Chicken Parmesan

One of earliest recipe successes that I can remember happening in my kitchen was Chicken Parmesan.

Chicken Parmesan

I remember in my early twenties receiving, what seemed like every single day, a stack of recipe cards in the mail. I don’t remember signing up for them, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t… but heck free recipes? OKAY! I didn’t make a whole lot of them because A LOT of recipes called for soup mixes etc, but I remember this getting my attention. It seemed basic enough; chicken, a can of tomato sauce, seasonings…  and being that it was early in my cooking days, it was something that I could tackle and I remember being AMAZED at how good it tasted and even more amazed that I actually made it.

As I made recipes that my family loved and I knew would end up in our repertoire, I started to rewrite them in a composition notebook to keep my favorites together as the years went on. It also made it easy for me to make changes, add or subtract depending on what I wanted or liked. For example fresh garlic instead of garlic powder etc. This easy Parmesan chicken recipe has made it through the years, albeit with a few changes… but a classic nonetheless.

And you guys…I’m not joking when I say this recipe rules. The smell of chicken, parmesan and garlic fill your home with such inviting and intoxicating aroma that I promise will get everyone excited for dinner. My girls busted through the front door after school and said “MOM! Oh my gosh what smells so good?” SCORE! And when it comes to chicken Parmesan, it never fails… we always cleans our plates.


All you need is some pretty basic goods to whip this dish up. And I swear it’s the buttery crackers that give this chicken the crunchy golden layer, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a whole bunch of people that would be willing to make their own crackers just to crush them all up and coat chicken. Can I get an amen?

place crackers in a bag

Start by opening a sleeve of whole wheat crackers. Before Ritz made whole wheat version, I would use the regular Ritz crackers… so truthfully either would work. I personally just prefer the whole wheat, maybe it makes me feel less guilty and more healthy… who knows.

crushed crackers

I use my hands to crush the crackers up. It takes a while but it’s surprisingly therapeutic. By all means, pull out your food processor and pulse these until a medium to small cracker pieces form and then just set those aside for a sec. Season with a half teaspoon of kosher salt and shake to combine.


Take three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally. I did notice that my grocery store sells “thin cut” chicken breasts, but that usually comes with a price mark-up. I’ve halved a bunch of chicken breasts and at first I was not very good at it, but with practice, a sharp knife and by taking your time… YOU.CAN.DO.IT!

pepper and eggs

Crack two eggs, {I got double yolks in both!} since these were small yolks, I still cracked another egg. Whisk those with a couple pinches of black pepper.


Dip the chicken breast halves into the beaten egg…


Be sure to coat both sides and let any excess drip off into the dish.

coat in crack crumbs

Then one chicken breast halve at a time, shake it in the bag cracker crumbs.


Pile them high on a plate and bring them over to a large 10 in skillet that’s filled with a 1/4 cup of olive oil, heated over medium-high heat.

pan fry

Once the oil is good and hot, work in batches and lay two of them into the hot oil.

start to brown

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes a side. You’ll know it’s a good time to flip when you see the deep golden crust along the edges of the chicken.

flip and crisp

Flip and repeat for another 3-4 minutes.


While I repeat the batches, I kind of “blot” them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any extra oil. Add more olive oil to the pan if needed.


Then place them in a lightly sprayed {with my Misto} 9×13 baking dish. Look at that crispness!!!


Once the chicken is cooked I reduced the temperature to medium, I wipe the excess oil out with paper towel and then squeezed in two cloves of fresh garlic through my garlic press and into the pan. Stir that around for a minute or two.


Once the pan has had a chance to cool down, add in two cans of tomato sauce.


Add a half teaspoon of dried basil. You could totally use fresh basil in this as well, about a tablespoon would do.

melt butter

Let the sauce simmer for about 8 minutes or until it has thickened, drop in two tablespoons of butter and let that melt. The butter not only adds flavor but a velvety-ness to the sauce.

pour half the sauce

Pour about a third of the sauce over the chicken leaving pieces of the chicken exposed. You don’t really want to drown the chicken in sauce, but each piece of chicken should have a bit of sauce.

sprinkle with the parmesan

Sprinkle with a quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese evenly…


Then cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. While that was going on, I brought a pot of water to boil, seasoned it with a generous pinch of salt and dropped in about a half a box of spaghetti noodles, and naturally… cooked as directed on the package.

after 30

After the 30 minutes are up remove the foil and breeeeeathe.

top with mozzarella cheese

Cover the chicken with slices of mozzarella cheese and pop the pan back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more so the cheese can melt, bubble and get nice and slightly golden.

drain pasta

Once the pasta is done then drained quickly…

add to remaining sauce

And then I immediately added them to the pan of the remaining sauce.

toss with sauce

Toss and keep on low so the pasta stays warm.


Look at that CHEESE! It seriously smells so darn good and there’s only one thing left to do.

Chicken Parmesan

EAT IT! Dish out some spaghetti, sprinkle with chopped parsley or fresh basil and enjoy!

I hope you make this recipe. I hope you add this delicious and easy recipe to your recipe repertoire and create memories. I absolutely LOVE this recipe and happy to finally share it with you!


Chicken Parmesan 2


Chicken Parmesan

Chicken is covered in a simple marinara, sprinkled with Parmesan and topped with mozzarella for a delicious and cozy dinner.

Yield: 4-6 servings {depending}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


6 Chicken Breast Halves

2 whole Eggs

Black Pepper

1 sleeve Whole Wheat Crackers {like Ritz}

1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1/4 cup Olive Oil, plus more if needed

2 cloves Fresh Garlic, squeezed through a garlic press

2 {14.5 ounce each} Tomato Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil

2 tablespoon Butter

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

4 to 6 slices Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 box of Spaghetti Noodles


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray {I use my Misto}.

In a large bag {I use a produce bag} crush up the whole sleeve of crackers into small pieces and season with the half teaspoon of kosher salt.

In a shallow dish whisk together the two eggs and black pepper. Dip the chicken breast halves in one at a time coating both sides and drip any excess egg back into the dish.

Add the coated chicken into the bag with the crushed crackers, shake to coat pressing the crackers into the chicken and then place on a large plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of the chicken breast halves are coated.

In a large 10 inch non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, work in batches adding two of the chicken breast halves at a time and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Flip when you notice the edges of the chicken are a deep golden and cook for another 3-4 minutes. After each batch, remove to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil and then arrange in the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken has been cooked, reduce the heat to medium and wipe the pan out with paper towel so only a trace of oil left in the pan. Squeeze in a couple cloves of garlic through a garlic press and cook for a minute or two. Slowly add in the two cans of tomato sauce and a half teaspoon of dried basil. Simmer for 8 minutes and drop in the two tablespoons of butter and stir. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over top of the chicken leaving pieces exposed. Evenly sprinkle with the Parmesan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and add in the spaghetti noodles and cook as directed on the package. Drain and add to the remaining marinara, toss and heat on low to keep warm.

After the 30 minutes, remove top with mozzarella slices and pop the pan back into the oven for 10-15 more minutes more until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Dish out spaghetti into bowls and top with the Parmesan chicken.


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59 Responses to “Chicken Parmesan”

  1. #
    Aria — April 1, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Looks SO good Laurie!

  2. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — April 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Wait. You got DOUBLE yolks out of both eggs? What you are the dang Easter bunny? That’s freaky! TWINS. TWICE. TWICE TWINS.

    Also, that looks ridiculously yums.

  3. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — April 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

    This looks fantastic and I don’t even like tomatoes 😉 I should make a tomato-less version sometime for me.

  4. #
    Tieghan Gerard — April 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Double yolks! That is crazy! I have never had a double yolk! This looks crazy good, I LOVE the ritz!

  5. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Ohmahgoodness, I can see why this recipe has withstood the test of time. SO MUCH YUM.

  6. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I had the same experience right after I got married! I just kept getting these recipe cards with red and white gingham boarders and I had no idea where they were coming form (I’m pretty sure they wanted me to buy something) but I made a few of them and stuck them in these folders I used to keep recipes I tore out of magazines. This is a great classic dish, beautiful job :)

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 1st, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

      YES! They were “grandmas kitchen” or something. I can’t remember… but that’s too funny!

  7. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Love it!!! Simple, hearty and satisfying!!!

  8. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — April 1, 2013 at 11:44 am

    HOLY GOLDEN BROWN! Feed me woman! :)

  9. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — April 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Double Yolks not once but twice?! Your gonna have a lucky month. Dipping the chicken breast in ritz crackers is a fabulous idea! So much more buttery and delicious then plain bread crumbs. I want this Chicken Parmesan for breakfast.

  10. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Comfort food begins and ends with chicken parmesan to me. Yours is perfect, Laurie!

  11. #
    Kathy — April 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Looks incredible! I know my family would love this! I am putting this on the menu!

  12. #
    Jennifurla — April 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    the pictures have one me over, dear lord!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 1st, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

      Thank you friend!

  13. #
    a farmer in the dell — April 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    double yokes is good luck! I would do anything to have been in your kitchen breathing in all of this deliciousness while you cooked. Yum!

  14. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — April 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I absolutely love the crust. I never think to use crackers rather than breadcrumbs. Great idea!

  15. #
    Jeff — April 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Just to make sure…some terms are used liberally so when the recipe calls for six chicken breasts, it seems that three chicken breast halves are being used and they are cut in two thin pieces each which yields the six pieces described.

    Is this correct?

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

      Hi Jeff! It’s three whole chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally to make it 6 chicken breast halves. I hope this helps :)

  16. #
    Monica Papasian — April 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Excellent, thank you Laurie. I was so excited for my husband to get home so I could serve him dinner. It was just as delicous as I anticipated. Meijer had no mozzarella so I had to substitute with garlic jack cheese, not a bad replacement.

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

      Hi Monica!! I’m SO SO glad! I’ve never heard of garlic jack cheese… but that sounds amazing! :)

  17. #
    Lorie — April 2, 2013 at 12:51 am

    What a great recipe! Your photos are Clear, Beautiful and very easy to follow.

    Love this and I am anxious to make your recipe::)


  18. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Chicken parm is my favorite comfort dish! Definitely have to give your version a try – haven’t had chicken parm in ages!

  19. #
    Azzira — April 2, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I am dying to make your chicken parm, and must tell you very simple way to prepare thanks for sharing.

    Vegetable Store

  20. #
    Kay — April 2, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Just wanted to mention that you can also put your crackers in a ziplock and
    Smash them with a rolling pin. This is how my grandma taught me. If you
    Have crackers in your pantry, you can usually substitute for a recipe with
    Bread crumbs. Even saltines will work, but I like your choice of buttery
    Ritz crackers. Looks delicious!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

      Great point Kay! I don’t usually buy those big-o bags and just use saved produce bags.. and those are so thin that the crumbs just destroy it if I do it that way! Glad you mentioned it because that’s an excellent suggestion:)

  21. #
    Teresa — April 2, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I just got to work and opened up my personal email, (bad me), and noticed this delicious, yet easy seeming recipe. I guess I must be hungry at 8:40 in the morning, but I read through it and decided that I will, definitely be trying this one. Thanks so much for posting. I love your site, by the way.
    Teresa (SassySuburbanite)

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Thanks Teresa! I just know you will love this one.

  22. #
    Charlsey — April 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    This looks AMAZING! I will be doing it this week for sure. Thanks :) Also, I absolutely adore your website and recipes. Love seeing your name pop up in my inbox :) Keep up the good work!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

      Thanks so much! :)

  23. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — April 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Great recipe for a classic! I’ve made this many, many times but never with Ritz crackers. I’ll definitely be trying that soon!

  24. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — April 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Look at that glorious crispy chicken! Want this for dinner tonight!

  25. #
    Ellen Renee — April 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I have never had chicken parm in my life….that will be changing….very soon. Looks sooooo delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  26. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — April 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Double yolks? Woman go buy yourself a lottery ticket!! L ove a good chicken parm! Gorg!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 2nd, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

      I know right!? :)

  27. #
    Rabeea — April 3, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Hey! So I just discovered your blog recently and I absolutely love it! :) I was thinking of trying out this chicken parm recipe, but I don’t have Mozarella cheese slices, so could I just substitute it with grated mozarella?

    Thanks! :)

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 3rd, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

      Hi Rabeea! Yes… totally!

  28. #
    Tabitha — April 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    I tried this recipe on Wednesday night because I hadn’t cooked Chicken Parm before and it looks soooo delicious on your website! Needless to say, it was a hit! My fiancé loved the texture of the chicken and the flavor of the sauce. He took it to work with him the next day and all of his co-workers were drooling over the smell! Haha thanks for giving me new recipe ideas because I haven’t always been the “chick who cooks”, so trying new things, being proud of my culinary skills, and impressing my fiancé are so important to me! Thanks again for the umpteen time because I have cooked soooo many of your recipes and they are all to die for!!!

  29. #
    Ginger — April 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Chicken parmesan is a simple joy to both cook and then devour :) It was one of my first successes as well and still one of our favorites. I love your blog and frequently visit to see what you’ve been up to in your kitchen! One of my families favorite recipes is the Homestyle Baked Chicken… even my picky 3 year old loves it!

  30. #
    CBarnes — April 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I made this last night!!! SOOOOO tasty! LOVE the Ritz instead of flour, I used the Wheat Ritz and put 1 can tom sauce and 1 can petite diced instead of the 2 cans of sauce…excellent

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 12th, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

      YAY! So glad to hear you liked it! :)

  31. #
    Linda — April 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Another awesome dinner, thanks to you!

  32. #
    Shannon — April 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    We had this last night. My husband raved over it. Thank you so much for teaching me to cook! ha!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 27th, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      I’m so glad! Have a great weekend!

  33. #
    Crystal — June 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve made this at least 10 times now and my family absolutely, positively LOVES it!! Thanks for having it here! I love all the recipes here because they are broken down and make it easier for me to add in organics and whole foods for my family. Thanks again!

    • simplyscratch replied: — June 9th, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

      Aw thanks Crystal! It’s one of those perfect recipes ya know! So glad you liked it!

  34. #
    Angie — February 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner, following the recipe exactly, and it was incredible! Even my 5 year old picky eater ate it up. Thank you so much for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  35. #
    Toni — August 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I made this at a friends house where I am spending a bit of a vacation and not only was I pleased but so were they. Very moist and tasty chicken. I did not have crackers so used Italian Bread Crumbs and turned out very good. I have added this to my recipes so I can make it again and share it with other friends. Also added it to my Pintrest page.

  36. #
    Brent — March 13, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Yes! Cooking this for my girlfriend and I right away!

  37. #
    Amirali — April 6, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Hi Laurie!!

    I just wanted to thank you for the perfect recipe, I made it last night for my wife and we LOVED it.
    Thanks again. I’m gonna try your other recipes now 😀

    btw, I found your recipe among all other millions of recipes because of the wonderful picture, IT LOOKS and TASTES AMAZING!

  38. #
    Karen Lynne Matthews — May 18, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I prepared the Parmesan with cheese but I used chicken thighs,and it worked. I used angel hair pasta and that worked as well. This is a great dish. My son had three helpings. I love this recipe. Instead of using Ritz crackers for bread crumbs I used the pre made a garlic Italian bread crumbs which is tasty and worked out a little easier for me.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:49 am

      I’m so glad! Thanks for leaving a review Karen!

  39. #
    E — September 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I’m thinking of trying this for the first time tonight… Any last minute tips you’d like to share, Laurie? I have the same cast iron skillet as you, so that should ensure success, right? 😉

  40. #
    E — September 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Oh wait. This recipe doesn’t call for cast iron skillet!!!
    Was thinkin’ of your latest recipe with the red potatoes, which sounds equally tempting.


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