Chicken Marinara

DinnerQuick and EasyItalianChicken Thigh

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

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 / Reviews

  • RainDrop

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

  • koffiekitten

    This looks so yummy!

  • Rathi Varadarajan

    Hi. Chanced upon this site and have become a regular visitor.
    Made this recipe but using Fish fillets. Was a big hit with family and friends. Of course being from India, had to add more of the red pepper :-)

  • Elise Lafosse

    This looks excellent. Am going to try it this weekend. Question though, is it easy to debone chicken thighs? Or can you serve it with the bones in it. I will ask the butcher if he will do it but I doubt it. Thanks. Elise

  • Linda

    Hi Elise

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    It is easy to debone a thigh or chicken breast.
    I have a sharp boning (curved blade) knife I use to debone meats with. I learned not to take off every bit of meat on the bones while trying to cut a chicken thigh or breast. I do not mangle the meat now. The small amount of meat left on the bones and the bones goes into my stock pot to make chicken broth. I use the broth instead of cream or milk when I make chicken gravy for roasted chicken.


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