Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe
This oven baked Chicken Parmesan was such a hit with my daughter, Rosie, she managed to work it into a poem at school two years after first eating it. Waxing poetic about crispy chicken with seasoned bread crumbs probably says more about the recipe than it does about my child’s future as a poet.
It was my sister-in-law Lynn who first made it for us. Like many moms, she finds it frustrating to put time and care into dinner, only to have the kids take a pass. It’s a tricky aspect of parenting, but this particular recipe always get a thumbs up.
What is Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken Parmesan is a dish with Italian roots and a reputation as real comfort food. Typically it starts with chicken breasts that are breaded and fried, then smothered in marinara sauce, topped with Mozzarella and baked.
Lynn’s version, which varies from the classic, was given to her by a college roommate who’s mom found it in a Louisiana Junior League Cookbook. This may explain why the original calls for an entire cup of butter (they do love their butter in the south). It was the first dish Lynn cooked for her then boyfriend (now husband) Mike, and they are still together 20 plus years later.
That’s some chicken.
Is Chicken Parmesan Healthy?
This recipe gets a healthy edge over traditional chicken Parmesan, since it’s baked, not fried. Plus, using boneless, skinless chicken breasts means you’re getting the leanest cut of all. My recipe goes one further by cutting back on the butter and using more egg instead. For breadcrumbs, you can make your own using the recipe provided or look for a store-bought brand that isn’t full of junky ingredients. I also skip the Mozzarella on top, since it’s plenty tasty without it. What results is a dish of crispy chicken that’s healthier than the norm.
What to Serve with Chicken Parm
We always eat Chicken Parmesan the way Lynn originally served it to us: accompanied by bowls of pasta and marinara sauce, either store-bought or homemade. On the side, I like to do a green salad and steamed or roasted broccoli. Extra Parmesan to pass at the table is also part of our routine.
Top Tips to Make Baked Chicken Parmesan
Although this is a straightforward recipe, here are a few things to keep in mind to guarantee success:
- Be sure to dry the chicken breasts well before dipping in the egg mixture.
- If relying on store-bought marinara sauce, choose a good one (I’m fond of Rao’s brand).
- If the chicken breasts are particularly large, you can pound them slightly so they cook more quickly and evenly.
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, particularly Parmegiano Reggiano, can’t be beat.
Be sure to check out these other healthy chicken recipes.
Best Baked Chicken Parmesan
This Chicken Parm is a family favorite. The chicken is breaded and done in the oven instead of fried, which means it's a bit better for you too. Serve with marinara sauce and a heaping bowl of vegetables on the side.
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, homemade (see Notes) or store-bought
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to pass at the table
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 1/3 cups Marinara sauce on the side for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean and dry chicken breasts.
In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, and Parmesan cheese.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and egg.
Dip each chicken breast in the egg/butter mixture and then in the breadcrumbs, covering both sides evenly. Set on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until the exterior is brown and the inside cooked through, about 35 minutes. The time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.
Serve with marinara sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the side.
Seasoned Breadcrumbs: In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, a few grinds black pepper.