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 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 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

  • 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

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.

4 Dredge chicken pieces in butter and Parmesan mixture: 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.

5 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.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe bake parmesan chicken breast nuggets in pan

6 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

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

229 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Deb

    Too easy and so delicious! My husband loved it (so did I).

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Pamela Behmke

    I used mayo instead of the melted butter and it was fantastic!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Angela

    How do I crisper the top without burning all together

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Tina

    I made this for my kids and we all love it! It’s a recipe that I will continue to cook!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Andrea A.

    Just made this with boneless skinless thighs and otherwise proceeded as written. I was heavy-handed with the breading and ran out, so I just sautéed the extra chicken in the leftover garlic butter. No one was sad about that. We ate the parmesan chicken with cacio e pepe and a green salad, which was just ridiculously good.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
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