Crispy, golden brown chicken cutlets are pan-fried, baked in the oven, and then smothered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese! Pair this classic Chicken Parmesan recipe with a big plate of spaghetti, a Caesar salad, and a loaf of homemade garlic bread for an easy, family-friendly dinner!
Classic Chicken Parmesan Recipe
There's no need to pay for takeout from the local Italian restaurant when you can easily and affordably make delicious breaded Chicken Parmesan from the cozy comfort of your own kitchen! Also known as Chicken Parmigiana or Chicken Parm (for short), this classic Italian-American dish consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and cheese. It's often paired with pasta, but might also be served in sandwiches. Chicken Parmesan has been a staple in Italian restaurants throughout the United States since the 1950s, and is now a popular meal for families to make at home, too.
Chicken cutlets (or thinly-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts) work best for a homemade Chicken Parmesan recipe. The thin chicken cutlets cook quickly, which means that the breading doesn't burn or get too dark before the meat is done.
Chicken cutlets are really just thin pieces of boneless chicken that have been cut from a thick breast or pounded flat. I typically purchase thinly-sliced chicken breasts or "chicken cutlets" at the grocery store to save some time on the prep work. If you prefer, you can make your own chicken cutlets by pounding chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness.
This dish includes two different types of cheese -- grated Parmesan in the breading mixture, and shredded mozzarella on top. I use the basic pre-grated Parmesan cheese that comes in a can for ease, but you can certainly use freshly-grated Parmesan from a wedge if you prefer. I also just grab a bag of pre-shredded mozzarella as a shortcut, but sliced fresh mozzarella or slices of provolone cheese would also work really well on top.
How to Make Chicken Parmesan from Scratch
This easy dinner only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on prep and is ready for the table from start-to-finish in less than 1 hour. Serve up the flavorful Italian-inspired dish for a hearty, cozy, family-friendly meal any night of the week.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt, garlic salt and pepper
- Italian-style breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Bread the chicken cutlets.
- Pan-fry the breaded chicken cutlets in a large skillet for about 3 minutes per side.
- Bake the chicken in a 400° F oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
- Add marinara sauce and mozzarella on top of the chicken.
- Return to the oven for about 2 more minutes, or just until the cheese melts.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Serving Suggestions
Serve the golden brown, crispy breaded chicken cutlets on a bed of pasta with extra marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. The chicken, sauce and mozzarella is also great when served on a toasted hoagie roll as a Chicken Parm sandwich, or with mashed potatoes. For a lighter option, pair the Chicken Parmesan with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash in lieu of pasta.
Leftover Chicken Parmesan will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but it does tend to get soggy as it sits. The fully-cooked chicken can also be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Again, it tends to get soggy, so this is not ideal.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the Chicken Parmesan on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, cover loosely with foil, and warm in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Tips for the Best Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- If your chicken breasts are particularly large, cut them in half lengthwise before pounding them into flat cutlets.
- For a shortcut, look for "chicken cutlets" or "thinly-sliced chicken breasts" in the meat department at your grocery store. This will allow you to skip the step of pounding the meat flat.
- If you don't have Italian-style bread crumbs, use plain bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs and season them yourself with Italian herbs -- such as dried parsley, basil and oregano.
- Pick a high-quality store-bought marinara sauce (we like Rao's brand) or make your own using this easy recipe.
- Instead of packaged, shredded mozzarella, use sliced fresh mozzarella on top of the chicken.
- Garnish the finished dish with extra Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
More Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipes to Try
- Baked Chicken Parmesan (no breading)
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken (just 3 ingredients)
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole (a shortcut dinner)
- Baked Smothered Parmesan Chicken (just dump-and-go)
- Chicken Parmesan Sliders (party-friendly fare)
Easy Chicken Parmesan
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ lbs. total)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or basil; squeeze of fresh lemon juice; extra Parmesan cheese
- Optional, for serving: cooked pasta and additional marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- If your chicken breasts are particularly thick and large, cut them in half lengthwise. Working with one chicken breast at a time, place the chicken in between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to ¼-inch thickness. Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl and season the flour with salt and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, combine eggs and garlic salt. In a third shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, lightly coat both sides of the chicken with the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the chicken in the egg, shake again, and then coat with the Parmesan breadcrumbs.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of the chicken and cook until the coating is crispy and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 chicken breasts.
- Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165° F, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and spoon marinara sauce on top of each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella and return to the oven until the cheese melts, about 2 more minutes.