Baked Chicken Parmesan

published Dec 17, 2023
Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

A faster version of the beloved Italian classic.

Serves4 to 8

Prep35 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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Overhead shot of baked chicken parmesan on a sheet pan, topped with red pepper flakes and basil.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

Chicken Parmesan is one recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation in my Italian-American family. I love our traditional family recipe prepared with fried chicken cutlets and layers of homemade marinara sauce and melty mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 

But, the truth is, if I’m going to make chicken Parmesan at home, I bake it 99% of the time. It’s faster to make it this way. Plus, it’s also much lighter. This baked chicken Parmesan will hit the spot every time! 

How to Make Baked Chicken Parmesan

  • Prepare the panko coating. Toast the panko until deep golden brown in the oven with salt and olive oil, and then toss with parsley, Parmesan, and garlic powder. 
  • Bread the cutlets. Arrange three shallow bowls: one with the flour mixture, another with beaten eggs, and a third with your prepared panko mixture. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. Then, dip the seasoned cutlets to coat completely in the flour, then in the egg mixture (letting any extra egg drip back into the bowl), and finally into the panko mixture, patting the mixture into the chicken to make sure it adheres. 
  • Bake the cutlets. Arrange the breaded cutlets in a single layer on two oiled rimmed baking sheets, and bake until the chicken is just cooked through, about 12 minutes. 
  • Layer the marinara and cheese on and broil. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Arrange all of the chicken cutlets onto one of the baking sheets and spoon marinara over each cutlet. Top with mozzarella and more Parmesan, and broil until the cheese is melted and just starting to turn golden, about 5 more minutes. 
  • Garnish with basil: Sprinkle with sliced fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes, if you like and serve warm! 

How Long Do You Bake Chicken Parmesan? 

Baked chicken Parmesan cooks so fast! Factor in about 10 more minutes to toast the panko before breading the chicken. Then, it only takes 12 to 15 minutes to bake the chicken cutlets, and an additional 5 minutes or so to melt the cheese on top. 

If You’re Making Chicken Parmesan, a Few Tips

  • Don’t skip toasting the panko. The key to crisp baked chicken Parmesan is toasting the panko until it’s deep golden brown before breading the chicken. It ensures a crunchy golden colored coating that won’t get soggy.
  • If you can’t find pre-cut chicken cutlets at the grocery store, make your own. Start with chicken breasts that are about 8 ounces each. Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally (this is also known as butterflying). For each chicken breast, you should end up with 2 thin pieces of chicken that weigh about 4 ounces each.
  • Season the breading. Flavor starts in the crispy breading. Make your own homemade seasoned breading by tossing the toasted panko with olive oil, salt, parsley, garlic powder, and Parmesan.
  • Use a delicious marinara sauce. Store-bought marinara sauce is acceptable, but not all brands are created equally. Growing up, we were not allowed to have jarred marinara sauce in the house — we only had homemade marinara sauce (yes, we were spoiled in this department!). Now the only jarred sauce we allow in our house is Rao’s Homemade, and I always have a jar on hand. Try this brand or pick what suits your taste buds best.
  • Use quality mozzarella and Parmesan. There aren’t that many ingredients in this dish, so you want them all to be in their best form. Select a high-quality, freshly grated Parmesan in the cheese department or grate it by hand. Buy fresh mozzarella that is not packed in brine or water, which might make it too wet. 

What to Serve with Baked Chicken Parmesan

If I am serving baked chicken Parmesan, I’ll serve it as-is with a side of roasted broccoli and garlic bread. Or, I bulk it up with spaghetti or another shape of pasta and more marinara sauce (this is the way to go if you want to serve a crowd). The dish makes 8 pieces of chicken Parmesan, which feeds 4 to 8 people, depending on how hungry everyone is and what you serve it with. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

A faster version of the beloved Italian classic.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 5 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2

    medium bunch fresh parsley

  • 5 ounces

    Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 pounds

    thin sliced chicken cutlets (about 8)

  • 1.2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 ounces

    fresh mozzarella cheese

  • 1 (about 24-ounce) jar

    marinara sauce

  • 1

    small bunch fresh basil

  • Red pepper flakes, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 425°F. Place 2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and toss to combine. Spread into an even layer.

  2. Bake, stirring halfway through, until the panko is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes total. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 1/2 medium bunch fresh parsley, finely chop until you have 3 tablespoons, and place in a large bowl. Finely grate 5 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 cups); add 1 cup to the bowl of parsley and reserve the remaining for sprinkling.

  3. When the panko is ready, let cool slightly. Scrape into the bowl with the parsley, add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and stir to combine.

  4. Wipe the baking sheet clean with paper towels. Drizzle that baking sheet and a second rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon each). Brush to evenly coat each baking sheet with oil.

  5. Place 4 large eggs in a shallow bowl and whisk until smooth. Place 1/3 cup all-purpose flour in a second shallow bowl.

  6. Pat 2 pounds thin-sliced chicken cutlets dry with paper towels. Season all over with the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Working with one chicken cutlet at a time, coat the cutlet completely in the flour. Dip the floured cutlet in the egg mixture, turning a few times until completely coated and letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Place the cutlet in the panko mixture and use your hands to pat the mixture onto the chicken. Place in a single layer on the baking sheets.

  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the chicken cutlets. Return to the oven, rotating the baking sheets between racks. Bake until just cooked through, 6 to 9 minutes more. Meanwhile, very thinly slice 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese.

  8. Remove baking sheets from the oven. Switch the oven to broil on high. Transfer all the chicken onto one of the baking sheets, slightly overlapping them as needed. Spoon heaping 1/4 cup marinara sauce over each cutlet, leaving the edges uncovered (save the remaining marinara for another use). Top with the mozzarella and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

  9. Broil on the upper rack until the cheeses on top are melted and bubbly, 5 to 8 minutes.

  10. Pick the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh basil and thinly slice until you have 1/2 packed cup. Garnish the chicken with the basil and red pepper flakes if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.