Parmesan Chicken

BEST Parmesan Chicken recipe ever! Chicken parts dipped in melted butter, dredged in bread crumbs and Parmesan, and baked until crisp.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

When we were kids, my mother used to make this Parmesan chicken dish that was so good we would fight for drippings, every last crumb. She would start with a whole chicken, remove the skin and bones (and use them for making chicken stock), and then cut the meat into small pieces. (She made “nuggets” before anyone called them that!)

Then she she would dip the pieces into melted butter, dredge them in breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and bake them.

My god were they good.

Several years ago when I asked mom for the recipe, she hadn’t made it in so many years she had completely forgotten how. After several false starts, my father and I finally recreated what comes close to her original recipe.

The secret of course is the melted butter.

When we made it with olive oil, it was okay, but not the earth-shattering deliciousness we were looking for. At least that part of the recipe my mother remembered! (halfway through our recipe experimentation) Also, when you use boneless skinless meat that has been cut into small pieces, the ratio of buttery crunchy coating to the meat is much higher than regular coated baked or fried chicken.

This recipe has been updated. First published in 2006.

Parmesan Chicken Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Note that the color of your roasting pan may make a difference in your results. A dark roasting pan (as pictured) may impart more heat and may brown the bottom of the chicken more.

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound), melted
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 2/3 cup if you are using a Microplane zester)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (can sub regular salt)
  • A large pinch of Italian seasoning (herb mix)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken meat, cut into 1-inch to 2-inch wide pieces

Method

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1 Preheat oven to 450°F.

2 Pat chicken pieces dry: Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Patting the chicken pieces dry will help the chicken pieces have crispy breading when baked.

3 Prepare melted butter and breadcrumbs: In a small bowl, stir the minced garlic into the melted butter. In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Piece by piece, dip the chicken pieces into the garlic melted butter, and then dredge into the Parmesan breadcrumb mixture to coat.

Note that if your chicken pieces are cold, they may cause the melted butter to thicken, leaving too much butter sticking the chicken pieces. If you see this happening, just reheat the butter.

4 Place chicken on roasting dish: Place coated chicken pieces on to a 9x13 (or larger) roasting dish. Try to leave a little room between each piece. (You may need to use more than one roasting pan.) Drizzle with remaining garlic butter.

5 Bake: Bake uncovered at 450°F 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Note that the chicken will get much more browned on the bottom side than on the top.

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Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

Showing 4 of 203 Comments

  • April

    Hi! Not sure how old this is.. but my mom used to make it too! And I still know the recipe. It is NOT low fat! At least the original. These are not exact measurements. We always kinda just estimated/threw the ingredients together. Here it is: 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast feeds about 4. So it obviously depends on how many you are feeding. Dip chicken into an egg/milk mixture. Then dredge into a flour/grated Parmesan mix..No breadcrumbs. The flour/parm mix was about 25/75 (so I do like 1/4 cup flour and 3/4 Parm depending on how much making). Also added to the dry mix is at least 1TBs Paprika, and salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste. (Paprika is what makes it!). The dry mix should look like a fine mixture wth light pink color. Coat chicken well in this mix. Put into lightly greased pan. Then drizzle melted butter over the chicken. (1/2 cup- 1 cup). Bake at 350 in pre-heated oven, uncovered, for about 30 mins. I usually check it then.. add some parsley, more Parmesan, cover and bake for another 10-15. I also have added a lil Mozzerella before, red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning.. and it was also good. But the original you just bake and eat, No extras. It goes really well with red skin potatoes and veggies (like green beans or corn). Also good with a wild rice mix or creamy risotto, and side salad.
    Sorry… I’m not a food blogger. Haha! So this recipe is mostly just how we did it. Just thought you may want the “old school” fatty recipe/ingredients. I’ve made it with olive oil, sea salt, and less Parm in the past with brown rice, for a “healthier” option. It was decent.. but not the same. Btw- my sister and I also used to fight over the crunchy, buttery stuff in the pan.

  • Brooke Shelby Biggs

    This is no low-fat recipe, but what it is is an easy crowd-pleaser for casual dinner parties, movie night, etc. I saute spinach in avocado oil with some garlic and red pepper flakes to go with it. Slightly less guilty that way.

  • kathy dinicola

    I liked the flavor but my husband thought the chicken was greasy.

  • Marie

    This was amazing! I really started homeschooling and going to night classes and i was looking for a nice/ fast meal to cook for my husband and son. so i made this and sauteed some brocoli and green beans with goat cheese and baked potatoes and its so good!!

  • Michaela ODonnell

    I’m making tonight for my first time. I defrosted some chicken and every recipe I think of, I’m missing one ingredient. Really don’t want to go to the store though. I’m still missing one for this. The fresh garlic. (Tragic, I know.) I’ll go heavy on the garlic powder. Here goes!

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