Parmesan Chicken

DinnerBudgetComfort FoodChicken Breast

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Parmesan Chicken Breast worth Fighting Over (and For)

When we were kids, my mother used to make this Parmesan chicken breast 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 “chicken nuggets” before anyone called them that!)

Then she would dip these chicken nuggets into melted butter, dredge them in breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and bake them.

My god were they good.

The Secret to the Best Parmesan Chicken Breast

Several years ago when I asked mom for her parmesan chicken breast 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 the parmesan chicken breasts 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

chicken being prepared for parmesan chicken breast Buttering chicken for parmesan chicken breasts
Homemade chicken parmesan breast nuggets homemade chicken nuggets baked

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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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.

More from Elise

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

208 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Abigail

    Just got back from deployment and I love cooking! It’s been so long I was afraid to cook without a recipe. Dinner turned out amazing, and my family really really loved it. Thankyou!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jami

    We love this recipe. No matter how much I make my boyfriend still eats it all.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Maria

    If I used skin on/bone in do u know cooking times and temp.?

  • Russ K

    I needed an easy, kid friendly chicken dish for a holiday gathering and this chicken dish totally fit the bill! The family loved it… garlicky yummy-ness! It was easy to prepare and bake while finishing up the other dishes.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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.

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