This chicken parmesan recipe is a much healthier version of what you would normally be served at an authentic Italian restaurant. Everyone who has tried this recipe has loved it. It’s also much cheaper to make this chicken parmesan at home than it is to order at an Italian chain restaurant like Bucca di Beppo.
To save calories, we omit pan frying the chicken in oil before the chicken is baked. To give the chicken a crispy coating we use Panko breadcrumbs that have been toasted in a small amount of olive oil. We then mix the breadcrumbs with freshly grated parmesan cheese. After pounding out the chicken breasts they are lightly coated with flour and seasonings, eggs, and the crispy Panko and parmesan cheese topping. Before the chicken is placed into the oven it is lightly sprayed with a vegetable oil spray to add extra crispiness. To make the chicken parmesan even healthier, you can cut out calories by replacing the egg yolk with an additional egg white and topping the chicken with low-fat mozzarella cheese.
Chicken parmesan tastes best when it is topped with a tomato sauce that has a touch of heat to add some zing. The tomato sauce recipe we used has some spicy zip thanks to the addition of red pepper flakes.
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - freshly grated
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt - Don't worry, most of this won't stick to the chicken.
- 4 chicken breasts - boneless skinless
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 leaves fresh basil - shredded
- vegetable cooking spray
Add the Panko breadcrumbs and olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Stir the breadcrumbs frequently as you do not want any to burn.
Once the toasted breadcrumbs have taken on a golden brown color, turn off the heat and empty the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl to cool.
While the breadcrumbs are cooling, add the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into a separate shallow bowl
Mix the flour and seasonings very well.
Once the Panko breadcrumbs have cooled, add the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Mix the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs together.
Preheat your oven to 475º Fahrenheit.
Cut off any excess fat from the chicken breasts using kitchen shears.
Place a chicken breast into a bag with a zip top. Using the flat side of a meat pounder, pound the chicken breast until it is approximately 1/2" thick. Remove the flattened chicken breast to a large plate. Individually pound the remaning chicken breasts and place them on the plate. Pat down both sides of each of the chicken breasts with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
Add the egg yolk, egg whites, and water to a bowl and whisk together.
Line up the plates so you can easily move the chicken from the flour mixture, to the eggs, and then to the breadcrumbs. A mnemonic to easily remember the order of breading meat is to remember "Feb" as in the abbreviated month of February to represent F (flour), E (eggs), and then B (breadcrumbs).
Using tongs or a fork, dredge both sides of a chicken breast in the flour mixture. Shake the chicken breast over the dish containing the flour to remove any excess flour from the chicken. Shaking the chicken breasts is very important. You don't want excess salt on the chicken breasts. You only want a very thin amount of the flour mixture on the chicken.
Dip both sides of the chicken breast into the egg mixture and hold it up over the plate for a couple seconds to allow any excess egg mixture drain off the chicken breast.
Place the chicken breast into the Panko breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture and press down gently. Flip the chicken breast and press down gently again. Make sure that the chicken breast is full coated with Panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. If you see any spots that need more coating, you can use a spoon to add some of the mixture onto that spot.
Place the fully coated chicken breast back onto the plate. Repeat the last 3 steps until every chicken breast has been coated with the flour mixture, eggs, and parmesan breadcrumb mixture.
Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a large wire rack on top of the aluminum foil. Spray the vegetable oil spray all over the wire rack.
Transfer each of the chicken breasts from the plate to the wire rack. Make sure to space the chicken breasts evenly apart.
Once all the chicken breasts have been placed onto the wire rack, it will be quite likely that some of the breadcrumbs have fallen onto the baking sheet that is covered with the aluminum foil. In order to prevent these fallen breadcrumbs from smoking while in the oven, have someone hold the wire rack with the chicken on it while you brush off any of the fallen breadcrumbs into a trash can using a paper towel. Place the wire rack back onto the baking sheet that has been covered with aluminum foil.
Spray the top of each chicken breast with a quick blast of vegetable spray. This will help to give the top of the chicken breasts bit of extra crispiness as it cooks.
With the chicken on the wire rack, and the wire rack on top of the baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, place it all in the oven and bake at 475º for 15-18 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165º Fahrenheit when inserted sideways into each individual chicken breast. (Note: If you know that you will be topping your chicken with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese to be placed back in the oven to melt, you can remove the chicken at about 155º-160º Fahrenheit. The chicken won't be fully cooked at that temperature. It will finish cooking while you will be wait for the cheese to melt. Doing it this way will prevent the chicken from overcooking when it goes back into the oven in the next step. Just be sure to wash your thermometer well before using it to test the temperature again in the next step).
While the chicken is cooking, heat up the tomato sauce on the stove top or in the microwave.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly top each chicken breast with your desired amount of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It's best to leave quite a bit of the outer area of the chicken breast free of any sauce and mozzarella cheese as this will help to retain the crispiness of the Panko / parmesan crust on the chicken. No one likes soggy chicken parmesan. You can always add extra tomato sauce on the side of a plate that you can dip the chicken parmesan into.
Place the chicken back into the oven and wait until the cheese has melted. If the internal temperature of the chicken didn't reach 165º Fahrenheit in the last step, be sure to verify that it now has reached that temperature before you remove it from the oven.
Remove the chicken parmesan from the oven, top with shredded basil, and serve with pasta and garlic bread.
Now that you have learned how to make chicken parmesan, please be sure to view these other chicken recipes.
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