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Foolproof Chicken Parmesan

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed

1 cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and ground black pepper 

2 eggs

2 cups fine breadcrumbs 

1/4 cup plus 1 cup finely grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon dried basil 

1 lemon, zested 

1/4 to 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil

2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite brand or homemade)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

4 fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Working two at a time, place the chicken breasts in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and set on a flat work surface. Pound the chicken to an even thickness with a meat mallet or the back of a small, heavy pan. Remove from the bag and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3. Combine the flour and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish; whisk to incorporate. In a separate shallow dish, whisk the eggs. In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, dried basil, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to blend.
  4. Coat the chicken breasts completely with flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the eggs and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a clean plate or tray and set aside.
  5. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Pan-fry the chicken on both sides until crisp and golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a foil-lined baking sheet or casserole dish.
  6. Top each chicken breast with 1/2 cup of the marinara. Sprinkle the mozzarella and 1 cup Parmesan evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. Top each breast with a basil leaf to serve.
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