Chicken Parmesan

Classic Chicken Parm recipe with breaded chicken breasts, swimming in tomato sauce, topped with basil, and Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Your sauce will only be as good as your tomatoes, so use a good quality canned tomato! We like San Marzano or Muir Glen.

Grating the onion will create smaller onion pieces and release more of the onion's juices, and is faster than chopping.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, grated (don't cut onion in half, just grate half of a whole onion)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (we use Muir-Glen)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of sugar

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (we make our breadcrumbs running pieces of stale French bread through a blender)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

Method

1 First start the sauce and while the sauce is cooking you can proceed with the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Then add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the simmer. Cook, uncovered while you prepare the chicken (about 10-12 minutes).

pound chicken breasts with meat hammer or mallet

2 Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the chicken cutlets one at a time between two layers of plastic wrap or wax paper. Use a meat hammer, mallet, rolling pin, or even a heavy empty wine bottle to pound or roll the chicken pieces to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the cutlets.

dip chicken cutlet into egg mixture dip chicken cutlet into breading mixture

3 In a shallow bowl (large enough to dredge the cutlets), mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and pinch of salt. In separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs.

4 Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering (not smoking) and a piece of breading dropped into it sizzles. Working one cutlet at a time, dip the chicken cutlet into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, place the dredged cutlets into the pan. Lower the heat to medium and gently fry the chicken cutlets until they are golden brown on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

saute chicken cutlets in olive oil until browned place browned cutlets on tomato sauce in roasting pan

place sauce over cutlets and top with slices of cheese bake chicken parmesan until cheese has melted and begins to brown

5 Spread enough tomato sauce to thickly coat the bottom of 9x13 casserole pan or baking dish. Once the cutlets are browned on both sides, arrange them on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish. Spoon tomato sauce over each of the cutlets. Sprinkle the tops with sliced basil. Then lay slices of mozzarella over each cutlet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

6 Bake in the oven at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the mozzarella begins to brown.

Serve with spaghetti and the remaining sauce, or in a large bread roll.

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Comments

  1. jonathan

    I wake up, log on, look at this, and think to myself…”Chicken parmesan for breakfast? Who says I can’t?”

    Yes, we can. ;-) ~Elise

  2. Matt

    Easily one of my top 10 favorite dishes and come to think of it I haven’t made this in a few years. Tempting…very tempting.

    Hardly make tomato sauce since I moved to Orlando, always liked Redpack and it was all my mother would use. $1 a can in NY, nothing special and tomato sauce tasted great when my father’s garden was on sabatical for the winter. I’m lucky to find it for $3-4 a can in Florida if I ever do at all and have yet to discover a substitute if anyone might have any suggestions ;)

    • Laura

      I’m from New York too, I guess your comment is from 2010 and prices change but Repack is more like 2 bucks now, I noticed that Florida canned tomato sauces are so so expensive too! When we vacation there, we don’t even try to make Italian dishes, wait till we get home. We also love making our own homemade sauce with real garden tomatoes which grow awesome here in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. Perfect for a Parm dish like this!

  3. SallyBR

    Chicken parmiggiana is the number 1 recipe in our home, because my husband and my 3 stepsons love it – when a dish pleases everybody, well…. it’s a winner!

    I make it almost exactly like you do, except that I coat the chicken first in all purpose flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. (Or breadcrumbs + panko 50/50)

    Now I’m hungry…. :-)

  4. Meggie

    I think you mean “his or her repertoire…” :)

    Indeed. ~Elise

  5. Melissa

    This is almost exactly the way I do mine, except I use flour before the egg and add a little parm cheese to the breadcrumbs. We make chicken parm in this house at least once every two weeks.

  6. Dani

    Yum… we grew up eating chicken parm so this recipe is near and dear to my heart. Now a days I usually bake the breaded cutlets (it actually works really well) but growing up my Mom made them just like this! Wouldn’t be surprised if my Dad already printed this one… he’s a regular lurker on your blog – he must have made your pulled pork ten times already! Funny b/c he never gets this excited over my recipes;).

    How funny, say hi to your dad for me! ~Elise

  7. Marcea

    Hi there, this looks delicious! However do you have a suggestion to use in place of eggs? My daughter has Cow dairy and egg allergy. Thanks so much!

    Well, you could try dipping the cutlets in olive oil before breading. If your daughter has a dairy allergy as well though, you’ll want to leave out the cheeses from both the breading and the topping. ~Elise

  8. Olivia

    This is def. on our monthly menu rotation! My kids call it “chicken fingers with cheese”! Sometimes I will spruce up the dish by adding a dollop of ricotta cheese and slice of prosciutto before topping it off with the mozzarella! Yummy!

  9. Audrey

    It is very satisfying bashing the breasts flat. Living alone I bash them and freeze them wrapped separately so they are always ready for a quick meal. I shall have to divide your recipe by four.

  10. kim

    I love your recipes, but I especially love the photos you use. Do you take them or have them taken yourself, or are they stock photos? Also, nice, clean lay-out, and, well, everything’s … simply perfect. :)

    Thanks! Unless otherwise noted, I take all of the photos myself. If you look closely, you’ll see the same dishes and backgrounds used here and there throughout the recipes. ~Elise

  11. Terri

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll try the onion tip because it is becoming increasingly difficult to hide onions from my child. He knows the are in there somewhere! Many chicken dishes fail to satisy because the meat isn’t pounded. Spend the time and effort on this step and it will be a wonderful entree.

  12. Rebecca

    Should the ingredients be 1 or 1-1 1/2 cups of Parmesan? The directions to say to mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and salt and then later to sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the chicken. Does that mean the 1 cup of Parmesan is divided or it should be 1 1/2 cups in total?

    1 cup total. 1/2 cup in with the bread crumbs, and another 1/2 cup over the chicken. I just made the clarification in the steps, thanks! ~Elise

  13. Linda in Washington State

    Chicken Parmesan is a favorite with my guys. I have to cook 5 chicken breasts!
    I dip them in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme then egg then bread crumbs.
    I use only my right hand when dipping to keep my left hand clean lol.
    Tomato based pasta sauce is a easy way to hide veggies !
    Using my food processor I puree carrots, onion and garlic then sauté it in EVOO for about 5 minutes to soften them. Once I had a left over zucchini and pureed it but didn’t sauté it and tossed in the sauce. I use only Muir-Glen whole tomatoes . The whole tomatoes are the best tasting I have tried and have tomato juice not tomato water in the can. I use 2 tsp dried basil to 1/4 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper as the seasoning.

  14. Kathy

    In response to Matt-
    I too moved from NYC and while I can’t find Red Pack in Orlando, I have been using Cento Crushed which can be found at Publix.
    A pretty good substitute.

  15. Erin

    Tempting… but I doubt that it can compare to your mom’s Parmesan Chicken (our favorite)!

    Ah, no fair. Nothing really compares to my mom’s Parmesan Chicken. But on the days you don’t want to bury yourself in butter, this Chicken Parm is a pretty good alternative. ;-) ~Elise

  16. Anna

    Almond meal (grind in food processor until crumbly, before it becomes almond butter) makes a great gluten-free and low carb substitute for breadcrumbs. Crumbs from gluten-free, low carb coconut flour bread would be good, too.

  17. Lynn Bellamy

    Made the Chicken Parm last night for dinner, we loved it. Will definitely make this one again. Thanks.

  18. Erin

    I have been craving chicken parmesan for weeks and was put off by the thought that it would be complicated to make. Well, you must have read my mind because this past Thursday I opened your blog for a dinner idea and here was this simple recipe. It came out great!

    I really appreciate you including the heat level and cook time for pan frying the chicken- this was the first time I succesfully fried all my chicken to a golden brown! I was pretty heavy handed with the parmesan cheese so next time I’ll measure that out because it was a bit much. Also, next time I think I will try brining the chicken breasts to make them more tender.

    I doubled the sauce and put the chicken on top of pasta with the extra sauce. One thing that I always like when making marinara sauce is to let it cool for 10 minutes and then blend it with the immersion blender for a smoother sauce.

    This recipe was delicious and has gone in my file along with so many other simplyrecipes dishes. Thanks!

  19. Kristi

    Made this for dinner tonight, it was easy and the kids loved it!

  20. Jackie

    Yummy! I served this on top of a bed of your Garlic Smashed Potatoes with steamed broccoli on the side. Mmmmmm!

  21. Tracy

    I made this recipe on Sunday (actually doubled the receipe) and then last night heated up the leftovers and had them on toasted whole wheat submarine buns. It was a hit!

  22. Emily

    Made this dish tonight – easy and satisfying! I love all the variety you have to offer!

  23. Cathy

    This dish was simple and delicous! My picky husband and teenage daughters loved it! I even rec’d a text the day after with the raves from my husband! Cannot wait to try the shrimp risotto!

  24. Barbara Ann

    I made this one night for my husband and his two friends. We all agreed that it was the BEST chicken parmesan we have ever tasted. It took me longer than most probably to make it, but it was so worthwhile. The only thing I had a problem with is that there wasn’t enough sauce… but HOLY WOW BATMAN! YUM!

  25. Nancy

    I made this dish for Company and they loved it. They were extremely impressed with the sauce and so was I since it was so easy to make.

    Will definitely make this again!

  26. Linda T.

    I made the chicken parmesan and breaded eggplant. The sauce really was great on both. Next time I will make extra sauce. It was great.

  27. Jayne

    Where I live (South Australia) you couldn’t find a single person that doesn’t love a good Parmie and eat them regularly. Gave your recipe a go and it lived up to my friends very high Parmie standards. Well done!

  28. RD

    Made this a couple of weeks ago. Overall it was pretty good but all of that cheese in the coating caused it to stick like crazy in our All Clad stainless steel saute pan. The next time I make it I’ll probably leave out the cheese in the bread crumbs and just pile it on top of the chicken instead.

  29. Adam

    This recipe is amazing! I made this earlier tonight for the first time and my family loved it. The pictures really helped, and mine came out looking almost exactly like the photos. This is a real winner, and it wasn’t at all hard to make. Thanks for posting this.

  30. Helen

    Is it possible to use Panko instead of breadcrumbs? I normally find Panko breading better.

    Yes, panko works great! ~Elise

  31. TW

    Was craving this dish tonight after having something similar at a well known restaurant. Followed your recipe but used a mix of Parmesan bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs. I mixed some garlic powder into the bread crumbs along with some Italian seasoning to try to increase the flavor. Dish was very tasty.

  32. Marylene

    Your blog is the most important “pitstop” in my everyday web surfing, your recipes are amazingly scrumptious to look at (and to cook as well!).
    I’ve tried your chicken parmesan last night and think I outdid myself. I’ve mainly done parmesan chicken until now but with the addition of a good homemade tomato sauce and melting, bubbly mozzarella on top, it simply became heaven.
    Thank you!

  33. David

    Hi Elise,

    I’ve made this course yesterday it’s delicious.
    What else I can say, You have fans in Poland :).

  34. CraigRanch

    WOW! My family did BACKFLIPS over this and so now I will put it into my monthly rotations! I didn’t pound the chicken breasts, I simply sliced them in half the long way so I had eight pieces. I used fresh mozerella and canned, fire-roasted, organic tomatoes. I served alongside a baked sweet potato and my family loved the sweet potato/chicken parm combo! THANKS FOR THE GREAT easy recipe!

  35. Nadya

    That was so easy to cook and the result is amazingly tasty! To make it even quicker I used a store bought tomato sauce with onion and garlic, and I substituted Dutch cheese for Mozarella (i couldn’t find a small enough piece to buy). Definitely will be my keeper for a quick dinner.

  36. MammaFish

    I made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious! I made just as written and the sauce was wonderful. I don’t know that I will ever buy store bought sauce again! I did double the recipe for my family of 6. Again, it turned out great and my family was very impressed. I even got hugs after dinner! I felt like a really good cook tonight, THANK YOU!

  37. Boni Kline

    SUPER! After being disappointed by the Chicken Parmesan at a popular Italian restaurant, I thought I’d try making it at home. Only change was I used Panko bread crumbs. Was fabulous! Family members loved it. It’s a definite keeper. Very doable for the home cook. Thank you!

  38. Noga Saeed

    I just made it today for lunch, and it’s AMAZING…
    My husband is a meat-lover, and not that much with chicken. But today he was so impressed with this chicken, and sure LOTS of parmesan..
    THANK YOU SO MUCH…

  39. Kiah

    Eating it now, pretty delicious! I made my own breadcrumbs by grinding up focaccia sticks, but it wasn’t heavy enough to stand up to the oil while cooking, next time, I will probably bake the chicken, but all and all, very delicious! The first time I successfully fried chicken without cutting it up into a million pieces due to pinkness-paranoia. Yum :) Also must say, as a novice cook, love the step-by-step basics.

  40. Linda Zhang

    I JUST dug this out of the recipes list and made this last night for dinner–it was delicious. My boyfriend and I were very surprised how goof-proof this recipe was. My only question is (I must be doing this wrong) that when you grate the onion, is there a special technique? We only have a one-side/one-size-only grater and it just chewed up the onion. Is that what happens when the holes are too small?

    Grating will chew up the onion, but it’s okay, it will just help the sauce be more smooth. It should be easier than chopping the onion. If it isn’t, you can just chop up the onion finely with a knife. ~Elise

  41. erika

    i love this recipe…..but insted of mozzarella chesse my mom likes to use provolone!!!….and she also adds a little bit of white wine to the sauce… :) now im hungry!!!

  42. Corina

    Excellent recipe! I made this last night for my boyfriend who is an absolute chicken parm fanatic. In his words “It’s better than any I’ve had in any restaurant!” I think it was a hit!

    I made it exactly as stated with the exception of using marinara sauce as my base for the pasta sauce. I did add the onion, garlic and spices to it. Absolutely divine!

  43. Corina

    Excellent recipe! I made this last night for my boyfriend who is an absolute chicken parm fanatic. In his words “It’s better than any I’ve had in any restaurant!” I think it was a hit!

    I made it exactly as stated with the exception of using marinara sauce as my base for the pasta sauce. I did add the onion, garlic and spices to it. Absolutely divine!

  44. Carl

    Tja…so good. I embellished the marinara a bit with celery and carrots; sort of Southern Italian, but so good.

  45. Chirag

    Elise, thank you very much. The recipes I’ve followed that you’ve posted on here have been so delicious. I always thought that cooking something like Chicken Parm. is something for the experts to make, but now even I can make it!

  46. Louee

    This is going to be the second time I make this, and I’m so excited! So simple, so tasty!
    I’ve made a few simple tweaks just out of the ingredients on hand!
    Since I didn’t have cutlets, I went with in-bone thighs (I’m trying to be economical…trying) that I sauteed after removing the skins. I ate the loaf of bread before it got the chance to go dry so I used saltine crackers. They worked surprisingly well!
    Upped the garlic, (the boyfriend is quite the garlic person – no kisses after dinner!) added some fresh parsley, and used both a can of crushed and whole plum tomatoes.
    Thank you so much for this delish recipe!

  47. Natalija

    This is an amazing recipe. I’ve cooked it for my family loads of times now and they just love it! I doubled the sauce quantities and served it with tagliatelle it was lovely.
    When I coated the chicken i found it easier to do flour, egg then breadcrumbs, and if i didnt have any breadcrumbs i used another layer of flour.

    Thank you

  48. Sophie

    My bf and I made this last night. It was late and we both had a really long day. Neither of us had ever made this dish before, so we wondered if we were being too ambitious.

    But, we divvied up the tasks and everything went really quickly; he fried up the chicken, I made the sauce, and we came together to assemble everything. We altered 2 things: We chopped the onion fine and used a 50/50 crushed tomato/marina mixture. We paired it with your roasted Brussels sprouts recipe (but tossed in a bit of prosciutto) and our dinner was SO delicious!!! Before we even finished eating, my bf called dibs on the leftovers for lunch the next day. Ha! Thanks so much for your recipe.

  49. Emily

    Made this chicken parm for dinner tonight. My husband said it was so good that he would have paid money for it!! Thanks for a great recipe for a non-cook like me to make =)

  50. Joyce

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It was amazingly delicious. My family really enjoyed it!!!

  51. Jessie

    Yummy this was the best thing I made thanks for this easy step by step and my dad love it can’t wait to my hubby try’s it tonite.

  52. Erika Woods

    Made this today for my family and friends, it was so good. Thank you so much for this blog and the fabulous and easy recipes!!!

  53. Lawanna

    OMG this turned out GREAT! It is def one of my new fav recipes. I don’t cook alot, but I decided when I do, it will be what I love to eat in restaurants. This and eggplant parm are at the top of my list. Only minor issue I had was there was not enough sauce for everyone to have ALOT of sauce lol. We like it saucy. Other than that, great recipe. I may try with flour next time like some suggested. I want my chicken crispy.

  54. Darcie

    This was great!!! As a poor college student with NO time, this was an easy, cheap, delicious recipe to make!! I didn’t have any mozzarella on hand, but I had pepper jack so I used that instead, and it gave it great flavor! I had a ton of extra bread crumbs so I tossed those in the sauce. So so great! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!

  55. michelle

    Made this with my 3 step kids. One pounded the chicken, one did the egg and bread crumbs, I fried the chicken, and the youngest put the cheese on top. I love any dish where I can have the kids help me out! It lets me bond with them and they’re more likely to try something when one of them cooked it. I think I’ll have to troll your site looking for other kid-helpful recipes

  56. Tom

    Hi. I love your site and have had a lot of fun trying several of your recipes….I love their straightforwardness and lack of fussiness. THIS ONE is just wonderful…the sauce is nice and bright. I hate chopping onions and so love to use the grater! Thanks for the permission! LOL Have made this over a dozen times in the last six months…friends demand its’ bubbly cheezy happiness! Thank you!

  57. Pat

    I also love chicken parmesan and this really looks delicious! Great recipe…:)

  58. Jodie

    Oh my goodness, you have the most amazing recipes and I am always so impressed! I made this tonight for my husband and I, and it was superb- as all everything from your website is! Thank you so much!!

  59. Evan

    I’ve been using a small hard cheese grater to grate cloves of garlic for a few years now, don’t know why I never thought to try grating onion. I have made your mothers Parmesan Chicken many times, I will be trying this recipe over the weekend.

  60. Tina

    This is so delicious! I use panko bread crumbs. And if I make it for more than two people, I double the sauce recipe. But you can’t go wrong with this chicken parmesan…it truly is the best. Even BETTER than restaurant quality!

  61. Earl

    Another healthy recipe, thanks.

  62. LEANN

    Well, there’s OUR weekend project! Too hot to be out and about, so we’ll stay home and make a big batch of chicken parmigiana, so we can put some in the freezer for busy days!