Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Crispy, golden brown chicken cutlets are pan-fried, baked in the oven, and then smothered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese! Pair this easy chicken parmesan recipe with pasta, a Caesar salad, and a loaf of homemade garlic bread, or tuck the chicken inside hoagie rolls for chicken Parm subs.

Fork in a bowl of easy chicken parmesan on top of spaghetti.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make This Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe | 2-Minute Video
  2. Why You’ll Love This Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. The Directions
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Storage Tips
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Recipe Variations
  9. Expert Tips
  10. Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe Recipe

If you’re looking for other delicious chicken recipes, be sure to try this dump-and-bake tuscan chicken pasta, braised chicken thighs with gravy, dump-and-bake chicken tzatziki with rice, and this crispy oven fried chicken breast, too!

How to Make This Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe | 2-Minute Video

There’s no need to pay for takeout from the local Italian restaurant for dinner tonight 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.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy. The chicken cutlets are quickly pan-fried for maximum crisping and browning, and then finished in the oven. That means that the actual hands-on prep time is minimal, and the oven does the rest of the work! We’re also taking advantage of store-bought shortcut ingredients like chicken cutlets, pre-shredded cheeses, store-bought tomato sauce, and store-bought breadcrumbs. Take the help wherever you can get it!
  • Affordable. Our recipe requires just a handful of simple, easy-to-find ingredients, making this a hearty and satisfying dinner that won’t break the bank.
  • Versatile. Serve the chicken parm on hoagie rolls, offer them with pasta, or keep it light with a crisp green salad. This is one of those great meals that works for everyone at the table!
Overhead shot of an easy chicken parmesan recipe on a wooden table with salad and garlic bread.

The Chicken

Chicken cutlets (or thinly-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts) work best for this baked 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. The uniform chicken also cooks more evenly than the thick, large boneless skinless breasts that you can purchase at a grocery store.

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.​​​​​​​

Pounding chicken cutlets flat.

The Cheese

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.

Dredging chicken cutlets in breadcrumbs.

The Pasta

Chicken Parmesan pasta is a classic Italian dish! You’ll typically see the breaded meat paired with spaghetti, but it works well with almost any pasta shape that you enjoy (I’ve shown bucatini here). Other good options include penne pasta, rotini, rigatoni, and ziti. One bite of the delicious combo and you’ll be instantly transported to Italy!

Pan frying chicken cutlets in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an easy chicken parmesan recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: pounded flat to ¼-inch thickness. You can also purchase thinly-sliced chicken breasts (or chicken cutlets) at the grocery store for a shortcut.
  • All-purpose flour: helps the egg mixture and breading adhere to the meat.
  • Kosher salt, garlic salt, and ground black pepper: adds layers of seasoning to the dish.
  • Eggs: help the breading adhere to the chicken.
  • Italian-style breadcrumbs: these seasoned breadcrumbs include some herbs and spices to give the chicken extra flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: freshly-grated or straight from the can is fine!
  • Olive oil: to brown the chicken in a skillet and get it nice and crispy. You can use vegetable oil or another type of oil if you prefer.
  • Marinara sauce: to top the chicken. I like Rao’s store-bought brand for easy weeknight meals, but you can also use a homemade sauce.
  • Mozzarella cheese: melty, cheesy flavor on top! Slices of fresh mozzarella or provolone will also work well.
Process shot showing how to make baked chicken parmesan recipe.

The Directions

This easy dinner only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on prep time and is ready for the table from start-to-finish in less than 1 hour. Frying the breaded chicken cutlets gives them a crispy exterior and bold Italian flavor. It’s perfect for a hearty, family-friendly meal any night of the week. Truly the best chicken parmesan!

You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the egg and breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Pan-fry the breaded chicken cutlets in a large skillet.
  3. Bake the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. Add marinara sauce and mozzarella on top of the chicken.
  5. Return to the oven for about 2 more minutes, or just until the cheese melts.
Two bowls of the best chicken parm recipe served with wine and salad and bread.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the golden brown, crispy breaded chicken cutlets on a bed of pasta with extra marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. You can boil the pasta while the chicken cooks, so there’s no extra prep time involved.

The chicken, sauce, and mozzarella are 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, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower rice in lieu of pasta.

Side shot of an easy chicken parmesan recipe on a dinner table with a side salad.

Storage Tips

  • Leftovers 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 stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Again, it tends to get soggy, so this is not ideal.
  • How to Reheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken 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. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What wine goes well with chicken parmesan? Pair the Italian-inspired meal with fruity but herbal reds like Chianti Classico, Barbera, Dolcetto, Primitivo, and Pinot Noir. Other good options include an Italian Pinot Grigio or sparkling wines like Prosecco and Champagne.
  • What’s the difference between chicken parmesan and Milanese? Both of these Italian-inspired dishes start with breaded and pan fried chicken cutlets. Chicken Parmesan includes a tomato-based sauce and cheese on top, while chicken Milanese is typically just finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • What’s the difference between chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana? Nothing! These are two names for the same dish.
Overhead shot of hands eating a serving of easy chicken parm recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • If you don’t have Italian-style bread crumbs, use plain bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs and season them yourself with Italian herbs for the best taste — such as dried parsley, basil, and oregano.
  • Instead of garlic salt, use garlic powder and a little bit of salt as well. Onion powder would also add great flavor to the dish.
  • Instead of packaged, shredded mozzarella, use sliced fresh mozzarella on top of the chicken.
  • Serve the chicken parm over ziti or penne pasta instead of spaghetti. Really, any shape that you love will be delicious!
  • Make chicken parm subs by serving the chicken, sauce, and cheese in toasted hoagie rolls.
  • For a similar vegetarian meal, try this popular baked eggplant parmesan.

I love this recipe. Did it your way first…perfection. Next time put diced pepperoni is the marinara before covering chicken and putting on the cheese. Really good too.

– Teresa
Two bowls of easy chicken parmesan recipe served on top of spaghetti with marinara.

Expert Tips

  • 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.
  • When serving chicken parmesan pasta, bring the pasta cooking water to a boil early. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, at the same time as the chicken bakes in the oven. This avoids any extra prep time!
  • Pick a high-quality store-bought marinara sauce (we like Rao’s brand) or use homemade marinara.
  • Garnish the finished dish with extra Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, chopped parsley, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Side shot of bowls of the best chicken parm on a dinner table.

More Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of an easy chicken parmesan recipe served over pasta.

Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 23 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 38 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 418 kcal
A simple, affordable, family-friendly dinner with just 15 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ lbs. total)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup Italian-style seasoned 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

Instructions

  • 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.
    Pounding chicken cutlets flat.
  • 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.
    Dredging chicken cutlets in 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.
    Pan frying chicken cutlets in a cast iron skillet.
  • Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F, about 5-7 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.
    Process shot showing how to make baked chicken parmesan recipe.

Video

Notes

  • 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.
  • When serving chicken parmesan pasta, bring the pasta cooking water to a boil early. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, at the same time as the chicken bakes in the oven. This avoids any extra prep time!
  • Pick a high-quality store-bought marinara sauce (we like Rao’s brand) or use homemade marinara.
  • Garnish the finished dish with extra Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, chopped parsley, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken cutlet with sauce and cheeseCalories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 47gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 1121mgPotassium: 1075mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 779IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 278mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: baked chicken parmesan, chicken parmesan, easy chicken parmesan recipe, how to make chicken parmesan
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in December, 2020. It was updated in March, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Myriam says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe with nicely coated chicken! Now that I’m on holiday and just found your website I decided to take the time to cook. I used Dolmio tomato sauce for the ‘marinara’, followed your recipe and it worked really well ! – another winning recipe for me & my husband –

    1. Blair says:

      Excellent! Thank you, Myriam! Hope you enjoy some time in the kitchen during your vacation. 🙂

      1. Rita says:

        Can this recipe be made earlier in the day

        1. Blair Lonergan says:

          Hi, Rita! Yes, you can certainly do that; however, I find that breaded and/or fried chicken is always best when served immediately. It tends to get a bit soggy as it sits.

  2. L Buonanno says:

    5 stars
    Perfect with my Fathers homemade marinara sauce

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Yes, what a treat!

  3. Teresa says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. Did it your way first…perfection. Next time put diced pepperoni is the marinara before covering chicken and putting on the cheese. Really good too.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Yum! Thank you for sharing, Teresa. We’re so glad you enjoy it!

  4. Robert Annucci says:

    5 stars
    all good!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Robert!