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Chicken Parmesan (also called Chicken Parmigiana) is such a treat! Classically crispy, coated in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, then topped with marinara and fresh mozzarella. It’s simple and absolutely delicious paired with my awesome garlic bread!
Why You’ll Love this Chicken Parmesan
For my Chicken Parmesan recipe, I opt to coat the chicken in a light and airy panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese combo that takes this chicken cutlet to a whole new level of CRISPY! That first bite of cRRRRunch will have you convinced to do the same.
Of course, using traditional bread crumbs is delicious too, but using Panko bread crumbs completely transports this chicken to heavenly status. It’s a great stick to your ribs dinner that gets on the table faster than you think it will, plus the kids (and adults!) just love it.
Ingredients Needed for Crispy Chicken Parmesan
- chicken cutlets- or chicken breasts sliced in half (lengthwise) and pounded thin (see Pro Tip note below)
- panko bread crumbs- you can sub out regular breadcrumbs, but these make your chicken breading super crispy
- pantry staples- oil for frying, all-purpose flour, herbs and seasonings, spaghetti noodles, and marinara (you can also make your own homemade spaghetti sauce or my crockpot bolognese sauce instead of using store-bought marinara)
- dairy- butter, eggs, parmesan cheese (get the good stuff and freshly grate it yourself), fresh mozzarella cheese
What are Panko Bread Crumbs?
Panko Bread Crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs made from specially baked, crustless bread that are processed into flakes and then dried. This makes for larger, flaky, oblong shaped bread crumbs that are crispier and lighter, therefore don’t pack together when coating the food, resulting in a breading that stays super crispy and for longer.
What Cut of Chicken is Best for Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken Breasts are the best part of the chicken to use for Chicken Parmesan. You want THIN pieces though for ultimate crispiness. For this recipe, I used chicken cutlets which you can buy in the store. You can also use chicken tenderloins, but those will look more like chicken fingers. Totally works, but might not be the look you’re going for.
Pro Tip: If all you can find are large chicken breasts, no biggy! Simply slice your chicken breasts lengthwise into 2 thin cutlets each. If your chicken breasts are still too thick, pound them out between plastic wrap until desired thickness is achieved.
How to Make Chicken Parmesan
Although this Chicken Parmesan recipe looks fancy, it’s so easy to put together even on a busy weeknight. For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is what you can expect when making this Chicken Parmesan recipe:
1. Preheat Oven + Prep
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a roasting rack (or cooling rack). Set aside.
2. Preheat Large Pan + Prep Dredging Station
Preheat a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Set up your dredging station by placing flour and beaten eggs into 2 separate shallow dishes. Combine the parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs in a third shallow dish.
3. Season + Dredge Chicken
Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, then eggs, then into the cheese/bread crumbs – pressing into the cutlet to coat it evenly.
4. Fry Chicken on Both Sides
Melt butter and olive oil in the pan once it is nice and hot. Place chicken into hot pan and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side, checking to make sure it’s not burning. Transfer to a cooling rack on baking sheet, repeating until remaining chicken is all fried.
Pro Tip: Work in small batches so your chicken actually fries and doesn’t STEAM. You’ll be finishing the chicken off in the oven so it doesn’t matter if some cutlets sit on the rack for awhile while the rest is finishing off.
Top each piece of chicken with dollop of marinara sauce and a slice of fresh mozzarella.
Bake anywhere from 7-15 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F with a meat thermometer, and cheese is melted. The timing here will depend on how thick your cutlets are, so check on them periodically with a meat thermometer. Do not overcook or you’ll have dry chicken and all of your hard work will be for naught.
6. Assemble and Serve
To assemble, toss cooked pasta with remaining marinara sauce and place a small amount onto each plate. Give it a twirl with a big fork if you’re feeling lavish. Top each pile of pasta with a piece of chicken and chopped fresh basil, if desired and serve hot.
Can I Substitute Low-Moisture Shredded or Bar Cheese for Fresh Mozzarella?
I love the taste and texture that Fresh Mozzarella Cheese gives to this recipe, but if you prefer Low-Moisture Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (or the bars that you shred yourself) then by all means do it! This is your house and you make the decisions. I guarantee you that your Chicken Parmesan will still be absolutely delish!
Pro Tip: If you do choose to use Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese, I would STRONGLY suggest buying the bars and shredding it yourself. Most bags of pre-shredded cheese are full of anti-caking agents that take away from the taste and texture of your cheese.
What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan
The traditional side dishes for Chicken Parmesan are a long noodle pasta like linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, or my favorite – angel hair. Add some type of garlic bread and a caesar salad and you have a full meal. Here are some more side dishes for Chicken Parmesan:
- Caprese Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Ceasar Salad
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Green Beans
- Homemade Dinner Rolls with Roasted Garlic
- Hasselback Homemade Garlic Bread
- Italian Cream Cake would be the PERFECT dessert for Chicken Parmesan!
- Check out my full list of Side Dishes for Chicken Parm
Store leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for 4-5 days. If you want to store your leftovers longer, you can freeze it. To freeze, allow to chicken to cool completely to room temperature and then place in an airtight, freezer safe container or resealable bag. Chicken Parmesan will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, allow to sit in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Italian Chicken Recipes to Try!
- Tuscan Chicken
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Chicken Piccata
- Bruschetta Chicken
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta
I hope you LOVE this dish and add it to your dinner menu rotation! I would love to hear what you think and to give this a star rating in the comments below. Have a fabulous week, friends!
Crispy Chicken Parmesan
- 4 chicken cutlets 1-1 1/2 lbs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese patted dry
- 24 oz marinara sauce one jar (or homemade)
- 12 oz spaghetti cooked (or angel hair)
- basil fresh, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with roasting rack (or cooling rack). Set aside.
- Set up your dredging station by placing flour and beaten eggs into 2 separate shallow dishes. Combine the parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs in a third shallow dish.
- Preheat a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian seasoning. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, then eggs, then into the cheese/bread crumbs – pressing into the cutlet to coat it evenly.
- Melt butter and olive oil in the pan once it is nice and hot. Working in small batches, place chicken into hot pan and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side, checking to make sure it's not burning. Transfer to a cooling rack on baking sheet, repeating until remaining chicken is all fried.
- Top each piece of chicken with dollop of marinara sauce and a slice of fresh mozzarella. Bake for 12-15 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and cheese is melted. The timing here will depend on how thick your cutlets are, so check on them periodically with a meat thermometer.
- To assemble, toss cooked pasta with remaining marinara sauce and place a small amount onto each plate. Top each with a piece of chicken and chopped fresh basil, if desired and serve hot.