick to the chicken as it cooks.
  • Heat half the oil over medium heat in the largest skillet you own and add as chicken, as many pieces as will fit without crowding, cooking it for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the exterior is nicely browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Return the cooked chicken to a clean wire rack on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the breaded cutlets adding more oil as needed, until all of the chicken is browned.
  • Sprinkle over about 3 tablespoons of mozzarella and a heaping teaspoon of Parmesan over each breast. Broil for about 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned in some spots.
  • Meanwhile toss the hot pasta with 2 cups of warm tomato sauce, reserving about 1 cup. Divide the pasta between 4 plates. Place two pieces of chicken on top of each plate of pasta, and drizzle the remaining sauce over the cutlets.

Notes

    • You can either buy thin sliced cutlets or slice regular chicken breasts horizontally into two thinner cutlets.
    • In this recipe the cheese is melted directly onto the breaded and browned cutlets. Then they are baked to finish cooking the chicken and melt the mozzarella. After, the sauce is spooned over so the chicken stays nice and crispy, not at all soggy.
    • If you don’t feel like making the marinara sauce, don’t you worry yourself about that for a minute.  That is in fact what jarred sauce is for: to make life easier.  If homemade sauce stands between you and Chicken Parmigiana, that would be a crime.
    • Start the pasta while you are browning the chicken breasts. It should be ready to drain and sauce when you are finishing the chicken under the broiler.
    • Using a wire rack on top of the baking sheet allows air to circulate under the chicken so that is is crispy top and bottom.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 1048kcal, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 72g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 287mg, Sodium: 1059mg, Potassium: 933mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 729IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 582mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. This is very good. The recipe makes it sound like you make a sauce AND need several cups of another sauce. Might want to clarify that.

  2. On the chicken Parmesan recipe, you need to specify after the chicken is cooked and is put back on the cooling rack, that it is NOT put back on the same cooling rack that the raw chicken was resting on. I know it is common sense not to do that, but I have been in the profession of feeding hundreds of people every day, and have realized common sense isn’t always used.

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