The Best Chicken Parmesan

05.22.2018

Worlds Best Chicken Parmesan! It is easily the best recipe I’ve ever tried and it’s likely to become you’re new favorite too. Everything about it is spot on delicious! From the tender crusted chicken, to the gooey melted cheese, and the final coating of fresh marinara and basil. YUM!

Chicken Parmesan

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
  • Dried 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

Tips for 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

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The Best Chicken Parmesan

5 from 4 votes

This really is the best chicken parmesan I've ever had! No soggy crust, no flavorless sauce, and no skimping on the cheese - this recipe has three kinds. A recipe everyone in the family will go crazy for!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Parmesan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 577 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

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.

65 comments

  • Tina: Made this tonight! Excellent dish! Thanks for the tried and true recipe! September 13, 2018 at 11:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Tina! September 14, 2018 at 9:18am Reply

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