Easy Chicken Parmesan

This easy chicken Parmesan is the first recipe successes that I can remember happening in my kitchen.

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I was in my early twenties and I would receive, 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 many of recipes called for soup mixes etc., but I remember this particular recipe catching my eye. It seemed pretty easy enough; chicken breasts, a can of tomato sauce, seasonings, blah-blah… and being that it was in my early cooking days, it was something I knew that I could tackle.

I do remember being AMAZED at how good it tasted and even more amazed that I actually made it.

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Over the years, as I made recipes that my family loved and ones that I knew would end up in our dinner repertoire, I started to rewrite them in a composition notebook to keep my favorites together as the years went on- I’m old fashioned like that and to this day I still write down and brainstorm recipes in notebooks. Doing it this way 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. and doubling the sauce so I could toss in cooked spaghetti.

This easy Parmesan chicken recipe has made it through the years, albeit with a few (okay a lot) 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 this easy chicken Parmesan, it never fails… we always, always cleans our plates.

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All you need is some pretty basic goods in order to whip up this dish.

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Take two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (that are on the larger side, weighing in at about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds total weight) 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 and the breasts are sometimes on the smaller side. If that’s all you can find then six smaller chicken breast halves will work in this recipe just fine.

I’ve butterflied a few chicken breasts in my day and at first I was not very good at it. But with a little practice, a sharp knife and by taking your time… it can totally be done!

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I place an entire sleeve of crackers into a resealable bag and crush them by hand. It takes only a minute or two and is surprisingly therapeutic. Then pour the cracker crumbs into a shallow dish and season with a half teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

I swear it’s these buttery crackers (I use Ritz- always have, always will) that give this chicken the crunchy golden layer. Now, these are store bought crackers, because I for one (and I’m also pretty positive there’s whole bunch of people who’d agree) am not willing to make my own crackers just to crush them all up and coat chicken. Um. No.

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Crack two eggs into a separate shallow dish, season with a couple grinds of black pepper and beat with a fork. Dip the chicken breast halves into the beaten egg, coating both sides and letting any excess egg drip off back into the dish.

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Working with one chicken breast (halve) at a time, press both sides into the cracker crumbs.

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Until both sides are coated well.

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Pile them on to a plate and bring them over to the stove.

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Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large 10 to 12-inch skillet.

start to brown

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

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Transfer the browned chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any extra oil.

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Once all the chicken breasts have been browned, place them in a lightly (olive) oiled 9×13 baking dish. Now check out that crispness.

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With the chicken now cooked, I reduced the temperature to medium, I carefully wipe the excess oil out with paper towel and allow the pan some time to cool down a tad. Then I squeeze in two cloves of fresh garlic through my garlic press and into the pan, stir that around for about 30 seconds to a minute.

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Pour in 30 ounces or bout 3-1/2 cups (or two 15-ounce cans) of tomato sauce and measure in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, a half teaspoon of dried basil. You could totally use fresh basil in this as well, about a tablespoon would do.

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Then add in 1/2 teaspoon sugar and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Once the sauce has simmered and thickened, drop in two tablespoons of unsalted butter and let that melt. The butter not only adds flavor but a nice velvety-ness to the sauce.

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Lastly, stir in a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

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Pour about a third of the sauce over the chicken leaving some of the crispy chicken exposed.

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You don’t really want to drown the chicken in sauce, but each piece of chicken should have a generous bit of sauce.

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Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese…

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Then cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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While that was going on, I brought a pot of water to boil, seasoned it with a generous tablespoon of sea salt and dropped in about a half a box of spaghetti noodles, and naturally… cooked as directed on the package.

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When the pasta is done, use tongs to transfer the hot pasta from the pot and into the pan with the remaining sauce.

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Toss to coat every so often and keep on low-heat so the pasta stays warm.

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After the 30 minutes are up remove the foil and breeeeeathe that goodness into your lungs.

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I fold a slice of mozzarella in half and place it on top of each chicken breast. Then I slide the pan back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more, so the cheese can melt, bubble and slightly golden.

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

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Serve it on some of that spaghetti pasta and EAT IT UP! Feel free to sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley or fresh basil over top for a pop of green!

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I hope you add this delicious and easy chicken Parmesan recipe to your recipe repertoire. My family absolutely LOVES this Chicken Parmesan recipe and I’m so happy to finally share it with all of you!

Enjoy!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Print

Chicken Parmesan

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

Yield: 4-6 servings (depending) see note

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved (so you'll end up with 4 total)

2 whole eggs

black pepper

1 sleeve crackers, about 14 to 18 (I like Ritz)

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if needed

2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced or squeezed through a garlic press

2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

4 to 6 slices mozzarella cheese

1/2 box (or about 8 ounces) of spaghetti noodles

chopped fresh parsley or basil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil.

In a shallow dish crush up the crackers into small pieces and season with the half teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

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

Then press both sides of the chicken into the crushed crackers, then place on a large plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

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. 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 tomato sauce, a half teaspoon of dried basil and sugar. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes and then drop in the two tablespoons of butter and stir. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over top of the chicken leaving pieces exposed. Evenly sprinkle with the Parmesan, cover the pan with foil and 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 the foil and top with mozzarella slices. Slide the pan back into the oven for 10-15 more minutes more until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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

Enjoy!

Note: This recipe can be adjusted to make a total of 6 chicken breast halves.

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62 Responses to “Easy Chicken Parmesan”

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

    Looks SO good Laurie!

  2. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    7
    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

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

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

    HOLY GOLDEN BROWN! Feed me woman! 🙂

  9. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
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    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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::)

    Lorie

  18. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
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    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. #
    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. #
    31
    Linda — April 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Another awesome dinner, thanks to you!

  32. #
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    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    36
    Brent — March 13, 2015 at 1:39 am

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

  37. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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? 😉

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    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.

  41. #
    41
    E — October 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

    This is so delicious you just have to try it! Absolutely amazing!

    Both times I made this, I found that I only needed one egg. And… I always struggle with the ounce conversion, for the cans, and more often than not find that US and Canada rarely share can sizes. Argh. Aside from that, perfection!

    Thanks again Laurie for this fabulous recipe!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 6th, 2016 @ 7:14 am

      Yay! I’m so glad you like this! It’s a family favorite over here too! Is there anything I can do on my end to make converting easier? As always, thanks for leaving a review! 🙂

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