Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites

published Apr 3, 2024
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites Recipe

Tender, bite-sized pieces of chicken flavored with garlic and a generous shower of nutty Parmesan.

Serves4

Prep5 minutes

Cook14 minutes

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An overhead shot of chicken garlic parmesan bites in a cast iron skillet on a marble surface
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Weeknight dinner recipes that earn a spot in my weekly rotation have a few things in common: a short ingredient list, a reliance on staple ingredients, and a quick cooking time. This recipe for garlic Parmesan chicken bites gets high marks across the board. These bite-size nuggets need just five ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and the option to add some extra spice), yet they pack in much more flavor than some other recipes with a mile-long ingredient list. 

It’s rare that I don’t have some type of chicken, a few cloves of garlic, nutty Parmesan, and a few sprigs of parsley that have miraculously survived from last summer’s garden. That’s all you need to make a buttery, garlicky, cheesy pan full of chicken that’s perfect for serving with roasted broccoli or lemony tortellini

Why You’ll Love It

  • These garlic Parmesan chicken bites cook in just 15 minutes, and are so good — don’t be surprised if you start eating them straight from the pan. 
  • Since these chicken bites are coated in butter, garlic, and Parmesan, there’s zero risk of serving a bland chicken dinner.
  • Browning the chicken in batches and saving the garlic for the end coaxes the very best flavor from a very small number of ingredients.

Key Ingredients in Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites

  • Chicken: Thighs and breasts both work for this recipe — just make sure to buy boneless, skinless chicken to reduce the prep time. Cut the chicken into uniform bite-sized pieces so that no matter which cut you choose, the chicken will cook at the same rate.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter adds flavor to the lean chicken and promotes browning.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic tends to burn easily, so avoid that acrid fate by adding it to the pan with the last pat of butter after the chicken is golden and cooked through.
  • Parmesan cheese: I love the nubby, crumbly texture of store-bought Parmesan cheese for this recipe because it melts slowly and never quite disappears. If you have a wedge of Parmesan cheese, grate it in a blender or on the small holes of a box grater.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds some much-needed color to this chicken dish (remember, Mom always said we eat with our eyes first!), but it also provides a freshness that contrasts with savoriness of garlic and Parmesan.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Make Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites

  1. Brown the chicken in batches. Add bite-size pieces of chicken to a skillet of melted butter and cook until browned on both sides. Cooking in 2 batches allows the chicken to develop a golden-brown color, rather than a pale hue that comes from steaming in an overcrowded pan.
  2. Add more butter and garlic. Once all the chicken is cooked, add the final pat of butter and minced garlic to the pan. Toss it all together until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Remove from the heat and finish with Parmesan. To retain some of the Parmesan cheese’s texture, take the pan off of the heat before tossing with the chicken. Finish with chopped fresh parsley, more Parmesan, and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites Recipe

Tender, bite-sized pieces of chicken flavored with garlic and a generous shower of nutty Parmesan.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 14 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought), plus more for serving

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese on the small holes of a box grater (about 1/4 cup) if needed, or measure 1/3 cup store-bought grated. Pick the leaves from 3 fresh parsley leaves and finely chop until you have 1 teaspoon.

  2. Cut 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl, add 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to coat.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add half of the chicken in a single layer. Cook until golden-brown and the chicken easily releases from the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes. Toss and cook until golden-brown on the second side and cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Melt 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in the skillet and repeat cooking the remaining chicken. Transfer to the same plate.

  5. Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, garlic, chicken, and any accumulated juices on the plate to the skillet. Cook until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the Parmesan cheese, and toss to coat. Garnish with the parsley, more Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.