Easy Chicken Parmesan

4 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian favorite, breaded and baked with an easy marinara sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella in just 30 minutes!

Classic Italian Recipes are an easy and satisfying weeknight option and you’ll love Ultimate Meat Lasagna made with Easy Marinara Sauce, Easy Carbonara Pasta and these Amazing Stuffed Shells (they’re so quick you have to try them!).

Easy Chicken Parmesan on plate with pasta

This is the best chicken EVER – crispy breaded chicken breasts topped with homemade marinara and melted mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Baked to a crispy perfection, this will easily become a family favorite! 

While this dish is inspired by homemade classics from Italian kitchens, Chicken Parm as we know it was actually first made here in the USA by immigrants hailing from Italy! The idea for it came by combining the Italian dish made with baked eggplant recipe with their breaded beef recipe. And by the mid 20th century, this dish was being served all across America at homes and in restaurants. Today, depending on how fancy of an Italian restaurant you get Chicken Parmesan from, it may be called Chicken Parmesan or chicken parmigiana. They are the same dish.

While normally just garnished with parmesan cheese, this recipe takes it a step further and calls for parmesan cheese to be added to the breading for even more flavor. Serve it up with pasta, Garlic Bread and a green salad like our Copycat Olive Garden Salad for a classic Italian-American restaurant favorite! 

Chicken Parmesan on spatula

How to Make Chicken Parmesan

The most important part of the dish is the coating process. For this recipe, you’ll set up a standard breading station with shallow dishes and mix the bread crumbs with grated parmesan cheese so you get extra parmesan flavor in the breading too.

  • Step One: Preheat oven and flatten the chicken with a meat mallet. If you don’t have a meat mallet then you can use a rolling pin. Transfer chicken to the side and season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  • Step Two: Bread the skinless chicken breasts in the bread crumbs, one piece of chicken at a time in the shallow bowls. Then sear in cast iron skillet on medium heat for a few minutes. The chicken will still be raw inside. You can add 4 or 5 cloves garlic to the frying pan to give it some extra flavor.
  • Step Three: Add the pieces of chicken to the baking dish sprayed with vegetable oil, top with fresh tomato sauce and freshly shredded cheese, and bake until ready. You can use a 9×13 baking dish. You can also bake fully then add cheese at the end keeping it in the oven until cheese is melted. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you meal prep this Chicken Parmesan recipe?

This is a great recipe that will taste like your favorite restaurant, but you can even meal prep it making it all the way through the breading process then freezing the chicken breasts and baking them off at a later date.

Make sure to allow for extra baking time because frozen chicken takes a little longer to cook, and preheat the oven to 250º to allow for the breading to cook without burning.

How do you keep Chicken Parmesan from becoming soggy? 

Chicken Parmesan gets soggy from the marinara sauce. The sauce is meant for flavor but not to drown the chicken out. It also makes a spot on the chicken where the breading softens. The remaining part of the chicken not covered in sauce is able to remain crispy. In this recipe we bake the marinara sauce with the chicken which helps the juices evaporate. Some people like to serve the chicken on a layer of marinara, but that take away from the crispiness. This isn’t a bad thing, just preference.

But if you’re really going for the crispy breading, you can cook the chicken separately, then serve it with a heavy tablespoon of sauce on top, a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese, and a side dish of more sauce for those who are interested. 

What is Parmesan Cheese? 

Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that is made from cow’s milk, and then is aged for an entire year. Actual Parmesan cheese is this 12-month old hard cheese made in the region in north Italy from where it was first produced. If you’re looking for the actual parmesan, look for one that is imported and labeled Parmigiano Reggiano. 

You can easily find an American equivalent parmesan cheese in your local grocery store that will taste incredibly similar to the Italian original. But for best taste and authentic feel, we recommend shredding your own block of parmesan cheese at home since the powdered kind in green bottles contains extra ingredients that will dilute quality and ultimately won’t delight your family, or special guests. 

What Sauce do you use for Chicken Parmesan?

Chicken Parmesan is served with a classic marinara sauce which is added to the top of the chicken cutlet and baked with shredded cheese on top. You can also serve it over other pasta recipes like this Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta or Cheesecake Factory Chicken Bellagio.

Key Ingredients for Chicken Parmesan

  • Chicken: Look for boneless chicken breast cutlets. You can use thawed or fresh from the butcher’s table. If there is skin, try to remove the skin before breading. We’ll be using vegetable oil to keep each piece of chicken from sticking. Just don’t forget to season with salt!
  • Breadcrumbs: We are using panko breadcrumb mixture in this recipe. You can make your own seasoned breadcrumbs by adding a teaspoon of Italian herb. You’ll mix them in a shallow bowl for a personalized breading mixture!
  • Cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella cheeses for best taste, highest quality, the the perfect cheesy goodness.
  • Sauce: For an easy meal you can use a pre-made marinara sauce. You can also make your own marinara sauce. Pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce are all similar enough to be able to use as well in a pinch. Give it a bit of a kick with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Alternative Cooking Methods for Chicken Parmesan

  • Baked vs. Stovetop: This recipe is cooked partially in the skillet before being cooked the rest of the way in the oven to help the breadcrumbs get crispy and browned while the chicken cutlets stay moist. You can of course finish cooking the chicken through in the skillet then top with the sauce and cheese, cover with a lid and allow the cheese to melt quickly and serve immediately, but the time in the oven allows you time to cook pasta and it also gives the sauce a bit of time to dry out in the oven so it isn’t as soggy.
  • Air Fryer: Heat the air fryer to 360º.  Bread the chicken per this recipe. Line the air fryer with tin foil and cook the chicken on the tin foil for 12 minutes. Turn over when halfway done to allow for full cooking on both sides. Serve as you normally would topped with marinara sauce, parmesan, and maybe even a dusting of dried basil for an extra burst of flavor. 
Chicken Parmesan on cookie sheet.

Variations on Chicken Parmesan

  • Kid-Friendly Version: One of the first departures kids can make from chicken nuggets is to this Chicken Parmesan. You can sell it as a chicken nugget pizza (total parent win, bribe your kids into trying something new by pretending its a mashup of two of their favorite foods). In fact you can make this Chicken Parmesan recipe topped with pepperoni or even start making the marinara with the kids as a fun project to do together.
  • One-Pot Casserole: If you’re looking for a more outside the box Chicken Parm option there’s also this favorite dark horse recipe: Noodle free Chicken Parmesan Casserole with a super unexpected crispy topping you can serve up with fettuccine or tortellini. Your guests will all love it and won’t believe the topping!
  • Sandwich Style: Or you can make a super fun cheeseburger take on Chicken Parm and make Chicken Parmesan Sloppy Joes! They’re so easy and delicious to make you’ll make them all the time.

How to Serve Chicken Parmesan

  • Sides: You can serve chicken parmesan with spaghetti in its classic presentation, steamed vegetables, or spiraled zucchini noodles for a lighter option.
  • Sandwich: Chicken parmesan is also regularly served on hoagie rolls as a hot sub sandwich.
  • Toppings: Fresh parsley, fresh basil and freshly shaved parmesan or pecorino cheese are some go-to topping options.

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How to Store Chicken Parmesan

  • Serve: Serve this dish hot. Keep it covered when not being served. It will need refrigerated after 2 hours at a maximum.
  • Store: You can store this in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat until the internal temperature reaches 165º.
  • Freeze: Chicken parmesan will freeze nicely in an airtight container for up to three months. Reheat at a lower temperature, 250º, to allow the inner chicken to reheat without burning the crust.
Chicken Parmesan in bowl

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Pin Recipe

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian favorite, breaded and baked with an easy marinara sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella in just 30 minutes!
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded


  • Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and spray the baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Put the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and using a rolling pin or flat kitchen mallet flatten it to ½ inch thickness then season them with salt and pepper.
  • In three shallow bowls add the flour to one, eggs to one (and beat until combined) and the panko and Parmesan cheese to the other (and mix).
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg, and finally press it into the panko mixture.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown (it'll be raw inside still).
  • Add the chicken to a baking sheet, add the marinara sauce on top, and finally top with the shredded mozzarella then cook for 18-20 minutes.


  • 1 Baking dish , 9 x 13 inches



Serving: 1g | Calories: 477kcal
Chicken Parmesan on bed of noodles pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Chicken Parmesan Collage
Chicken Parmesan Collage Photos

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This is my sisters favorite thing to eat when we go out to dinner. I’m going to try this some time soon for Sunday dinner. Honey

  2. I love this recipe! Simple and delicious! I had never made chicken parm before and I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe, it’s a go to now.

  3. Very delicious. My husband was very pleased. He said we should definitely keep this recipe on the rotation. Very thankful to find your recipes.

  4. can I prep the chicken and brown in the cast iron skillet tonight. put in a baking dish and top with the marinara and cheese cover and finish oven process tomorrow?

  5. Amazing chicken dish. Served it to company and friends asked for the recipe. It is a real keeper. Thanks for sharing it

  6. If you do the meal prep do you skip the skillet and put it straight in the oven? If so, will it be just as good? I would like to make for a dinner party of 12 but don’t want to sit over the stove For several minutes. I don’t necessarily have to freeze it but wanted to do most of the steps before my guests come.

  7. I only have shredded Parmesan and sliced Provolone in the fridge. How would it be without the mozzarella? I’d really like to try this today.

  8. Tried this recipe last night after work, it didn’t take too long and we have spare sauce for next time. This is a lovely meal, very tasty and will definitely go in the recipe folder. Served it with med veg, delicious, thank you.

  9. Outstanding recipe! Frying the chicken in both olive oil and butter is key. Also..baking on a cookie sheet pan rather than in a casserole dish makes for nice, crispy edged chicken instead of being soggy. Thank you once again for a winning recipe, Sabrina!

  10. Good Evening,
    I made this recipes tonight and I couldn’t wait for the pasta to cook! I changed it up just a tad at the end. I did a double layer of marinara, cheese, then marinara and cheese… Yummy!
    Can’t wait for my friend to try it out when he gets here !

  11. This was our first Sabrina recipe and it is a family favorite. I fry the chicken a slight bit longer (our gas stove top is a bit finicky) otherwise I follow along with your recipe. One flattened chicken breast served on spaghetti with marinara sauce is a generous portion for two of us. So good!

  12. Made this for dinner tonight and it was soooo good! I mixed mozzarella and Parmesan on the top while baking and just used store bought sauce I had on hand. The chicken was amazing and the recipe was so easy to follow. Husband approved and there’s enough for me to take for lunch tomorrow! Yay!!

  13. Your recipes make me look like a rockstar in the kitchen! Lord have mercy this chicken parm was absolutely delicious!! So easy to follow the directions and didn’t take too long to make. I accidentally used Italian Panko breadcrumbs which I didn’t know existed, and it was superb!! Thank you for your wonderful recipes and for all the work you put into sharing them!!

    1. You’ll want to use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You’ll want pieces that are thicker, maybe 3/4 inch thick.

  14. Sabrina, I made the marinara adding extra minced garlic and basil; it was perfect. I’m looking forward to making chicken parmesan. Thank you for your website; I absolutely enjoy all the recipes!

  15. Hey I’m making this dish for my family and I’m just wondering how long I need to bake the chicken for??

  16. This looks delicious! I’m making it tonight…would i be able to prepare it all except for the baking step and just keep it in the fridge until time to bake it or would it mess it up to put it in the fridge after cooking it in the cast iron?

    1. Unfortunately I wouldn’t suggest that due to bacteria with half cooked chicken. I would just make it all at once. Enjoy!

  17. This is the first time I can really say I was surprised at how AMAZING this tasted. Usually the recipes are just ok and good. This was to die for! Even my husband, who seems to find fault with everything, loved it and didn’t complain. Yummmmmmm.

  18. Hi Sabrina-I would like to try your recipe tomorrow night for about 6-7 people. I see this recipe serves 4. Would you recommend I just double the ingredients? Please get back to me when you can. Thank you.

    1. There is a slider tool on each recipe card for you to increase or decrease the serving size and it will adjust your ingredients to match. Just hover over the serving size and it’ll show up. Hope this helps!

    1. I prefer a cast iron skillet because it gets a nicer crust on the chicken but it’s not necessary. You can use any fying pan you have on hand.

  19. I made this recipe and it was so good. I used Italian bread crumbs and put some grated parmesan cheese in it. I didn’t see the Panko crumbs until after I made the meal. I seasoned my spaghetti sauce and used it for the marinara. I pretty much kept your recipe the same. Everyone loved it so much. I’m making it this weekend for 9 people and I’m excited. Thank you for the recipe

  20. Made the recipe but made a few changes. I added Italian bread crumbs to the panko. And for the marinara I added some red wine, sugar and salt. Came out very well two thumbs up

  21. no offense, but nothing even closely similar to this recipe exists in Italy.
    it will be tasty, no doubt, but no one single restourant (or mom) would prepare a dish like the one in the photo.
    100% american stuff. don’t confuse.

    1. Lorenzo – I don’t think it was meant to be a 100% authentic Italian dish – and who cares! It’s delicious!!! Please don’t be a snob.

  22. We made this for our Valentine’s Day dinner tonight. My fella told me it was as good as the Chicken Parmigiana we order at our favorite Café Amore! Thanks Sabrina!

  23. I will be making this Thursday since I already have planned my valentine dinner.  Thank you so much for this amazing delicious looking dish