Chicken Parmesan Recipe (2024)

This easy Chicken Parmesan recipe is the BEST! Chicken cutlets are pan-fried to golden brown, topped with sauce and mozzarella and baked until golden brown and bubbling. A classic recipe that’s perfect for any occasion.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (1)

For the longest time, I mentally categorized some recipes as “restaurant recipes”, meaning that they were things you ate and enjoyed at restaurants, but were just too involved to make at home. Things like moussaka and creme brûlée were high on that list for me, as was chicken parmesan.

Since getting comfortable in the kitchen many years ago, I’ve found that there is very little that you cannot do in a home kitchen, and nine times out of 10, those intimidating dishes are not nearly as difficult as you’d think. That is certainly the case with chicken parmesan, and I’m about to show you how to make amazingly delicious chicken parm at home in just a few easy steps.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (2)

How to Make Homemade Chicken Parmesan

At its core, chicken parmesan consists of three main components:

  • Breaded and fried chicken cutlets
  • Pasta sauce
  • Cheese! (specifically, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses)

Now, some detail about each of these components and how to make the best possible chicken parmesan each and every time:

Chicken Cutlets

The big key here is to make sure you’re working with very thin chicken cutlets. The absolute best way to achieve this is to pound the chicken breasts thin. Some stores sell thin-sliced chicken cutlets which, on the surface, look like they’d be plenty thin, but sometimes they have thicker spots, so I recommend pounding the chicken in all instances. You’ll be so happy you did!

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (3)

After they are nice and thin, you’ll do a traditional breading, dredging the chicken in flour, then coating with eggs, and finally a mixture of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Once breaded, the cutlets are pan-fried until golden brown and placed in a baking dish.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (4)

The Sauce

The next component in chicken parmesan is the sauce and you really can use whatever you’d like here. Some recipes call for a fresh marinara sauce, and I honestly just use whatever I have on hand, which is usually my favorite meat sauce. You can make that recipe and omit the meat if you’d like, use your favorite homemade sauce, a jar from the pantry – whatever you want!

I spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, before placing the chicken in there, and then add a spoonful of sauce on top of each chicken cutlet. I don’t want the chicken to be swimming in sauce or to be so saucy it gets soggy, so a simple spoonful is usually enough.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (5)

The Cheese!

Most people’s favorite part of chicken parmesan, I like to really smother the tops of the chicken with a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The cheeses melt beautifully and get browned, bubbly and crisp on top of the chicken, which makes for pretty much perfect chicken parmesan.

Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and you’re all set!

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (6)

Making Chicken Parmesan in Advance

You can assemble, bake and serve the chicken parmesan all in one go if you’d like, or you can do it in stages.

You could make the meat sauce a couple of days in advance (or even anytime you have some free time and store it in the freezer!), then bread and cook the chicken cutlets the day before, and assemble and bake the next day when you want to serve it.

Chicken parmesan can also be assembled and frozen, if you’d like to have a meat ready in the freezer. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (7)

I cannot resist the combination of crisp, pan-fried chicken with sauce and loads of melted cheese. This is a wonderful meal on its own with a side salad, or you could serve it with a side of pasta (spaghetti is popular) OR pile it onto a hoagie roll for a fabulous chicken parmesan sandwich.

However you choose to serve it, know that it is absolutely, positively doable and should not be relegated to restaurant-only status. Enjoy this classic in the comfort of your own home!

If You Like This Chicken Parmesan, Try These:

  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Cheesy Chicken with Mushrooms
  • Easy Baked Ziti with Sausage
  • Italian-Style Pastit*io

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (8)

One year ago: Bergers-Style Cookies
Two years ago: Game Day Dip
Seven years ago: Pumpkin Fudge

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (9)

Chicken Parmesan

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 5 minutes mins

This easy Chicken Parmesan recipe is the BEST! Chicken cutlets are pan-fried to golden brown, topped with sauce and mozzarella and baked until golden brown.

4.70 (10 ratings)

Print Pin Rate


  • pounds (680.39 g) chicken breasts, 3 to 4 breasts, thin sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (108 g) Italian bread crumbs
  • cups (150 g) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup (54 ml) olive oil
  • cups (367.5 g) spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Prepare the Chicken: Pound the chicken breasts to about¼-inch thickness, ensuring that they are an even thickness all over. If they are exceptionally large after pounding, then you can cut them in half.

  • Bread the Chicken: In one shallow bowl (I use pie plates for this), place the flour. In a second shallow bowl, add the eggs and whisk them together. In a third shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 1 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Working with one chicken breast cutlet at a time, coat in flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg and let any excess drip off. Finally, coat the chicken in the bread crumbs mixture.

  • Saute the Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when a pinch of bread crumbs dropped in the oil sizzles immediately. Reduce the heat to medium and add as many chicken cutlets as will comfortably fit in the pan (for me, it was two) and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all of the chicken has been browned.

  • Assemble the Chicken Parmesan: Spread¾ cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place the browned chicken cutlets over the sauce, overlapping slightly if necessary. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the tops of the chicken, then top with the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle evenly with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake the Chicken Parmesan: Bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with pasta on the side, or in a large roll as a sandwich.


Nutritional values are based on one serving

Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 179mg, Sodium: 881mg, Potassium: 771mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 890IU, Vitamin C: 6.2mg, Calcium: 530mg, Iron: 3.7mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Author: Michelle

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Chicken Parmesan Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana? ›

Chicken Parmesan and chicken Parmigiana are just different names for the same exact recipe. And, with a name like “chicken Parmigiana”, you might assume that this recipe is Italian. While it has roots in Italy (in a way), chicken Parmesan is all-American.

Should you use olive oil or vegetable oil for chicken parmesan? ›

If you can't find the thinly sliced cutlets at your grocery store, buy three regular chicken breasts, slice them into cutlets so you have six pieces, then pound them out as thin as possible. You can use vegetable or canola oil here. Olive oil is possible too and I made it like this for years, but I prefer canola.

Why does chicken parmesan have mozzarella cheese? ›

Jokes aside, chicken parm has a long, complicated history argued by many historians for different reasons. Believe it or not, there was not readily accessible chicken in Parma, Italy, so the idea started with thin slices of eggplant covered in Neapolitan tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Do Italians eat chicken parmesan? ›

Despite being a staple of Italian-American cuisine, “chicken parmesan” is nowhere to be found in Italy. Instead, Italians nosh on parmigiana – eggplant layered with tomato sauce and cheese.

Which is more fattening chicken parm or eggplant parm? ›

Eggplant parmesan is a lot healthier for you than chicken, but it comes at the cost of being a lot less filling.

Why does the breading fall off my chicken parm? ›

You Don't Start Dry

The first step to breading chicken is crucial; make sure the chicken is completely dry before starting the dredging process. Using a paper towel, pat the meat dry on all sides. Excess moisture will cause the flour to get soggy and thus will not adhere properly to the chicken.

Why isn't my chicken parm crispy? ›

To maximize crispiness, I use panko breadcrumbs and fry the chicken in a little more oil (about an inch) than you might normally use when making parm. As soon as the cutlets are nicely browned and cooked all the way though, drain them on a rack or paper towels. They're crunchy; this will help them stay that way.

Do you use milk or eggs for breaded chicken? ›

Can you use milk instead of eggs? As long as you coat the cutlets in a layer of flour first, you can substitute milk in place of eggs for the next layer. The combination of flour and milk will create a sticky coating that breadcrumbs can adhere to.

What oil makes chicken taste better? ›

Lard is a great choice for frying chicken because it gives your chicken an excellent flavor and unparalleled crispy crust.

What kind of oil do you use to make chicken parmesan? ›

Lightly brush a baking dish, large enough to place the chicken in a single layer, with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half of the marinara sauce and arrange the chicken over the sauce. Cover with the remaining sauce.

What oil should I fry chicken parm in? ›

Vegetable oil: This oil has been a staple in almost all American households. Since this has a neutral taste, it is great for frying, sautéing, grilling, and baking. Peanut oil: Mostly used in Asian cuisine and industries for bulk frying, it is a great option to add extra flavor to your breaded chicken cutlets.

Why is there no chicken parmesan in Italy? ›

The simple reason for this change is that chicken was too expensive for most households. Eggplant, though, could be grown in the backyard. This vegetarian dish was called mellanzane alla parmigiana, primarily made in Southern Italy.

Is chicken parmesan better with mozzarella or provolone? ›

The use of the parmesan, mozzarella and provolone together leads to a really nice balance of cheesy flavor as opposed to just using mozzarella, which is how I have made it in the past. This will definitely be my favorite “go to” Chicken Parmigiana recipe for now on.

Why is chicken parm so good? ›

Chicken parmigiana encompasses everything we love about Italian food in one bite—the chicken's juicy interior, the crisp coating of the fried breadcrumbs on the meat's exterior, the bright and slightly sweet flavor of the rich tomato sauce, and the silky texture of the mozzarella, slightly browned under a broiler.

What do Americans call chicken parmigiana? ›

North America

The dish, also known as "chicken parm", originated in the northeast United States from Italian immigrants, and became a popular staple in restaurants serving Italian-American cuisine by the 1950s. Home versions also grew in popularity.

What is another name for chicken parmesan? ›

Pollo alla parmigiana in Italian, but affectionately referred by Aussies as Parma, Parmi or “a schnitty with tomato sauce and cheese”, you'll love this homemade recipe with extra crispy schnitzel, best ever parmigiana sauce and juicy marinated chicken.

Why is it called a chicken parmigiana? ›

Why is it called “parmigiana” when it's typically made with mozzarella cheese? One theory lies in the geography of Italy. The cheese we know as parmigiana—or parmesan—is named after the city of Parma in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, where the delicate cheese was first produced.


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