How to Make Chicken Parmesan (aka: Chicken Parmigiana)

Call it what you will—chicken parm, chicken parmesan, the more classic chicken parmigiana, even "chicky chicky parm parm" for Parks & Recreation Tom Haverford fans—we'll show you how to make chicken parmesan at home so it tastes as good as at your favorite Italian restaurant. There's really nothing complicated about a chicken parmesan recipe, just follow along to create this Italian night must-have.

Our Secrets to The Best Chicken Parmesan

While the dipping is the messy part of cooking chicken parmesan, pounding the chicken first is the secret to a delicious meal. We'€™ll show the prep for this yummy chicken dinner, including a tip on how to minimize the mess.

Chicken Parmesan Step 1: Make the Sauce

The first step to make chicken parmigiana is the sauce. Chicken parmesan is served with a simple tomato sauce. To make it:

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan
  • Add onion and garlic; cook until tender
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally
  • Stir in basil; set aside

See our full classic Chicken Parmigiana recipe to get amounts

Chicken Parmesan Step 2: Pound the Chicken

Pounding chicken breast with meat mallet

For quicker cooking (not to mention more surface area for yummy breading), use a meat mallet to pound chicken to about 1/4-inch between pieces of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap keeps any raw meat juices from getting on kitchen surfaces. Discard the plastic wrap as soon as you're finished to prevent cross-contamination. 

Chicken Parmesan Step 3: Make the Egg Wash & Bread Crumb Mixture

Find two shallow bowls for your egg mixture and bread crumb mixture (Note: pie plates work well).

  • In one bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning (we use oregano)
  • In the second bowl combine eggs and milk

Chicken Parmesan Step 4: Dip Chicken in Egg and Crumbs

It's almost time to start cooking! The last step before adding your chicken to the skillet is to dip each piece first in the egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture to fully coat the chicken. Let excess crumbs fall back into your dish for the remaining breasts.

Chicken Parmesan Step 5: Cook the Chicken

To cook your chicken Parmesan recipe:

  • Heat oil in a very large skillet
  • Add chicken; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden
  • When your chicken reaches that beautiful golden color, transfer it to a platter

Chicken Parmesan Step 6: Add the Toppings

Add the finishing touches to your easy chicken Parmesan recipe to make it look pretty enough to be pictured in a magazine:

  • Spoon the tomato sauce over each breast
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
  • Let it stand for just a couple minutes until the cheese melts

Dig in!

Chicken Parmesan presentation tips:

  • Garnish with additional fresh basil for a pop of color on the plate
  • Make the dish even heartier by serving with cooked pasta

How to Make Baked Chicken Parmesan

For a baked chicken Parmesan recipe you only need to tweak the cooking method and cooking time. Make as directed above through Step 4 (dipping in egg mixture and bread crumb mixture), then:

  • Spray a baking sheet with sides with nonstick spray (or line with foil and spray with nonstick for even less mess to clean off your pan)
  • Place chicken on prepared baking sheet
  • Bake at 450°F for about 15 minutes (165°F)
  • Top and serve as directed in the skillet method

Why bake chicken parmesan? It does take longer to bake chicken Parmesan than to cook it in a skillet, but it avoids extra fat from the oil or butter you put in the skillet, so calories and fat are a bit reduced using the baking method.

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