The Best Chicken Parmesan

05.22.2018

This is without a doubt the best Chicken Parmesan recipe I’ve ever tried! Here you’ll learn how to make chicken parmesan with a perfectly crisp golden breaded exterior, a moist interior, a delicious fresh homemade flavor, and just the right amount of gooey cheese.

Chicken Parmesan

Why I love this  Chicken Parmesan

We’ve probably all had our fair share of mediocre or even bad Chicken Parmesan. You know the kind that’s overcooked, it has little flavor, the breading is so so, the sauce is covering the entire surface of the crusted chicken and absorbs right into the crumbs making it soggy, and the cheese is overcooked and chewy.

This recipe is the opposite of all those negatives. You get:

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  • A perfectly golden brown crispy parmesan crust. And it’s amazingly crisp thanks to the extra crispy Panko and frying it in olive oil.
  • Sauce only covered the cheese which protects that crispy layer of crumbs, so you wont end up with a soggy breading (whats the point of breading if you’re just going to soak it in a wet sauce?).
  • It has great flavor throughout. There’s parmesan and herbs in the breading, two kinds of cheese cover the top, basil, onion and garlic in the homemade marinara, and it’s finished with more fresh basil.
  • The cheese isn’t overly chewy. If you pull it out of the broiler after just a minute or two it should still be stretchy and gooey.

So, in other words this is the Chicken Parmesan recipe you’ll want for life!

Want to see how easy this Chicken Parmesan recipe is? Watch the video!

Ingredients You’ll Need for Chicken Parmesan

I know this is a long list but it’s worth it! Scroll below to shortcuts if you are looking to simplify it.

  • Chicken
  • Canned crushed tomatoes
  • Yellow onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Parmesan
  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh basil
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Salt and pepper

ingredients for chicken parmesan

How to Make Chicken Parmesan

First you’ll cut the two chicken breasts evenly through their thickness.

butterflying chicken for chicken parmesan

Then pound to a thin even thickness (I like to cover with plastic wrap first to prevent splatters). Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

pounding chicken flat with meat mallet for chicken parmesan

Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Saute onions then add garlic and saute.

sauteeing onions and garlic in saucepan for chicken parmesan marinara

Then mix in crushed tomatoes, oregano and two sprigs of basil (two bigger stems).

Now you’ll mix together the flour and eggs in a shallow dish until smooth. In a separate dish stir together Panko, parmesan, garlic powder, and oregano.

Then dab chicken dry with paper towels and dredge both sides the chicken in the egg mixture, then transfer to Panko mixture and dredge both sides and press to help the crumbs stick.

dredging chicken parmesan in panko parmesan mixture in shallow dish for chicken parmesan

Heat olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet (I like preheat this will coating the chicken), cook two chicken cutlets at a time, about 2 – 3 minutes per side until it’s practically cooked through and well browned.

sauteeing chicken parmesan in olive oil in skillet

Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet. Cover each with a big mound of shredded cheese.

Broil until melted (be sure chicken registers 165, if not you can reduce the oven temp to 375 and let cook through. This shouldn’t be necessary though if you began with thin chicken and cooked it long enough in the skillet).

chicken parmesan covered with shredded cheeses before baking on sheet pan

Then immediately after baking top with spoonfuls of marinara and plenty of fresh basil and serve right away while that cheese is nice and melty!

finished sauteed and baked chicken parmesan with cheese marinara and basil

Shortcuts for this Recipe for a Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan

  • Use 4 store-bought chicken cutlets then you shouldn’t need to halve and flatten.
  • Use a good quality store-bought marinara sauce instead of making this homemade version.
  • Skip shredding cheese and just use two slices of mozzarella or provolone per chicken piece instead and use pre-shredded parmesan from the deli.
  • Use two skillets so you don’t have to wait and cook the second two after the first batch.

chicken parmesan

More Super Delicious Chicken Recipes to Try

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The Best Chicken Parmesan

5 from 2 votes

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 577 kcal

Ingredients

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs*
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken

  • 2 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally*, and pounded to 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 oz whole-milk mozzarella cheese , shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz provolone cheese , shredded (1/2 cup) (I just bought a very thick slice from the deli counter, then grated it)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese , grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil

Instructions

  1. For the sauce, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. 

  2. Add in onions and saute for 2 minutes then add garlic, and saute 30 seconds longer. 

  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, oregano, and 2 fresh basil sprigs, then season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  4. Bring mixture to a simmer then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove basil, remove from heat and cover saucepan with lid.

  5. For the chicken, while sauce is simmering, sprinkle each side of the chicken cutlet lightly with salt, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. 

  6. Adjust oven rack 4-inches from broiler element and preheat broiler.
  7. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour and egg until smooth. In a separate shallow dish, toss together Parmesan cheese, Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano and 1/4 tsp pepper. 

  8. Pat chicken dry with paper towels then working with 1 chicken cutlet at a time, dredge chicken in egg mixture coating both sides and allowing excess to run off, then immediately transfer to Parmesan mixture and coat both sides with mixture, while pressing to allow crumbs to adhere. 

  9. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining chicken cutlets. Pour olive oil into a 10-inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. 

  10. Once oil is shimmering, add 2 coated chicken cutlets and fry without moving them until bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 2 - 3 minutes, then using metal tongs rotate to opposite side and cook until golden brown, about 2 - 3 minutes longer until (chicken should be about 155 degrees, it will cook just briefly in oven). 

  11. Transfer fried chicken to a baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining 2 pieces of chicken.
  12. Toss Mozzarella and provolone together and sprinkle cheese mixture in a mound over cutlets. 

  13. Broil in oven until cheese is melted (you can let it brown a little if you like) about 1 - 2 minutes (keep a close eye on it!).

  14. Remove from oven and cover each cutlet with 2 Tbsp marinara sauce. Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining 1/4 cup fresh basil and serve immediately (serve extra sauce with pasta on the side).

  15. Recipe Source: adapted with some changes from Cook's Illustrated

Recipe Notes

*This is two large stems (sorry there was a mix-up with the video, it's not two leaves).

Nutrition Facts
The Best Chicken Parmesan
Amount Per Serving
Calories 577 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 55%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 848mg 35%
Potassium 1085mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 21.2%
Vitamin C 26.2%
Calcium 40.8%
Iron 22.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

57 comments

  • Wendy: I had been eyeing the same recipe in Cooks Illustrated :) . Yours looks wonderful! I like the sound of the adjustments you made as well. Thanks for testing the Test Kitchen :) February 20, 2013 at 7:18am Reply

  • Laura: Love chicken parm. And, yours looks perfect! February 20, 2013 at 8:29am Reply

  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction: This looks like perfect chicken parmesan! Love the provolone! February 20, 2013 at 10:16am Reply

  • Diane: It looks amazing…I can’t wait to try it. My husband will be thrilled! February 20, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

  • Curry and Comfort: Beautiful chicken, beautifully plated. :) February 20, 2013 at 4:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much =)! February 20, 2013 at 8:26pm Reply

  • Lauren: I make a similar version. I got it from Bobby Flay and have perfected it! Similar home made sauce, Italian seasoned Panko instead of the extra seasonings/Parmesan cheese, and FRESH mozzarella cheese. The technique is everything; dredge, pan fry for a perfect coating, and finish in the oven. Chicken is always juicy and cooked perfectly that way. Yum :) February 20, 2013 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Angela @ Another Bite Please: this recipe looks great…i love cooks illustrated…i just reserved a few of their cookbooks at the library so i can peruse through them to see which ones i actually HAVE to own…as most of the time i want to own them all :-) February 20, 2013 at 7:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I do the same thing =). I really wish I owned ever last one of them, over time I guess I will keep collecting. They are simply the best. February 24, 2013 at 9:38am Reply

  • Vicki: I don’t see the flour and egg in the ingredient list. February 21, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Vicki =)! February 22, 2013 at 9:58pm Reply

  • Sandy: You should tried their version of Lighter Chicken Parmesan. It is not fried at all but baked in the oven and I must say it is my favourite chicken parmesan anywhere. February 23, 2013 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sandy – good to know I’ll have to give it a try when I’m feeling healthier =). Thanks! February 23, 2013 at 10:54pm Reply

  • Lissa: I made this tonight….excellent!! The only changes I made was to add some extra red pepper flakes and salt to the sauce. It is the first recipe I have tried from this website, and know I am so excited to try another….maybe tomorrow night…….:) February 26, 2013 at 7:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Lissa – I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this, it’s definitely nice to get good feedback =). I hope you enjoy the other recipes you try! Thanks so much for your comment! February 26, 2013 at 8:56pm Reply

  • Julia: I saw this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated..I like the changes you made. I love chicken parm..can’t wait to try this out. February 27, 2013 at 7:26pm Reply

  • everybody-loves-to-eat: ambrosial-eats: The Best Chicken… | TnyBits: […] The Best Chicken Parmesan […] March 1, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Yana: Tried this recipe yesterday and it was really good,need to mention that my boyfriend is really picky, he said I can put it in a regular rotation, but as he’s really picky he added: just add more cheese on sauce as well, not only cheese melted on chicken. March 15, 2013 at 9:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed this Yana! Thanks so much for your comment! The additional cheese sounds delicious =)! March 16, 2013 at 8:24am Reply

  • alana: This was incredible! def. making this one more! Thanks so much Jaclyn! April 12, 2013 at 8:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved this Chicken Parmesan Alana! Thanks for another comment, you are awesome! April 14, 2013 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Rosanna: Can I substitute canola oil or 5tbsp olive oil instead of vegetable oil? My daughter is allergic to corn. August 18, 2013 at 6:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes either one of the other alternatives should work fine. I hope your family loves it Rosanna! August 19, 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Janet O: I had a lot of trouble with this popping wildly while frying. I think it was the moisture in the cheese. Next time, I would just top with the cheeses, and use just Panko and seasonings. August 19, 2013 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It shouldnt pop too bad, next time you could do it as you mentioned or reduce your burner temp also a deeper skillet or pot would be helpful with splattering. August 19, 2013 at 8:19pm Reply

  • Leticia: This was absolutely delicious and a HUGE hit at my house. My husband and daughter were asking me for seconds it was so good. Thank you! September 20, 2013 at 9:44am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Leticia! I’m so glad your family enjoyed this! September 24, 2013 at 7:12am Reply

  • Desiree: Jaclyn, any suggestions on what to serve with this dish? I’d normally put it over some angel hair pasta or something along those lines, but we just had pasta last night & I have it on the menu for Sunday (your lasagna roll-ups :)).

    Thanks! October 14, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

  • donna walters: Thank you sooooo much Jaclyn, keep those recipes comin’ April 1, 2014 at 5:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Donna! Thanks for leaving a comment! April 1, 2014 at 9:32pm Reply

  • Jean: Thank you for posting the recipe and saying where I can find it. My daughter saw the show the other day and as we were serving one of her favorites–chicken marsala, she said she would like chicken parm. I will make it for her birthday, which is coming up soon. Now I have to find the magazine. April 8, 2014 at 1:18pm Reply

  • Ann: Coincidently I watched this being made on Cook’s Country last Saturday and thought it looked delicious! So happy to find your version via a pin on Pinterest. I will be making it very soon! I will use chicken, but I may also try making eggplant parm another time. Thanks for your suggestions for changes to the ‘original’. June 3, 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it as much as I do Ann! June 4, 2014 at 9:29am Reply

  • Alesa: Making this tonight;) looks yummy! Cant wait to try it!! November 5, 2014 at 1:46pm Reply

  • Madeline: I made this for dinner today… my 11 year old who is a picky eater said it’s the best chicken he ever ate in his life! Great recipe… thanks for posting it! January 31, 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

  • Laura: This really was the best chicken parm! My fiancé and I absolutely loved it. The crispy outside and the juicy inside, yum! I used seasoned bread crumbs because that’s what I had in the house so I omitted the herbs in the coating, but I’m sure it had just the same taste. I moved this from my ‘Recipes to try’ board on Pinterest to my ‘Favorite Recipes’ board. Thank you! February 11, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Kaitlen: This sounds wonderful.. But is that really enough
    Time to cook the chicken all the way? February 12, 2015 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: As long as the chicken is thin enough, but I do always recommend testing with an instant read thermometer to make sure you reach a 165 degree temp. February 23, 2015 at 6:42pm Reply

  • Juan Francisco: I really enjoyed this recipe I’ve made it a couple of times now, I even included in my newest blog post, I gave you all the credits by the way.

    http://livingwithjuan.blogspot.com/2015/03/10-cheap-and-easy-chicken-recipes.html March 30, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

  • Sandra: I have never taken the time to comment on a recipe I’ve made from an online source but I must say this was delicious! I consider myself a fairly good cook and many online recipes I’ve tried have been disappointing. This was delicious and it got rave reviews and they asked for the recipe. Thank you for posting it. I’m saving it!! and so glad I chose it amongst the [millions of] choices. May 5, 2015 at 6:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I am so glad you chose my recipe and loved it Sandra! May 11, 2015 at 4:05pm Reply

  • keri: Can you use tomato paste in place of the crushed tomatoes? May 26, 2015 at 11:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Even if you diluted it with water it wouldn’t have the right flavor or consistency so I wouldn’t recommend it here. June 20, 2015 at 10:37pm Reply

  • Rachel: Mmm…. This looks fantastic! Would be a perfect family meal with a side of fresh baked bread and small salad! July 21, 2015 at 9:02am Reply

  • Ashley: This was just delicious! Made it for dinner last night and my boyfriend gave it great reviews. The chicken turned out crunchy yet moist, and I bought an “Italian blend” of cheese with provolone, mozzarella, and fontina for the cheese.

    Thanks for the recipe! December 30, 2015 at 9:20am Reply

  • Jessica: I just made this tonight! It was amazing! Didn’t have provolone. Just like going to a restaurant but better! Thanks! I’ve been looking for a good chicken parm recipe that isn’t baked in the sauce making it soggy. November 11, 2016 at 9:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Jessica! November 17, 2016 at 9:38am Reply

  • Jana: I cooked this recipe today for my family (including kids age 10, 7 and 2) today and I cannot tell you how much we LOOOOOOVED IT!!! It was just incredible and I thank you so much for sharing! We’ll be making this often! August 20, 2017 at 9:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad they loved it! August 23, 2017 at 11:34am Reply

  • Kim: I need to make a tray of chicken Parmesan to take to a family party and it will need to be transported, can any of this be made ahead of time or any advise on the best way to do this? January 5, 2018 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Dee: The absolute best recipe I have ever seen May 20, 2018 at 1:55pm Reply

  • sao33: Já usei panko e adorei , esse frango esta uma verdadeira delicia. May 23, 2018 at 2:22am Reply

  • Debi: I absolutely love this chicken Parmesan so easy. It was perfect, tender and so much favor. Everyone loved it and I can’t wait to have it again. June 4, 2018 at 10:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this Chicken Parm Debi! Thanks for leaving a rating! June 4, 2018 at 6:22pm Reply

  • Jessica: I made this tonight
    Mixing the egg and flour together… genius!!! The breading came out super crispy 😊 the only difference is that I used my Air Fryer to cook the chicken. Hubby and kids loved it. SUCCESS!!! June 16, 2018 at 5:54pm Reply

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