Chicken parmigiana, also known affectionately as chicken parm, or chicken parmesan, might be the most well-known and widely requested Italian-American dish in the New York metro area.  Who can resist perfectly fried chicken cutlets dressed in tomato sauce and topped with melted mozzarella and plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese? 

Chicken parmigiana scooped out of pan.


Want to learn more?  We discuss the roots of this dish and why Italians dislike it and Americans love it in episode 17 of The Sip and Feast Podcast – Chicken Parmigiana.

Growing up on Long Island, I considered myself lucky to be able to find chicken parmigiana in any type of food establishment: restaurants, delis, pizzerias, and diners all have their versions, and every Italian-American nonna seemed to have her version as well.

And I just recently discovered that chicken alla parmigiana is also a beloved Australian pub dish known as “parma” or “parmi”.

This dish is not found in Italy but was likely inspired by the Italian parmigiana di melanzane also known as eggplant parm.

In the US, chicken parmesan is traditionally served with a side of pasta with marinara but is also great with a side of garlic sauteed broccoli rabe.

Recipe ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: chicken cutlets, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and bowl of sauce.
  • Chicken. Thinly sliced chicken cutlets are best for chicken parm.
  • Flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. These create the coating on the chicken cutlets.
  • Olive oil. For shallow frying the cutlets. You can also use vegetable oil.
  • Marinara sauce. We use a simple homemade marinara with plum tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil to coat the chicken.
  • Mozzarella. Full fat block mozzarella works best for chicken parm.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano. Finely grated for topping the chicken.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make the sauce

Note:  This recipe uses this 15-minute marinara.  Feel free to use your own sauce or store-bought sauce.

  1. Slice or mince 5 cloves of garlic.  If you want more garlic, go for it! (Photo #1)
Sauce recipe collage (for chicken parmigiana) group number one showing sliced garlic and hands crushing tomatoes.
  1. Hand crush 1 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes. Alternatively, you can pulse them in a blender. (Photo #2)
  2. Heat a large pan to medium-low heat for 2 minutes, then add in a 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute until lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes). (Photo #3)
Sauce recipe collage (for chicken parmigiana) group number two showing garlic in pan and sauce in pan.
  1. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.  Let the sauce cook for 10 minutes, then taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.  If you like dried oregano or fresh basil feel free to add it at this point, although this is optional. Remove the sauce from the heat, set aside, and move on to the chicken prep below. (Photo #4)

How to make the chicken cutlets

Note: This recipe uses our chicken cutlet recipe.  If you have cutlets already made, or storebought, just skip this part.

  1. Pound thinly sliced chicken cutlets to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. To a shallow bowl add 1 cup of all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. To another bowl add 3 large beaten eggs, and in another bowl add 1 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. (Photo #1)
  2. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour and shake gently to remove the excess. (Photo #2)
Chicken cutlet process (for chicken parmigiana) collage group number one showing dredging cutlets in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs.
  1. Place the floured cut into the beaten egg mixture and drip off any excess. (Photo #3)
  2. Coat the cutlet in the breadcrumbs on both sides, then place the cutlet on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat the process for all remaining cutlets. (Photo #4)
  3. Heat a heavy pan with at least 1″ of olive oil or vegetable oil. A cast iron or Dutch oven works best.  When the oil reaches 350-370f begin frying the cutlets by gently lowering them into the oil. (Photo #5)
  4. Work in batches to not overcrowd the cutlets and to allow easy flipping. (Photo #6)
Chicken cutlet process (for chicken parmigiana) collage group number two showing cutlets frying in shallow oil in pan, flipping cutlets, and removing.
  1. Cook the cutlets for 3 minutes per side. (Photo #7)
  2. Remove the cutlets and place on paper towels or on a wire rack. (Photo #8)

How to assemble the chicken parm

Note: Chicken parmigiana can be prepared with sauce on the bottom like shown below or with the sauce just on top of the chicken cutlets to keep them more crispy as I demonstrated in this chicken parmigiana YouTube video.  The choice is yours!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400f.  If you are opting to prepare your chicken parmesan with sauce, begin by adding marinara sauce to the bottom of a baking dish, or oven-safe pan.  I used a cast iron pan for my pictures below, but a baking or casserole dish would work better.  Grate 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and a 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and set aside. (Photo #1)
Chicken parmigiana recipe process shot collage group number one showing layer of sauce in pan and layer of cutlets in pan with sauce.
  1. Add the chicken cutlets to the pan and top with enough sauce to cover each piece. (Photo #2)
  2. Top the chicken cutlets with the grated mozzarella cheese. (Photo #3)
Chicken parmigiana recipe process shot collage group number two showing mozzarella on top of cutlets in pan and grated parmigiano.
  1. Sprinkle about half of the parmesan cheese on top and place in the oven.  Depending on the state of your cutlets, the cooking time will vary.  If you previously made the cutlets or bought them from the store, they may be cold if they have been in the refrigerator.  If they are cold, they will need to bake for 12-15 minutes to heat them through.  If you just made the cutlets and they are still warm from being fried, they will only need to bake for ~5 minutes.  Once they are hot, turn on the broiler and broil them for 30-60 seconds to melt and lightly brown the cheese.  Be careful to keep a close watch so they don’t burn.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.  Serve with some extra sauce on the side and enjoy! (Photo #4)
Overhead shot of cooked chicken parm in cast iron pan on blue board.

Top tips

  • Sauce. Some people prefer a crispy chicken parm while others like it swimming in sauce. Sauce to your personal preference. If you prefer crispier chicken parm, consider placing the cutlets on a baking sheet and topping them with sauce rather than layering sauce on the bottom of the pan. You can also serve sauce on the side for anyone who’d like more.
  • Chicken parm heroes. To make a great sandwich, hero, hoagie, sub, etc. go heavy on the sauce since the bread will soak up some of it. Top the bread with the cutlets and cheese and bake until the cheese melts, similar to the method used in my meatball parm hero recipe.
  • Opt for homemade. While you can easily make chicken parmigiana with store-bought cutlets and jarred marinara, I recommend using homemade cutlets and marinara as outlined above for the best, most authentic-tasting chicken parm.
Chicken parm hero sandwich on wood board.

More Italian-American recipes

If you love chicken parm, I think you’ll enjoy these other awesome Italian-American recipes!

I also think you’ll love chicken eggplant parm which combines both iconic dishes into one!

If you’ve enjoyed this Chicken Parmigiana Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles.  If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Chicken Parmigiana

5 from 18 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Crispy chicken cutlets are topped with a simple marinara sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, and baked until melty.

Ingredients 

For the sauce

  • 1 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional, see notes below
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano optional

For the chicken

  • 1 pound chicken cutlets thin-sliced, about 6 cutlets
  • 1 cup flour for dredging, will not need all flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated

Instructions 

Making the sauce

  • In a saucepan saute the garlic in a ¼ cup of olive oil over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden. Add in the hot red pepper flakes (optional) and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the tomatoes, stir together, and bring the sauce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and oregano (optional).
  • Taste test the sauce, and adjust salt and pepper if required. When satisfied set the sauce aside.

Frying the cutlets

  • Mix 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a 1/4 teaspoon pepper into the flour.
  • Dredge the cutlets in the flour and shake off excess, then dip into the egg, and then into the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded cutlets onto parchment paper and set them aside.
  • Pour the olive about ¾” high into a large heavy frying pan and heat oil to 350 to 370f. The burner should be set to about medium heat and take about 5-7 minutes to get to ~350f.
  • When the oil reaches frying temp, add the cutlets into the pan and fry in batches. The cutlets will take approximately 3 minutes per side. Place finished cutlets on a wire rack to cool.

Assembling the chicken parmigiana

  • Preheat oven to 400f
  • Place a thick layer of sauce (about a 1/4") on the bottom of a large baking dish. Space out the chicken cutlets in the dish and cover them with another thick layer of sauce. Note: You do not have to use all of the sauce.
  • Next sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, dividing evenly between all the chicken cutlets. Sprinkle half of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top.
  • Bake the chicken parmigiana in the oven for 5 minutes (12-15 minutes if starting with cold cutlets) then broil for 30-60 seconds to brown the top.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese all over. Let the chicken parmigiana settle for 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you follow the full recipe for the sauce, cutlets, and assembly, the chicken will only need 5 minutes to bake before broiling, due to the cutlets still being warm.  If using cold cutlets the baking time will need to be increased to 12-15 minutes before final broiling.
  • Any extra sauce can be served on the side.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven at 350f until warm.
  • SAUCE/NO SAUCE:  as mentioned in the body of this post chicken parmigiana can be served wet with the sauce on the bottom and top of the chicken.  It can also be enjoyed with just a bit of sauce on top to retain the cutlet’s crispiness factor.  This is 100% a personal choice.    

Nutrition

Calories: 904kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.9g | Protein: 58.7g | Fat: 53.9g | Saturated Fat: 15.4g | Cholesterol: 259mg | Sodium: 1272mg | Potassium: 776mg | Fiber: 4.7g | Sugar: 13g | Calcium: 541mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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40 Comments

  1. Joanne says:

    5 stars
    Been making chicken Park for a couple decades. Actually followed your recipe this weekend, was best batch I ever made. Thanks!