This 5-star baked chicken parmesan recipe starts with tender chicken cutlets dredged in tasty breadcrumbs, smothered in sauce and cheese, then baked to perfection. This healthy chicken parmesan recipe is your new dinner-time favorite! You won’t even know it’s baked. It’s the best chicken parmesan!
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But today, I’m going to show you how to make a baked chicken parmesan recipe so delicious that you’ll never believe it’s lower in fat and calories than the original.
My easy chicken parmesan recipe is baked in the oven and not fried, which means it uses less oil than classic chicken parmesan. It’s easy to prepare during the week but can still have its place for Sunday dinner!
Reasons you’ll love this recipe
- Three words, skinny chicken parmesan. Need I say more? If you thought Italian food was off-limits, you’d be happy to know this recipe won’t ruin your weight loss efforts. It’s high in protein and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Boost the fiber by serving with veggies!
- Super easy to prepare. Baking chicken breasts instead of frying keeps the mess to a minimum and saves time.
- 30-minute chicken dinner. The chicken breasts are pounded into thin cutlets, reducing cooking time and getting dinner on within 30 minutes.
- You can make this recipe ahead of time. You can shave time off by preparing the chicken breasts to be oven-ready or make the chicken parmesan entirely ahead of time and warm up for a quick and easy dinner during the week. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts. Using a meat tenderizer, I will pound thicker breasts into cutlets; this helps to tenderize the chicken and reduces the cooking time for parmesan chicken. You can also use chicken tenders.
- Wholegrain breadcrumbs. When creating a healthier version of a classic, the flavor is everything. Seasoned breadcrumbs often have additives, flavors, and preservatives. So, to keep the recipe clean, I purchase unseasoned whole-grain breadcrumbs and then mix in the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt, and ground black pepper to create homemade Italian breadcrumbs. If you use store-bought seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, stir in some grated cheese to elevate the flavor.
- Olive oil. A traditional chicken parmesan recipe is fried in oil and smothered in sauce and cheese. Since we are trying to make this a healthy chicken parmesan recipe, we will skip the frying part. Coating the baking sheet with olive oil will keep the chicken from sticking and give the chicken a nice brown “fried” look and taste. Some baked chicken parmesan recipes call for cooking spray, but olive oil works best to achieve a flavorful crispy coating.
- Marinara sauce. For this chicken parmesan recipe, you’ll need ¾ cup of store-bought or homemade marinara sauce. I strongly recommend using a high-quality spaghetti sauce if you don’t use homemade. My favorite jarred sauces are Rao Marinara Sauce and Thrive Market Sicilian Gravy. However, any tomato sauce will work.
- Mozzarella cheese. It’s not chicken parmesan without cheese; I used shredded mozzarella or slices of fresh mozzarella. Cheese can add a lot of extra fat and calories if you’re not intentional with the amount. So, regardless of the type of cheese used, make sure to portion it out before adding it to the chicken and sauce.
How to Make Baked Chicken Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Put the bread crumb mixture together. Mix the bread crumbs, seasoning, and parmesan cheese in a medium bowl.
- Trim the chicken breasts and then, using a meat mallet, pound out each chicken breast into cutlets. The chicken breasts need to be the same size to cook evenly.
- Coat a sheet pan with olive oil. I find it helpful to use a pastry brush with this step.
- Dredge each chicken cutlet in the breadcrumb mixture and place it on the sheet pan. You can also use a baking dish.
- Discard the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes.
- Turn over and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and starting with the sauce, divide the sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese on each chicken cutlet.
- Bake for another 7-10 minutes until the cheese melts and the chicken’s temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle with fresh basil or parsley. Serve hot.
- Mixing bowls. This set of 3 glass mixing bowls from Pyrex is great to have on hand for this recipe and many others.
- Meat Tenderizer. You need one to create thin cutlets for your chicken parmesan.
- Cheese Grater. Just in case you want to grate your shredded mozzarella.
- Pastry brush. Having a pastry brush makes it easier to coat the baking sheets with olive oil.
- Baking Sheets. It wouldn’t be baked chicken parmesan without baking sheets. If you don’t have a couple, I recommend getting some for this dinner and other sheet pan dinners.
What to serve with baked chicken parm? Of course, it’s delicious with spaghetti and sauce. Since this is a healthy chicken parmesan recipe, I recommend serving it with whole-grain pasta and a small salad.
To keep things on the low-carb side, skip the pasta and enjoy it with:
- Italian roasted vegetables, Roasted asparagus, or broccoli.
- Zoodles or spaghetti squash.
- Classic Ceasar Salad or Green Salad
If you love your carbohydrates, you can even serve my gluten free garlic bread! Yum!
- All chicken breasts should be the same size and thickness to ensure everything bakes evenly.
- Chicken breasts work best for parmesan, but you can use boneless chicken thighs if that’s all you have.
- I do not recommend using Panko bread crumbs. In my experience, they don’t coat the chicken, and the coating falls off as it bakes.
- If you don’t have Italian seasoning, then ½ teaspoon of dried oregano and ½ teaspoon of dried basil.
- Some chicken parmesan recipes call for an egg wash to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken. However, I don’t find that necessary when baking chicken parmesan in the oven. I find it easier to flip the chicken when I leave the egg wash out. However, if you want a thicker breadcrumb coating, dipping the chicken breast in a beaten egg before dredging in the flour will help.
- Oil your baking sheet. You get perfectly brown “fried” chicken breasts and crispy chicken parmesan. You can also swap in melted butter for olive oil.
- Have extra sauce to serve on the side. Also, the sauce’s flavor will significantly affect the results. For example, if you use roasted garlic marinara, that will taste different from plain marinara.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs for a gluten-free chicken parmesan! Check out my gluten-free chicken parmesan on my sister blog Gluten Free Italian Eats.
- Shredded provolone cheese or a pizza cheese blend will work if you don’t have mozzarella cheese.
Make-ahead and Storage
- You can dredge the chicken ahead of time in the breadcrumbs and then store it in a container in the refrigerator for two days. When ready to make the chicken parmesan, continue with the recipe.
- This healthy chicken parmesan is best served hot out of the oven, but it can also be made entirely ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to four days. When you’re ready to eat the chicken, warm it up for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.
Check my other chicken meal prep ideas for more tips, tricks, and recipes.
Chicken Parmesan and chicken parmigiana both mean the same thing and are the same recipe: chicken with cheese.
Bake the chicken parmesan in a 375-degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Bake the chicken parmesan in a 400-degree and 425-degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
Regardless of the oven temperature or how long you cook, the chicken breast’s internal temperature, when fully cooked, should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
I recommend flipping the chicken breasts halfway through cooking to get both sides crispy and browned.
No, you can leave the chicken uncovered as it bakes; this helps the coating get brown and crispy.
I recommend using foil only if you are adding the mozzarella cheese early. In this case, the foil will prevent the cheese from browning too fast. And if this is the case, loosely cover the breaded chicken with foil.
Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Mixing Bowls
- Meat Tenderizer
- Pastry brush
- Large sheet pan
- ½ cup unseasoned wholegrain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken cutlets
- 3/4 cup sauce
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Coat a sheet pan with the olive oil.
- Dredge each chicken cutlet in the breadcrumb mixture and place on the sheet pan. Discard the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and starting with the sauce divide the sauce and mozzarella cheese on each chicken cutlet.
- Place back in the oven and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese melts. Serve hot.
Did you make this recipe?
Have you tried this Baked Chicken Parmesan? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences.