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Published October 18, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This classic chicken parmigiana recipe is breaded tender chicken cutlets topped off with a Pomodoro Sauce and Cheese for one incredible meal. It’s the perfect meal for Italian food lovers looking for an easy weeknight family dinner.
Chicken parmigiana is a recipe created by Italians who immigrated to the northwest region of the United States and tweaked one of their country’s original recipes. In this case, the traditional melanzane alla parmigiana, a.k.a. eggplant parmesan, was re-created in the States and turned into a new recipe, chicken parmigiana.
My SWAG (scientific wild a$$ guess) tells me that the eggplant was traded for chicken because eggplant likes to grow in warmer weather, and if you’re living in the Northwest, chances of getting some ripe in-season eggplant probably aren’t too high.
This dish consists of pounded chicken breasts that are breaded and lightly pan-fried until golden brown. They are then topped off with a pomodoro sauce and finished with mozzarella cheese. It’s then baked or broiled until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. I usually like to top it off with chopped fresh basil.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken – You will need fresh or frozen-thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is used in the standard breading procedure.
- Eggs – Chilled or room-temperature large eggs are perfect.
- Breadcrumbs – Use regular breadcrumbs for this chicken parmigiana instead of panko.
- Sauce – You will need to pre-make a pomodoro sauce for this. It is a quick recipe. If not, please use your favorite tomato-based sauce.
- Cheese – I use a combination of freshly shredded mozzarella, sliced round mozzarella, freshly grated parmigino reggiano, and shredded fontina. You can use any combination of mozzarella and fontina, but parmigiana must be used.
How to Make Chicken Parmigiana
- Slice the chicken breasts in half width-wise.
- Pound out each of them slightly so that it is about a ¼ inch thick.
- Set up your standard breading procedure.
- Dredge the pounded-out breasts 1 at a time, completely coating in the flour, then egg-wash, and finally the bread crumbs.
- Fry them in olive oil until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the breaded cutlets to a casserole dish or sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
- Top each cutlet off with a bit of Pomodoro sauce.
- Add cheeses to the top of the tomato sauce on top.
- Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted.
What to Serve It With
There are a few different items you can serve with this, including:
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s done cooking. However, keep it covered and warm in the oven at low temperatures (>200°) for 30 minutes before serving.
How to Store: Store it in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It freezes well covered individually in plastic for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the chicken parmigiana to a casserole dish and cover it with foil. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 375° or until warm.
CHEF NOTES + TIPS
- Regardless of how and who created it, this is delicious and comes together in under an hour, making it an impressive weeknight meal for family and friends.
- In case you were wondering, parmigiana is pronounced par-mah-zhah-na.
- You can use panko as the breadcrumbs, but it will not be classical.
- I used a combination of sliced mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan cheeses for the chicken.
- It’s important that the breading be seasoned at every step of the procedure.
- You can also use avocado or a healthier oil; pay attention to the smoking point before cooking the chicken.
- Feel free to add optional garnishes on top of chopped parsley or fresh basil.
- You may also see this recipe called Chicken Parmesan, which is the same thing.
- For a healthier option, Instead of frying the cutlets in oil, bake them right in the oven at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Continue on with step seven.
More Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Piccata
- Creamy Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe
- Chicken Milanese
- Best Fried Chicken Recipe
- Authentic Chicken Curry
Easy Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
- 2 9-12 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half widthwise
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup pomodoro sauce
- 8 ounces sliced mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- fresh chiffonade basil for garnish
- Place the sliced chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound out using a rubber mallet until each one is between ¼” and 1/3” thick. Set aside on a plate.
- In a medium-sized baking pan or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper and set aside.
- In a separate second medium-size baking pan or bowl, whisk together, the eggs, salt, and pepper until combined and set aside.
- In a separate third medium-sized baking pan or bowl, mix together, the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper until combined and set aside.
- Add the pounded-out chicken cutlets one by one and coat in the flour, then dredge in the egg mixture, following up by coating and pressing down into the bread crumbs, making sure the chicken cutlet is completely breaded. Repeat until the chicken cutlets are all breaded.
- Add about ½ to 3/4 cup of olive oil to a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add in the breaded chicken cutlets, 1 to 2 at a time, and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. transfer to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
- Evenly add the Pomodoro sauce to the top of each chicken cutlet and then layer on as follows sliced mozzarella, fontina, and parmigiana cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 450° for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh chiffonade basil.
- Serve with polenta or homemade noodles tossed in melted butter.