Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

I have a love-hate relationship with Chicken Parm. It sounds great in theory: I love chicken, I love Parmesan, I love tomato sauce and I love spaghetti. So I should love Chicken Parmesan too, right? But for all its promise, in most restaurants, it’s an utter abomination that ruins the ingredients that go into the dish. With soggy pancakes of mystery meat saturated with old grease and insipid sauce, I’ve never been able to get behind the American interpretation of Pollo Alla Parmigiana.

Part of the problem is that most chicken parm recipes have you douse the crisp fried chicken with sauce before covering it with cheese and then baking it. Maybe it’s just me, but it it seems a little silly to fry something to get it crisp only to cover it with liquid and make it soggy. That’s why I decided to stick the sauce under the chicken. I still cover it with cheese and bake it to give the cheese color, but this way, the top stays crispy, while the bottom absorbs all the great flavors in the sauce.

This is also the reason why I choose to bake the chicken rather than fry it, because it doesn’t make a difference in the finished Chicken Parmesan, while making cleanup easier and reducing the amount of fat in the dish. Sure the bottom side of the chicken may not get crispy in the oven, but who cares since it’s going into the sauce anyway.

For the breading, I like using Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) rather than the European kind because the crumbs are larger, giving your chicken a nice thick crispy coating. I also use a lot of Parmigiano Reggiano in the coating since Parmesan is in the name after all.

As for the sauce, I find most places spend more time on the chicken than on the sauce (which isn’t saying much) and the sauce tends to be watery, bland and sour. I still like to keep the sauce simple, but by caramelizing the onions first and adding tomato paste, you can make a more flavorful balanced sauce for your chicken to sit atop.

All put together and tossed in a hot oven for a few minutes, and you’ll have a dish of moist, juicy chicken cutlets that are crisp and cheesy on top with a thick, flavorful sauce bubbling up from underneath.

Equipment you'll need:

Chicken Parmigiana
Chicken Parmesan
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Votes: 279
Rating: 4.15
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This baked Chicken Parm, retains a crispy crust, a juicy interior, with plenty of sauce and a crusty browned layer of cheese.
Chicken Parmigiana
Chicken Parmesan
Print Recipe
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 279
Rating: 4.15
Rate this recipe!
This baked Chicken Parm, retains a crispy crust, a juicy interior, with plenty of sauce and a crusty browned layer of cheese.
  • Chicken Cutlet
  • 500 grams chicken thighs - boneless skinless breasts work too
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 sprig rosemary stem removed and minced
  • 3 sprigs thyme - fresh stems removed and minced
  • 40 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano grated
  • 1/4 cup flour - all-purpose
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Basic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 800 grams tomatoes - whole stewed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons oregano - dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • Chicken Parmesan
  • 80 grams Mozzarella cheese grated
  • 450 grams dried spaghetti
  • parsley - flat leaf minced for garnish
  1. Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F (175 C). Put a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the panko, rosemary, thyme and parmigiano reggiano. Bread Crumbs for Chicken Parmesan
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg until the yolk and white are well incorporated.
  4. Generously salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, then dust with flour to coat evenly. Chicken Parmesan
  5. Dip the coated chicken in the egg, making sure to cover the whole surface of the chicken with egg, then transfer the chicken to the bowl with the breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides with a thick layer panko, pressing down on the chicken a bit to ensure an even coat.
  6. Place the chicken on the wire rack, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil evenly over the chicken. Chicken Parm
  7. Put the baking sheet in the oven. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F (71 C).Chicken Parmesan
  8. While the chicken is in the oven, heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions are translucent and start turning brown around the edges. Onions for Chicken Parmesan Sauce
  9. Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried oregano, then salt and pepper to taste. Use a spatula to break up the tomatoes into small pieces. Simmer until the sauce is no longer watery.
  10. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.
  11. After removing the chicken from the oven, increase the temperature to 500 degrees F (260 C).
  12. Pour the sauce into a casserole dish, then top with the baked chicken. Sprinkle with the Mozzarella and you can top with additional Parmesan if you'd like. Baked Chicken Parmesan
  13. Bake the Chicken Parmesan until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has formed a golden brown crust on top. No-Fry Chicken Parmesan
  14. Boil the pasta according to the package directions, drain, then toss with olive oil.
  15. Serve the Chicken Parmesan over a bed of spaghetti with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

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  • Steve

    Sounds incredible……a nice variation would be a side of spinach fettucinni alfredo instead . Have you got a recipie for alfredo? Steve.

  • Terri’s Table

    I really like how you prepared this. Makes more sense and it looks delicious.

  • saturnine

    Any reason why there’s not a time estimate on the oven time for the chicken?

    • saturnine

      Never mind–I mis-read it! Sorry about that,

  • Kiki

    Just curious – this is how chicken parm has to be – the chicken has to be breaded? I am asking, because we have a family ricpe since generations for a maccaroni dish: fried chicken cubes in a hearty thick tomatoe sauce (tomatoes, t.paste, garlic, oregano, pancetta diced) inserted in nests of pasta, afterwards everything sprinkled with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and olive oil and baked in the oven.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Your dish sounds similar in it’s components, but I’m guessing it’s a different dish. All the versions of chicken parm I’ve ever seen involve a whole cutlet that’s been breaded and fried.

  • Hollowlegs

    I would be totally on board with this as it looks delicious, but chicken and pasta has always seemed weird to me (also chicken on pizza). Perhaps it’s the double-beigeness of it all? Definitely doing that chicken on its own though!

  • Michelle @ Taste As You Go

    Your reasoning behind putting the sauce on the bottom to maintain the crispness of the chicken makes perfect sense, Marc. I’m going to make my Chicken Parm like this from now on!

  • Trix

    Delish and got props from three teenage boys!

  • Alli

    This was amazing. I used Italian breadcrumbs instead of panko (what I had on hand) and tomato sauce instead of paste and it was outstanding. I think I will probably cook my chicken on a cooling rack from now on. I love the way you don’t use a recipe that’s the way I cook.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it (and that you’re a fan of winging it in the kitchen)!

  • Kat

    Made this for my boyfriends birthday and it was simply AMAZING!!! followed the exact recipe and both my boyfriend and I were very satisfied. I will use this recipe from now on.

  • Savannah

    This was perfect, my first time making chicken parm for my bf and roommate. Turned out fabulous. I add a think tomato sauce as well I the sauce (we love sauce) lol and fresh parsley as well. Also used a blend of cheeses for the cheese topping, parm, provolone, mozzarella and Romano. I live that everything’s baked and not greasy!! Thanks so much for posting this!

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  • Kristen

    Great recipe! Delish!

  • A_S00

    I’ve always had the same intuition as you about the silliness of crisping up your chicken only to soggify it immediately afterward with excessive tomato sauce, so when I saw that you’d solved that problem, I was immediately interested.

    I used this recipe (with a fair amount of modification) as a base for three different parmigianas (chicken, portobello mushroom, and fennel root). The fennel had some trouble sticking together as a coherent patty (I cut it horizontally into about 1/3″ slices, and the layers of the root wanted to peel apart), so I sauteed it with some egg and flour first to keep it together, then gave it the same treatment as the other two.

    As promised, each dish remained crispy and delicious on top, while there was plenty of sauce below to keep it interesting and top the pasta. I used panko, and was very satisfied with both how it coated the chicken and how it crunched when served. I can’t imagine making a parmagiana using the more typical sauce layering technique after trying this; it’s so much better this way.

    I did the final baking at only 450f (500 seemed hot), and still had some of the bits of cheese that were sticking up start to burn before a pretty golden crust like that pictured had finished forming. I wonder if the last baking stage might be better done at 400f or so instead. It’s also possible that my oven just doesn’t heat very evenly; I’m in a new apartment and haven’t cooked with it much yet.

    All in all, a great recipe. Glad it showed up on teh googlez. Thanks!

  • Laura

    Does the flour go into the breading??

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Laura, it’s used in step 4 to coat the chicken before you bread it.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

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  • John

    This sounds just like what I’m looking for. I’m cooking it tonight. Baking on a rack seems ingenious for keeping the chicken from getting soggy. I’m not getting the “no recipe” part, though. The ingredients and steps to take are carefully spelled out, with pictures, no less! Isn’t that a recipe?

  • Norma Eich

    I am cooking for a diabetic friend. Can I coat the chicken with rice flour rather than wheat flour?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Norma, do you mean to get rid of the breadcrumbs entirely and only use rice flour or just to substitute the initial coating of flour to rice flour? If it’s the later, it should work fine, but bread crumbs contain wheat flour so if your friend is gluten-free, you’ll need to make sure you’re using gluten-free breadcrumbs.

    • kmd90

      Rice is far worse for diabetics than wheat. It spikes blood sugar levels like crazy.

  • ~*GingerMamiOf4*~

    I just made this recipe for my family last night. Now, I did make a couple substitutions, (i.e.: whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, & crushed Ritz crackers instead of Panko crumbs) & I always add white pepper to ALL my recipes. And boy was I surprised at my family’s reaction…THEY LOVED IT!! I cook for myself, my husband, my 2 y/o, 6 y/o, & pregnant 17 y/o. So making a dinner that everyone loves or even likes can be very difficult, LOL! This is the 1st time I’ve ever made Chicken Parmesan & we will definitely be having this at least once a month from now on! And I can’t wait to make this for my other family members as well! I give this recipe 5-stars & would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a delicious Chicken Parmesan that’s relatively easy-to-make!


  • Jan

    I also have made many different chicken parmesan recipes and veal parmesan but this one is now at the top of my list. Tonight was a practice run with my family for a dinner party next week and by far this is the best recipe ever. Using boneless chicken thighs was the key for a moist, tender result. Also the measurements were exact. Thank-you. Do you have any other “best” recipes you
    could share?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jan, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! I have a category dedicated to the best recipes on this site, which you can find under the “recipes” menu at the top of the page, or just click this link

  • jandbcinAZ

    I make a Chicken Parm a Variety of ways, as well as changing up the Pasta. We both like Alfredo so I do the serve the Chicken and Red Sauce but serve the linguine with a home-made Alfredo Sauce with lots of garlic. I still drizzle a small amount of Red Sauce on the Chix as well as lots of melted Parm… which I spread over the pasta alfredo as well. Everyone I have served it to loves this version,its one of my husbands favorite.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for such a nice recipe; I made this for date night this weekend and we both thought it was so good. I loved how crispy the chicken was from cooking it separately; it also made leftovers so easy. I just put half the chicken in half the sauce in a dish on the first night, then we cooked it up the same way with the leftover chicken in a new dish with leftover sauce and it made it just as yummy and not soggy since it didn’t sit overnight in the sauce. This is officially our go-to chicken parmesan (better than a restaurant’s!)! Really, thanks so much for such a winning recipe!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  • gail

    Fantastic. Followed your directions exactly except for the sauce (had some left -over homemade). Your point of not soggifying the nice crispy chicken by drenching in sauce is spot on. The cheese I put on top was also a left over bag of shredded Walmart Italian blend (,mozerella/asiago/provolone/parmigian). Came out delicious. Thanks.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great call using leftover tomato sauce.

  • teri

    How can I make this for 25 people?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You’d need a very large oven, but you could in theory scale this up and it should work better than a deep fried one since you can oven fry a lot more chicken at one time than you can in a fryer.

  • jennifer9000

    Would breadcrumbs instead of panko cause the chicken to stay soggy? I normally cook this dish on the stove top and it’s fabulous, (with breadcrumbs) but I wanted to just try a different recipe for a change. My chicken stayed a soggy mess, much worse than normal.. I’ve never really had any issue with sogginess before in my chicken parm.The bread just tore apart and mucked up into the sauce. I let it cook 35 minutes, at 400 degrees during the last 5 ( total of 10 minutes longer than the recipe calls for,) but it never crisped. ?

    Didn’t feel like this saved cleanup at all… instead of cleaning a frying pan, I had to clean a baking rack and a baking pan. So I had an extra dish?

    Wanted to like the recipe. Perhaps need to try it again with Panko instead.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out well for you. To be honest I’ve never made chicken parm before with regular breadcrumbs so I’m not sure if that could be part of the problem, but I do know from other recipes such as schnitzel that panko tends to crisp much better than regular breadcrumbs (which is why I prefer it it).

      As for the cleanup, I’m not sure how you fry your chicken, but when I deep fry I use the pot I’m frying it, plus a wire rack and tray to drain the chicken after it’s done frying, so for me, it saves a pot plus the hassle of disposing of frying oil.

  • Anirbas

    Simply delicious! I didn’t have any eggs, so I used Kroger brand Zesty Italian dressing to coat the chicken.

  • Jam

    I used breadcrumbs- as that was in the house. I made sure the chicken was patted dry before adding any ingredients which helped with the crunch factor.
    After a good 25 min of slow cooking put it up to 325 fro 1/2 hr.

    The cheese was modified by adding a bit of Romano and Pecorino to the topping.
    Cooked again at 325

    Sauce only covered the bottom of a Pyrex Dish and was just enough to marry flavors

    Would make this again, really great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for sharing your modifications!

  • Carolyn

    Can’t wait to try this using homemade breadcrumbs that I have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  • cindyb123

    I made this a couple of days ago and it was excellent!! I did have to guess at some amounts because I was too lazy to look up grams versus cups, etc. And I did use Trader Joe’s marinara for the sake of time and I did not have any fresh tomatoes. Even with the variation in sauce, this was an excellent recipe. The panko/flour and baking the chicken is key to the wonderful taste, I’m convinced!

  • Michelle

    Hi – I’m currently cooking this recipe, but am puzzled why it’s taking my chicken so long to cook! I had it on 350F for about 23 minutes and checked the chicken, and still seemed very pink inside when I cut it in half and looked. I turned it up to 400 and put it in for another 8 minutes, checked it again, still seemed a bit pink and looked very wet and not well done (I prefer my chicken cooked very well). Also used a meat thermometer this time and it was around 150F so not quite there. Now it’s in for the third time at 400 for another 7 minutes. The chicken I used was individually packaged chicken breasts (pretty thick) that had been frozen but were completely thawed out in the fridge. Do you know what could be causing them to take so long to cook? Seems very odd!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michelle, the problem is most likely the thickness of your chicken. This recipe is with chicken thighs which are usually quite thin (probably 1/2″ at its thickest point). The other problem was most likely the temperature of your chicken. It could have seemed defrosted, but still be below 32 degrees in parts. Lastly, do you have a thermometer in the oven to verify the accuracy of your oven? I’ve seen ovens that have had thermometers that were up to 30 degrees off in temperature.Next time, you could try butterflying the breast or using a meat mallet to pound it out a little thinner.

  • minnie

    hi- I really love this recipe but would it taste great if I use cheddar cheese instead cause i’m not a fan of cheese and don’t eat a lot of it which result sin me chucking any excess cheese when I buy it just for one recipe. thank you.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Minnie, while it would certainly change the flavor and texture of the dish (the cheese won’t be stretchy), I think cheddar could taste quite good in this. Why don’t you give it a try and let us know how it goes?

    • valleycat1

      Try looking in the deli department instead of the basic dairy section; usually you can find small pieces of cheese or even order it by weight at the counter. Also, hard cheeses like parmesan will keep a long time if you follow the storage advice. Mozzarella is softer so will not keep as long; if your grocery has a salad bar you might even find some there that you could buy in whatever amount you want.

  • Wanda

    Just made this. It was really delicious. I like the crispness of the chicken from preparing with sauce on the bottom. Will definitely make again.

  • Giovanna Samuels

    So, So, So, good. Easy to follow and it came out great.

  • Yamilka

    This is my second time following this recipe, it has been a hit both times! For the sauce I use a can of Hunts Garlic & Herbs, do the onions just like you and add 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Or as much as needed to take away the acidity of the sauce. I also add water as needed (very little). My husband loves to order this dish at restaurants and I have never liked it until I followed your recipe. Thank you very much for sharing!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Yamilka, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great call on adding a bit of sugar to offset the acidity of the sauce.

  • Linda Owens

    This recipe is delicious … I’ve made chicken parmesan and always enjoy it but this recipe is not that different but the method makes it extra good!

  • Whyugotta Bechittinme

    I’m going to make this tonight but will be subbing the egg w/mayo as I hate the whole flour, egg, crumb dipping ordeal. I think the idea of using a rack is brilliant, as is placing the chicken on top of the sauce. I had debated it myself, but when I saw it written out I realized how much sense it made. DOH! TY for this recipe!

  • BoniLady

    Just had this for Easter Dinner…I used our family’s homemade sauce recipe, otherwise followed exactly for the chicken! It was amazing!! The chicken didn’t get dried out like it normally does, and it stayed crispy!! My new go-to chicken parm recipe :-) thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • MrSuaveh

    Great recipe and fantastic idea to bake the chicken in panko!

    Baking the chicken is genius, it is quick to prepare, crispy, oil free and tender. I used to pound chicken breasts thin and pan fry them in oil but *no more*.

    I really like this recipe a lot and only made a few minor changes:
    – I do not use any dried herbs in my sauce because I think it makes the sauce bitter. A bundle of fresh herbs, that I discard after cooking, is good though.
    – I will add one to three teaspoons of sugar to the sauce to balance out the acidity and salt.
    – I added some kalamata olives and roasted garlic cloves to the sauce and chicken right before baking. That was ok but not sure I would do it again.

    Thanks for the recipe it is fantastic!

  • Cindy Post

    In your pictures above, are you using chicken thighs? They seem really big for chicken thighs?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Cindy, it’s actually the entire leg (including the drumstick meat). They don’t sell just the thigh by itself here in Japan, but aside from being smaller, the thigh is basically the same cut of meat.

  • !SG

    how about U.S. measurements grams very confusing

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi !SG, if you look at the bottom of the ingredients list there’s a drop down to convert the measurements to Imperial (ounces, pounds, etc).

  • TateH.

    Great recipe!! I just made this came out AMAZING!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear it!

      • Ethan Matthews

        Hi Marc, what is the serving size for this recipe?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          It depends on how big everyone’s appetite is, but this should feed about 4 people.

  • Kate Carrera

    Thanks for posting a chicken parmesan recipe that results in crispy, non-mushy chicken. I made several changes including subbing your sauce recipe for my own homemade bolegnese and browning the crumb-coated chicken in a pan before transferring it to the oven, but I stuck to the main idea and used your recipe as a guideline and was quite pleased with the results! Thanks again :)

  • Leigh Chazen

    What an excellent recipe…I so agree with you about the elements that usually are disappointing but your take on it is so much better. Thank you!!

  • Rachel Page

    Oh Yummm! Looks so-so good.Love me some chicken!

  • Kelly Ducharme

    Made this the other night, I didnt have fresh herbs (used dried), but this had to be THE BEST Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever had ! ! !

  • thisismelissa

    Going to make this for a nice dinner for my boyfriend tonight, thank you for the recipe, I will report back with the results! Best to you and yours

  • Michelle Park

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for this fantastic recipe that I’m going to try. Can you clarify if it’s okay to buy stewed tomatoes in a can, or should I really make my own stewed tomatoes?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michelle, the canned ones are fine and often better than fresh ones most of the year. It is best to get whole ones though as the chopped ones tend to be picked greener so they retain their shape.

  • Raechel

    I used this recipe as my first attempt at making Chicken Parmesan and WOW, did it NOT disappoint!! I made it for some friends along with my family and everyone loved it, including the pickiest eater of us all (my 6yr old). This was so tasty…dare I say the best Chicken Parm I’ve ever had. Marc, you KILLED IT with this recipe!!

  • K Su

    Made this over the weekend. Thanks so much for sharing, best chicken parm ever! This recipe is a keeper, and I appreciate the detailed pics showing how it’s done.

  • Susan Valdez

    Omg. I’ve never had this before and decided to try it, and it was sooo good. My picky kids even loved it. Thanks for sharing.


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