Juicy, crispy thin chicken breasts are pan-fried to perfection. Top with easy marinara sauce, melty mozzarella cheese, freshly grated parmesan cheese, then baked to perfection. Ready in about 40 minutes!
Serve over cooked spaghetti for a filling, comforting, family meal (or make it a casserole!). We simply adore this recipe! Easy comfort food!
Fun food fact, according to Wikipedia, "Chicken parmigiana, or chicken parmesan, is a dish that consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese. A slice of ham or bacon is sometimes added. It is also known colloquially in the United States as chicken parm and in Australia as a parma, parmi, or parmy."
Why You'll Love It
Here's my four reasons to love this Crispy Chicken Parmesan!
- We love this recipe because it's easy and the chicken is crispy! Lightly breading it and quickly browning it ensures a crispy crust. The breading is a simple mixture of parmesan cheese, Panko breadcrumbs, and dried Italian seasoning.
- Panko breadcrumbs are way more crispy than regular breadcrumbs and ensure the breading won't get soggy.
- Jarred marinara sauce saves a ton of time. There are many great, quality ones to choose from. I like Rao's Marinara because of its fresh taste of simple ingredients.
- We use freshly sliced mozzarella cheese and freshly grated parmesan cheese. But why, when the pre-shredded and pre-grated versions are so handy? Flavor and texture, that's why! When you use fresh blocks of cheese and grate or shred yourself, you don't get all the powdery stuff which can cause flavor and texture changes.
- Crispy chicken parmesan is an easy chicken dinner that's ready in 35-40 minutes. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner yet elegant enough for a holiday feast. The recipe can easily be doubled.
Why This Recipe Works
We'll use jarred marinara sauce for a no-fuss sauce. Rao's is my favorite brand because it's low sugar, has great flavor, and has ingredients that are easily recognizable. If tomato sauce is more your style, feel free to use it instead.
What to Serve With It
What Goes In It
Fresh ingredients ensure the best chicken parmesan that's nice and crispy, too.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - buy the "thin" cut chicken breasts.
Marinara sauce - use your favorite jarred version. Or use plain tomato sauce.
Parmesan cheese - buy the block of parmesan cheese and grate yourself. I do not recommend the pre-grated stuff.
Mozzarella cheese - also, buy a block of mozzarella cheese. You'll slice it into 4 slices (one for each chicken breast). Like I said above, the pre-shredded stuff is coated in a powder substance and will not give you the best flavor and texture.
Panko bread crumbs - here's the secret to extra crispy chicken parmesan! These are bigger and more crunchy than plain bread crumbs.
Pasta - serve on top of regular spaghetti noodles, linguini, or your favorite.
How to Make It
Here's a quick overview of how to make this crispy chicken parmesan. Use the recipe card at the bottom of the post when you get ready to make it!
(1) Place 1 cup marinara sauce into 9x13-inch baking dish.
(2) Place flour in one plate. Place egg wash in bowl. Place panko breadcrumbs and seasonings in another plate.
(3) Lightly dredge one chicken breast in the flour, then the egg wash, then the bread crumbs. Repeat for the remaining breasts.
(4) Pan fry the chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side. They will finish cooking in the oven.
(5) Transfer the chicken breasts to the baking dish.
(6) Top each breast with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
(7) Spread the remaining marinara sauce in the baking dish (leave the crispy edges of the chicken exposed so they will stay crispy).
(8) Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of each breast. Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti.
Alternate Directions - Make it a Casserole!
For a change of pace, cook and drain your spaghetti noodles first. Layer the noodles at the bottom of the casserole dish. Prepare the chicken as directed, and place it on top of the spaghetti. Add mozzarella cheese, then marinara sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and bake.
What could be better than a crispy piece of chicken, topped with marinara sauce, freshly sliced mozzarella, and freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of spaghetti? Not much, my friend. Not much.
- If you use large or thick chicken breasts, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until approximately ½” thick.
- Have two rimmed plates and one shallow bowl ready for the 3-step coating process.
- When browning the chicken, be sure not to cook through. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
- Serve with a side salad and crusty bread.
Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I prefer to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids from Bayco, available now on Amazon. Reheat in the microwave just until warmed.
If you try this delicious chicken parmesan recipe, please let me know in the comments below.
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Crispy Chicken Parmesan
- 9" x 13" casserole dish
- 2 shallow rimmed plates
- 1 medium bowl
- large skillet
- large pot for cooking spaghetti
- colander to drain spaghetti
- 32 ounces marinara sauce, divided (I like Rao's Marinara for this recipe)
- 4 boneless, skinless "thin-cut" chicken breasts each breast about 5 ounces (150 grams) and about ½-inch thick
- dash sea salt and black pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1-¼ cups parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided buy the block of parmesan cheese, not pre-shredded and not the canned stuff. See recipe note about the cheeses.
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 ounce block of mozzarella, sliced into 4 slices not the pre-shredded cheese
- 1 lb spaghetti, cooked and drained
- Preheat oven to 425F. Evenly spread one cup of the marinara sauce into a 9”x13” baking dish. Set aside.
- Season chicken on both sides with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- (a) Place the flour onto a shallow, rimmed plate. (b) Place the eggs and water in a wide bowl and whisk together. (c) In another shallow, rimmed plate, add the panko bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and one-quarter cup Parmesan cheese then mix well.
- Lightly dredge a chicken breast in the flour, then dip into the egg wash. Let any excess egg mixture drip off a little before moving to the next step.
- Press the breast into the panko bread crumb mixture until thoroughly coated on both sides. Place onto a large plate and set aside. Repeat until all breasts are coated.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until lightly browned and crispy on each side, approximately 2 minutes per side. Add more olive oil if needed. No need to completely cook the chicken as it will finish cooking in the oven.
- Transfer the browned breasts to the baking dish. Arrange in a single layer.
- Top each chicken breast with a mozzarella slice. Spread the remaining marinara sauce down the center of each breast. Try to leave the crispy ends exposed so they'll stay crunchy.
- Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top and place dish into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from oven.
- Plate the spaghetti and top with a serving of chicken parmesan and marinara sauce. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.
This recipe was originally published in 2019 and was updated in 2022.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.