Authentic Chicken Parmesan {Family Recipe}

Learn how to make authentic chicken parmesan! Tender breaded chicken topped with hearty tomato sauce, melted cheese, and lots of herbs. This DELICIOUS Italian classic is one my family has been making for years and is to this day the best I’ve ever had!

Chicken parmesan in a pan with a spatula

Chicken parmigiana is an American-Italian dish that consists of tender breaded chicken covered in marinara with melted mozzarella & parmesan cheese! Even though this dish is served in a lot of Italian restaurants, it actually did not originate in Italy, but was created by Italian immigrants here in America! (source)

Growing up, I knew one thing to be true. That my mom made the best chicken parmesan around! No restaurant or other recipe has ever compared.

This recipe is a family favorite and has been served for all of our family birthday dinners, holidays, and special occasions!

You’ll find every bite filled with fall-apart juicy chicken, rich homemade tomato sauce, and so much flavor. And let’s not forget the browned cheesiness on top!

Ingredients – What You Need

Chicken cutlets or breast: use boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Flour: use all purpose flour for dredging the chicken in.
Eggs: an egg mixture is used to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken after coating in flour.
Breadcrumbs: for the breading mixture – you can use store-bought panko breadcrumbs or use homemade breadcrumbs (see below for recipe).
Marinara: use a quality store-bought marinara sauce or make a homemade sauce! See below for my top recommendations.
Olive oil: oil is used to brown the chicken in batches.
Parmesan cheese: to add salty flavor to the breadcrumbs and for sprinkling over the chicken at the end!
Fresh mozzarella cheese: to layer over the chicken and for sprinkling over the top! You can use shredded or sliced pieces of mozzarella.
Dried Italian herbs: to season the breadcrumbs so the chicken cuts have lots of herb flavor.
Fresh basil: Add fresh basil at the end for bright flavor!
Garlic powder: for flavoring the breadcrumb mixture.
Black pepper & salt: for flavor!

How to Make Authentic Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana) – Step by Step

Step by Step photos showing how to make chicken parmigiana

(1) Tenderize the chicken – Place chicken cutlets/breasts in a ziplock bag, and firmly pound with a rolling pin or smooth side of a meat mallet – chicken thickness should be 1/2 inch.)

(2) First, in a shallow bowl, dip the chicken cutlets in the flour on both sides.

(3) Then, transfer floured chicken and dip in egg mixture on both sides.

(4) Last, dip both sides of chicken in bread crumbs. Evenly coat and pack breadcrumbs lightly with your hand

Step by step photos showing how to make chicken parmigiana

How to Make Crispy Chicken

(5) In a cast-iron skillet or heavy pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Lay breaded chicken in an oiled pan and brown chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown in color.

(6) Place browned chicken cutlets in a baking pan or dish (9×13), top with mozzarella and a layer of marinara sauce. Bake for 13-15 minutes – then sprinkle with shredded parmesan and mozzarella and broil on HIGH for 1 additional minute – the cheese will be bubbling and browned.

Make it Low Carb

To make this recipe a little healthier and without breading use 1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese mixed with the herbs, garlic powder, and salt & pepper. Dip chicken into egg, then parmesan cheese mixture, and then bake accordingly. The result will be so cheesy and delicious!

My Favorite Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

This isn’t required but is recommended to elevate your recipe even more. Homemade Italian breadcrumbs take only a few minutes and make a world of difference for this dish!

How to make Italian breadcrumbs: Toast 5-7 slices of your choice of bread – whole wheat, Ezekiel bread, or gluten-free. Blend toast in a food processor or high-powered blender with 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp Italian herbs, and 1/2 tsp salt. SO easy and absolutely delicious!

Extra Helpful Recipes Tips

Tip
stainless steel baking pans

choosing the right baking vessel

Our Favorite Stainless Steel Pans

Growing up, my mom ALWAYS used her stainless steel hotel pans for Italian recipes – especially chicken parmesan. We recommend using them over glass baking dishes because of how well they heat up and help perfectly cook the chicken! They've been a staple in our kitchen for years.

  • Chicken breast vs chicken cutlets: For chicken parmesan you can use either chicken breast or chicken cutlets. The difference? A chicken breast is the whole thing; a chicken cutlet is a slice of meat cut from a chicken breast. It is generally thinner than the whole breast.
  • Make our homemade sauce: What makes this Authentic Italian Chicken Parmigiana delicious is using my family’s San Marzano Tomato Sauce or this fresh tomato sauce. This sauce we simmer for several hours to perfection to get a thick, rich, and flavorful tomato sauce. You can also use our favorite store-bought suace to save time.
  • The best pot for browning chicken: Use a cast iron skillet for browning chicken. This heavy duty pan gets hot quick and helps brown the breading perfectly for this recipe. You can also use stainless steel if you don’t have cast iron on hand. 
  • What to use instead of breadcrumbs: If you do not have breadcrumbs, you can either make your own (see notes below) or grind up old-fashion oats, crushed regular corn flakes, or cracker crumbs.
  • Best baking vessel: my mom always recommends using a stainless steal pan for baking chicken – especially chicken parm. It will heat up fast, stay hot, and keep the chicken crispy – not soggy!

Our Favorite Ways to Serve It

You can serve this chicken parm with pasta noodles, such as spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, or even gluten-free pasta if needed! If you’re looking for a lighter side to pair it with, you can do zucchini noodles or vegetable noodles as a healthier replacement for pasta. For salad, you can serve it with a simple green salad, caesar salad, our Tuscan artichoke salad or this abundant Italian salad with some crusty bread on the side.

Tips For Freezing & Storing Leftovers

Keep leftovers fresh: store cooked chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. To reheat, place in a baking tray and cover with foil, bake at 350F until warm.

Freezing tips (2 ways):
Freeze chicken parm: as the recipe instructs, let cool the room temperature and then store in an airtight container. Freeze for 1-2 months. When ready to serve, let thaw at room temperature, and cover in foil, and bake 425F until warm.

Freeze chicken cutlets: another way to freeze is by breading the chicken cutlets and browning them in a pan. Let cool to room temperature before storing in freezer-friendly bags (air removed). Freeze for 1-2 months then thaw at room temperature and assemble in chicken parmesan when ready to bake.

Other Delicious Italian Recipes to Try

A close up of chicken parmesan

If you tried this Authentic Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana) recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

Chicken parmesan in a pan with a spatula

Authentic Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana)

5 from 31 votes

Crispy baked chicken with hearty tomato sauce, melted cheese, and herbs. A famous family recipe that is the BEST chicken parmesan I've had – A must-try recipe that makes plenty of leftovers! 

Servings 6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: authentic chicken parmesan, chicken parmigiana, easy chicken dinner
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 454 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts or cutlets, sliced in half into 6 cuts (see notes for difference)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (use gf flour blend if needed)
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Breadcrumbs

  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (see notes to make homemade bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp (each) salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian herb blend (thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

For the Topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F

  2. Tenderize chicken: place chicken cutlets/breasts in a ziplock bag, and firmly pound with a rolling pin or smooth side of a meat hammer (chicken thickness should be 1/2 inch).

  3. Breadcrumbs: In a shallow dish, mix all of breadcrumb ingredients together.

  4. Assembly line: Set up a line of shallow bowls/dishes with flour, whisked eggs, and breadcrumbs. 

  5. Bread the chicken: First, coat chicken in flour on both sides. Then, transfer to whisked eggs, dip both sides. Last, lay both sides of chicken in bread crumbs. Evenly coat and pack breadcrumbs lightly with your hand.

  6. Brown the chicken: Heat 3 tablespoons of oil at a time in a cast iron skillet or pan on LOW to MEDIUM heat. Brown chicken for 2 minutes on both sides.

  7. Layer and bake: arrange browned chicken in a large baking dish or pan. Layer first with mozzarella slices then tomato sauce over top. Bake uncovered in oven for 14 minutes – remove from oven then sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. Place pan back in oven and broil on HIGH for 1 minute until cheese is melted and browned. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with your favorite pasta! 

Notes

Make Your Own Breadcrumbs

This isn’t required but recommend to elevate your chicken parmigiana even more. Homemade breadcrumbs take only a few minutes and make a world of difference for this recipe! 

How to: Toast 5-7 slices of your choice of bread – whole wheat, Ezekiel bread, or gluten free. (Healthier bread actually works best for breadcrumbs – the more course the better!) Blend toast in a food processor or high powered blender with 1 tsp garlic power, 2 tsp Italian herbs, and 1/2 tsp salt. SO easy and absolutely delicious!

Nutrition Facts
Authentic Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana)
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 454 Calories from Fat 192
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.3g33%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 495mg21%
Potassium 281mg8%
Carbohydrates 31.7g11%
Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Instagram

Did you make this recipe? Share your photos and tag @asimplepalate #asimplepalate.

Tools Used To Make This Recipe

The following are affiliate links. We only recommend brands, products, and tools we use and trust.
avatar

Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




81 Comments