Can you bake Chicken Parmesan? Yep! This 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.
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I’ve been making this easy chicken parmesan recipe for YEARS, along with baked eggplant parmesan, healthy baked ziti, and healthy fettuccine alfredo. But today, I’m going to show you how to make the best baked chicken parm recipe that is so delicious that you’ll never believe it’s lower in fat and calories than the original.
My healthy 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 higher in protein and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Boost the fiber by serving it 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 pounding into thin cutlets, reducing cooking time and getting dinner on table 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 it entirely ahead of time and warm up for a quick and easy dinner during the week. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
I have looked extensively for a recipe for chicken parmesan, one that my husband would appreciate and one I could serve guilt-free on my Weight Watchers diet. This is a keeper, and he said it satisfied his need for spaghetti & meatballs. I did serve a side of spaghetti with it. I had no granulated garlic, so substituted 2 t. of garlic powder. Excellent and thanks for sharing. – Gerry
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Cutlets. My favorite chicken to use is organic boneless skinless chicken breasts. In my experience, the higher the quality of the chicken, the tastier the dinner is. 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.
- Wholegrain Breadcrumbs. Seasoned breadcrumbs often have additives, flavors, and preservatives. So, to keep the recipe clean, I purchase unseasoned whole-grain breadcrumbs and then mix in garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt, and 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 then 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 I think olive oil works best to achieve a flavorful crispy coating.
- Marinara Sauce. You’ll need ¾ cup of store-bought or homemade marinara sauce for this chicken parmesan recipe. If you don’t use homemade, I strongly recommend using a high-quality brand spaghetti sauce. 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 the cheese, and 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.
- Mixing bowls – This set of 3 glass mixing bowls from Pyrex are great to have on hand for this recipe and many others.
- Meat Tenderizer – You need one of these 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 couldn’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.
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 mixing 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 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.
- All the chicken breasts should be the same size and thickness to make sure 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 entirely, and the coating falls off as it bakes.
- Oil your baking sheet. This is how you get perfectly brown “fried” chicken breasts and crispy chicken parmesan. You can also swap in melted butter for the olive oil.
- Have extra sauce to serve on the side. Also, the sauce’s flavor will make a big difference in 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 this gluten free Chicken Parmesan recipe on my sister site Gluten Free Italian Eats for more tips.
- Shredded provolone cheese or a pizza cheese blend will work if you don’t have mozzarella cheese.
Of course, you can serve classic chicken parmesan 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:
- Roasted vegetables. Roasted asparagus or broccoli is delicious with chicken parmesan.
- Zoodles or spaghetti squash.
If you love your carbohydrates, you can even serve this on a garlic roll as a chicken parmesan sandwich or sub.
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 you’re 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 out 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. It means chicken with cheese.
In a 375 degree oven, bake the chicken parmesan for 35 – 40 minutes.
In a 400 degree and 425-degree oven, bake the chicken parmesan 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.
The only time I recommend using foil is 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 then just loosely cover the breaded chicken with the foil.
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, then dipping the chicken breast in a beaten egg before dredging in the flour will help.
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 is melted. 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. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny.