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Get ready to serve up a slice of heaven with this mouth-watering Chicken Parmesan! It’s got all the crispy, cheesy, saucy goodness you crave, and it’s so easy to make, you’ll be elevating your dinner game in no time.
Listen up, folks—this Chicken Parmesan isn’t just another weeknight meal; it’s an experience you won’t forget! Imagine juicy chicken breasts, pounded to perfection, then crisped up in a delightful blend of panko and regular breadcrumbs. You’re not done yet—each piece is smothered in zesty marinara and covered in a layer of melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Trust me, the blend of flavors and textures will leave your taste buds dancing.
It’s the ultimate comfort dish that’ll have everyone begging for seconds—or thirds! And let’s be real; who doesn’t love that golden, cheesy crust? But the kicker is the finishing touch of fresh basil, giving it that restaurant-quality flair right in your own kitchen. I’m telling you, make this Chicken Parmesan once, and it’s going to be a go-to favorite. No questions asked.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Parmesan
- Unbeatable Flavor Combo: The mix of tangy marinara sauce, gooey mozzarella, and sharp parmesan cheese elevates this dish into something you’d expect from a high-end Italian restaurant. And don’t even get me started on that golden breadcrumb crust—it’s a flavor bomb!
- Versatility for Days: This Chicken Parmesan isn’t just a stand-alone superstar; it’s also incredibly versatile. Serve it over spaghetti for a hearty meal, or make it into a killer chicken parm sandwich.
- Surprisingly Easy to Make: Don’t let the luxe flavors fool you; this dish is a breeze to whip up. The steps are straightforward, and the ingredients are pantry staples. Perfect for impressing at a dinner party, yet simple enough for a weeknight dinner win.
- Chicken breasts: I’m using boneless and skinless halves. You could also use chicken thighs if you prefer darker meat.
- All-purpose flour: For dredging the chicken, which helps the egg and breadcrumb mixture stick. You can substitute with gluten-free flour if needed.
- Large eggs: Beaten eggs act as the adhesive for the breadcrumb mixture. Egg substitute or even buttermilk can work as alternatives.
- Vegetable or olive oil: For frying the chicken to golden perfection. Use any high-smoke-point oil like canola or avocado oil if you prefer.
- Panko breadcrumbs: These create that crispy, crunchy exterior. You can substitute with regular breadcrumbs but they won’t be as crispy.
- Regular breadcrumbs: Added to the panko for a well-rounded crust. Again, you could use all panko or all regular breadcrumbs.
- Parmesan cheese: Adds that rich, sharp flavor in the breadcrumb mix and as a topping. Grana Padano is a good alternative.
- Salt and pepper: Basic seasonings for the breadcrumb mix, but absolutely essential.
- Marinara sauce: Brings that tangy tomato flavor; homemade or store-bought works. Crushed tomatoes with a bit of seasoning could also work in a pinch.
- Mozzarella cheese: For that gooey, melty topping. Provolone is a good substitute.
- Basil leaves: Freshly chopped for garnish, adding a bright note. You can use dried basil if fresh isn’t available.
Making Chicken Parmesan is way easier than people think. So, let’s get to it!
First things first, preheat that oven to 425°F (218°C). While it’s getting hot, line up some parchment paper and grab a meat mallet. You’re gonna pound those chicken breasts until they’re about half an inch thick. This speeds up cooking and makes everything tender.
Okay, now set up your dredging stations. One plate with flour, another with beaten eggs, and the last one mixed with panko breadcrumbs, regular breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Drag each chicken piece through the flour, then dunk it in the egg, and finally coat it with the breadcrumb mixture.
Heat some oil in a large skillet—make sure it’s hot but not smoking. We’re talking about 375°F to 400°F here. Drop in the chicken pieces, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry them until they’re golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Once they’re done, place them on a baking sheet.
Now, here comes the fun part! Slather each fried chicken piece with some marinara sauce. Don’t be shy; make it saucy! Sprinkle a good amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
Slide that baking sheet into the oven for about 20 minutes. You’re waiting for the cheese to melt and get all bubbly. Once it’s looking irresistible, pull it out, sprinkle some freshly chopped basil over the top, and you’re good to go. Serve it over spaghetti or your pasta of choice and watch everyone dig in!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Absolutely! Chicken thighs can offer a more flavorful alternative to chicken breasts. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as needed, since thighs can be thicker and may require a little extra time in the pan or oven.
What can I use instead of marinara sauce?
If you’re out of marinara, you can use any tomato-based pasta sauce as a replacement. A homemade tomato sauce spiced to your preference works great too!
Can this dish be made gluten-free?
Yes, you can easily make this Chicken Parmesan gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour. Just make sure to check the labels of your marinara sauce and cheeses to ensure they’re gluten-free as well.
How can I make it healthier?
Yes, you can freeze it, but it’s best to do so before adding the sauce and cheese. Wrap the fried, breaded chicken pieces tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and store in a freezer-safe bag. When you’re ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator, add the sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly.
- Pound to Even Thickness: For even cooking and a better texture, make sure to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. This helps the chicken to cook evenly and makes for a more tender bite.
- Preheat Your Frying Pan: A hot pan is key to getting that golden, crispy crust on your chicken. Wait until the oil reaches the correct temperature—use a kitchen thermometer to check if you have one.
- Use Fresh Parmesan: Grate your own Parmesan cheese rather than using pre-grated. Freshly grated Parmesan melts better and offers a richer flavor.
- Double Dredging Technique: For an extra-crispy crust, you can dredge the chicken in flour, dip in egg, and then dredge in breadcrumbs, not once but twice. This double coating ensures maximum crispiness.
Storing this Chicken Parmesan is a breeze! Place any leftover chicken pieces in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to freeze it for later, I recommend doing so before adding the marinara and cheese topping. Simply wrap the fried chicken cutlets individually in plastic wrap, and then place them in a zip-top bag.
They’ll keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, you can bake them straight from the freezer—just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time and don’t forget the toppings!
This Chicken Parmesan is golden, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and utterly delicious!
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- Preheat your oven to 425℉.
- Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two pieces of parchment paper. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, start pounding the chicken until it's about ½ inch (1 cm) in thickness. Repeat with remaining breasts.
- Place the flour in a shallow plate, same with the eggs. In another shallow plate, combine the breadcrumb mixture together.
- Dredge the chicken through the flour, one piece at a time, making sure it's fully coated on both sides, then dip into the egg mixture. Dredge through the breadcrumb mixture on both sides. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
- Preheat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Make sure the oil is hot enough, between 375℉ to 400℉. Fry the chicken in batches. Add two pieces of chicken at a time and brown on both sides until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Place the fried chicken on a baking sheet. Top each piece of chicken with about ¼ cup of marinara sauce. Use more if preferred. Top each chicken with ¼ cup of mozzarella and ¼ of the parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Sprinkle with basil and serve over spaghetti.
- For an even crispier crust, let the breaded chicken sit for about 10-15 minutes before frying. This helps the coating adhere better.
- If you prefer a lighter version, you can bake the chicken instead of frying. Just spray the breaded chicken with cooking spray and bake at 425°F until golden.
- Feel free to use your favorite marinara sauce, but a chunkier sauce tends to hold up better under the cheese.
- Fresh basil really elevates the dish, but in a pinch, 1 teaspoon of dried basil can be substituted.
- The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, so keep an eye on them.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.