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Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan – The Stay At Home Chef

Chicken Parmesan is a classic weeknight go-to for a reason. Each piece of chicken is hugged by a layer of crispy breadcrumbs, then blanketed with gooey, melty cheese, all sitting in a pool of deliciously tangy marinara sauce. It’s all made with ingredients you’ve probably got hanging out in your kitchen right now. It’s your weeknight warrior the whole family will love.

If you’re an air fryer lover, you can make an absolutely delicious chicken parm in the air fryer as well!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Uses simple, everyday ingredients that are easy to find.
  • Two styles of breadcrumbs to add even more crispy crunch.
  • Ready in under an hour, ideal for busy evenings.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Chicken parmesan features a delightful contrast of textures, from the crispiness of its breadcrumb coating to the softness of the melted mozzarella. The flavors are rich and comforting, combining the tanginess of marinara sauce with the savory depth of parmesan and the freshness of basil. The Best Chicken Parmesan has the perfect fried, breaded coating and is smothered in marinara and fresh mozzarella cheese for ooey-gooey classic comfort food perfection. 

A collage image showing four different steps in the process of breading chicken and preparing it for assembly in making chicken parmesan.

Chicken Options

We like to use skinless and boneless chicken breasts in parmesan chicken recipe. Be sure to use thin chicken breasts. If the chicken you purchase is plump and thick, you can use a mallet to pound out your chicken to an even thickness.

Cheese Options

Chicken parmesan is usually made using a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Mozzarella provides the ooey-gooey melted cheese factor, while parmesan adds a lot of extra flavor. Fresh mozzarella will give you a better texture than the block style. When it comes to Parmesan cheese, always opt for freshly grated as dried or pre-grated options generally have preservatives mixed in which interferes with melting.

Are both types of breadcrumbs necessary?

This recipe calls for a combination of panko bread crumbs AND regular dried bread crumbs. The dual breadcrumb combination is a huge part of what makes this chicken parmesan the best. We find that it is the perfect combination to provide the ultimate crunchy combination. Be sure to use seasoned Italian-style bread crumbs. If using plain, you’ll need to add 1 ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the mix.

A collage image showing four different steps in the process of adding your breaded chicken into the baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve chicken parmesan on a bed of cooked pasta of any shape, though we prefer spaghetti or linguine. Coat your pasta with a little olive oil or melted butter to keep it from sticking together. Add an additional 1 to 2 cups of marinara to this recipe when serving over pasta so that you have enough sauce to coat the pasta. Some of our favorite sides to serve this with include:

Troubleshooting

  • Cheese Not Melting or Browning: If the cheese isn’t melting or browning towards the end of baking time, switch your oven to broil for a minute or two. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Chicken Drying Out: If you notice the chicken starting to dry out during cooking, loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil to help retain moisture in the meat.
  • Cheese Burning Before Chicken is Done: To prevent cheese from burning if the chicken isn’t cooked through, place a piece of foil loosely over the top midway through baking, removing it in the last few minutes for a final touch of color.
  • Chicken Isn’t Cooked Through: Continue to bake it in the oven until it reaches the correct temperature.

For the ultimate crispiness, wait to put the marinara sauce on until just before serving. You will need to melt the mozzarella and parmesan directly onto the fried chicken breast. Warm the marinara sauce before saucing and serving.

An overhead view of a plate of chicken parmesan ready to eat.

Make Ahead Instructions

Prepare the breaded chicken according to the recipe, stopping before the frying or baking step. Lay the breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re not touching. Freeze them on the baking sheet for about 1-2 hours, or until firm. Once firm, transfer the chicken pieces to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

When ready to cook, there’s no need to thaw. Preheat your oven as directed by the recipe, increase the cooking time slightly to account for starting from frozen, and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the breading is golden and crispy. Add the marinara sauce and cheese in the last few minutes of cooking, continuing until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Place any leftover parmesan chicken in an airtight container and store in the fridge. It will keep for 3 to 4 days. When you’re ready to dig in, you can heat it up in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through. You could also reheat it in the oven for extra crispy results. Place the chicken parm in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil, then heat at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Best Chicken Parmesan

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