Easy Chicken Parmesan

DinnerComfort FoodItalianChicken

Chicken Parmesan is a classic for a reason! Chicken cutlets, breaded and fried, smothered with tomato sauce, and covered with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses are so good. Serve with pasta or on a roll.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Oh, how we love chicken parmesan—chicken cutlets, breaded and fried, smothered with tomato sauce, covered with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and baked until the cheese is bubbly and melts into every nook and cranny.

Like its sister recipe, my mother’s parmesan chicken (chicken nuggets dipped in melted butter, breaded and baked), this dish is pure comfort food.

It’s one of those everyone-should-know-how-to-make recipes. It’s easy and comes together quickly. In fact, it’s hard to mess up! Chicken Parmesan is also one of the best uses I can think of for boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.

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Baked Chicken Parmesan bake the chicken in the oven in a casserole dish

Tips for Making Chicken Parmesan

  • Pound the chicken thin: 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.
  • Grate the onions: One trick that will save a little time with making the sauce is to peel and grate the onion instead of chopping it. Use the large holes of a box grater. Don’t cut onion in half, just grate half of a whole onion. The onion will cook faster this way, release more of its juices, and your sauce will come together more quickly.
  • Buy the best canned tomatoes: Your sauce will only be as good as your tomatoes, so use a good quality canned tomato! We like the Muir Glen brand of crushed tomatoes (fire roasted or with basil). A good canned San Marzano tomato from Italy would work well too. If crushed isn’t available, you can buy canned whole tomatoes and pulse them (with the liquid) in a blender or food processor.
  • Make your own breadcrumbs! We like to use stale French bread and run it through the blender or food processor. Check out food processor instructions in this post, How to Make Breadcrumbs.

What Goes With Chicken Parmesan?

Serve the chicken parmesan straight up, over pasta, or in a sub roll as a sandwich. Chicken Parm goes great with a side of Caesar salad, a wedge salad, or green vegetables such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

Here are 4 More Ways to Savor Chicken Parm!

Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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

Your sauce will only be as good as your tomatoes, so use a good quality canned tomato! We like Muir Glen brand crushed tomatoes (fire roasted or with basil), or Italian San Marzano tomatoes.

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

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, grated (don't cut onion in half, just grate half of a whole onion), about 3/4 cup of grated onion
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch sugar

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, Panko or homemade
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

To serve:

  • Cooked spaghetti, or sub rolls

Method

1 Start the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 to 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 to 12 minutes).

Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe cook the sauce

2 Preheat oven to 400°F.

3 Pound cutlets thin: 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.

Easy Chicken Parmesan pound the cutlets with a mallet

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

5 Dredge cutlets and brown them: Heat 1/4 cup 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.

Chicken Parmesan recipe dip the chicken into the egg Baked Chicken Parmesan dredge the chicken in breadcrumbsBaked chicken parmesan recipe brown the cutlets

6 Prep the chicken for the oven: Spread enough tomato sauce to thickly coat the bottom of a 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.

Prep the chicken parmesan for the oven in the casserole dish

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

Baked Chicken Parmesan bake the chicken in the oven in a casserole dish

8 Serve: Serve with pasta and the remaining sauce, or in a large roll.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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110 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEasy Chicken Parmesan

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Grace

    I made it and it was so tender that my husband couldn’t believe that it was chicken. Thanks Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Diane

    Made this for the first time and it was delicious. Fairly quick too. It will now be my go to recipe for Chicken Parm. I added a bit of red wine to the sauce and doubled the oregano and now will always make my own sauce for other recipes. Yum. .

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Tgrossy

    I’ve made this recipe over a dozen times. My family only wants my chicken parm. I follow this to a t and then I’m a hero on Chicken Parm night.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Kass

    Failure! Used the cooking times as suggested and my chicken came out raw. I adds the chicken when oil started to sizzle, got it brown on both sides. Thinking I should have gotten the oil hotter. Also 20 minutes minimum game time for chicken. But it came out tough too. So maybe 350 for 50 mins is best. Also onion was hard to grate. I am an inexperienced cook and need extra tips. My gut is unreliable in the kitchen.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Stella

    This recipe was very delicious and everybody in my family thoroughly enjoyed it it’s an A+ recipe. And very easy to prepare.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
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Baked Chicken Parmesan bake the chicken in the oven in a casserole dishEasy Chicken Parmesan