Chicken Marinara

Chicken pieces coated with Parmesan and bread crumbs, fried and covered with a tomato basil marinara sauce, and topped with melted Mozzarella.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This chicken marinara is my mother’s version of chicken parmesan, in that chicken pieces are breaded, fried, smothered with sauce, topped with Mozzarella, and baked.

Rather than pounding thin chicken breasts though, my mother uses more flavorful boneless skinless chicken thighs. And she adds plenty of fresh basil to the marinara tomato sauce. So good! Comfort food at its best.

Chicken Marinara Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 servings



  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 9 boneless chicken thighs (skinless or skin-on, your preference), if large pieces, then cut in half
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese


1 Make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2 Bread the chicken pieces: Combine the grated Parmesan and the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Put the flour in another separate bowl, and the beaten eggs in another bowl.

Dredge each piece of chicken first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

3 Brown the chicken: Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches if necessary, add chicken and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

4 Bake the chicken with the sauce and cheese: Place chicken pieces on an oven-proof serving dish. Spoon sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F, or microwave on high heat for 10-20 seconds, just until the cheese has melted.

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Chicken Marinara

Showing 4 of 23 Comments

  • RainDrop

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, the chicken turned out delicious :)

  • betsy b

    I made this tonight, and I suggest to SKIP the flour. I tried it once and the crumbs and cheese mixture did not adhere well, so I dipped it only in the crumbs and cheese, and that worked fine. I also made mine in an eletric skillet, cooked it longer to be sure it was cooked through. I put a lid on it to help melt the cheese and skipped the microwave. All three of my kids liked this!!

  • Heather

    Chicken Marinara? This is actually a recipe for chicken parmesan, although normally the chicken is put in a baking dish with the marinara and mozzarella and baked, rather than microwaving. Incidentally, the oven baked version works best if you use cuts of meat that have been pounded very thin.

  • Shelby

    Elise, I made this dish a few weeks ago. It was outstanding with the sauce and cheese, but the chicken by itself, OMG amazing! We decided that the breaded chicken recipe was one of the best ways to prepare chicken EVER. So good on a bun. Now it’s a regular dish in our house. Thanks again. Love this website.

  • Amazon3d

    I had a rough idea on how to make this but really wanted a guide. I found this to be one of the simplest recipes I stumbled upon. I used Bertolli marinara sauce, bowties, and chicken breast and I must say it tasted fantastic. Click my username to see the finished result, I only made 1 serving.

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