Chicken Parmesan is comfort food at its finest! It takes some time to prepare but makes everyone so happy that it’s totally worth it. Crispy, tender chicken breasts with homemade marinara, fresh basil, mozzarella and parmesan cheese meld together for an unforgettable meal!
I started making this for my family a few years ago and they love it so much that when there’s time, I put it on repeat. You can serve it with pasta, mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes, depending on what you like. I think it tastes amazing with creamy mashed potatoes! I always do some veggies and a salad on the side. Oh and be sure to use the extra marinara for dipping, topping the potatoes or mixing with some fresh pasta.
Since I broke my ankle just as the pandemic was escalating, I haven’t been able to cook for a while, so when my daughter made the recipe, she took the pictures. Thanks Emily! She served the Chicken Parmesan with roasted red rosemary garlic potatoes, green beans and zuccini. Yum! Wish I could’ve tasted it but she lives in Washington and I live in Utah. Despite the miles, we bonded as she made this meal for her first time!
What’s at the root of this food? Comfort, a happy family and leftovers! It just doesn’t get any better than that. Fresh ingredients, prepared with love, that’s what Family Food Roots is all about!
- 4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Plastic wrap or a zip lock bag
- 2 eggs
- 2 T milk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups bread or Panko crumbs
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano to taste
- Olive oil (or avocado/coconut oil)
- 2-3 cups marinara (store-bought or recipe below)
- Fresh basil leaves (optional)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella, grated or sliced
Trim fat from chicken breasts and cut them in half crosswise. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, place 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time between plastic wrap or in a large zip lock bag. Pound chicken until it’s about ½” thick. Repeat for the rest of the chicken pieces, pounding them all to the same thickness. Prepare a baking dish or rectangle pan with cooking spray.
Put the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add a little salt and pepper to the flour, mix to combine and put on a plate. Add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano to the Panko or bread crumbs if not already seasoned. Put 1 cup of this mixture on a plate; add more as needed while breading the chicken. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
Take a piece of chicken and dredge both sides in the flour, then dip into the egg/milk mixture and then coat with the bread crumbs on both sides. After all chicken pieces are prepared this way, turn on a frying pan with 2 T oil (add more as needed). On medium/high heat, fry the chicken on one side for ~3 minutes, then turn over and do the other side. You aren’t trying to cook the chicken through, but just get to a nice golden brown color on the coating. Place in baking dish or pan and continue until all chicken breasts are browned.
Place a large basil leaf (optional) and then a nice scoop of marinara sauce on top of each chicken piece. I like enough sauce that it’s kind of spilling over the sides. Sprinkle with parmesan and then mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is cooked through (cut a piece in half and check).
Serve with pasta or potatoes (roasted or mashed), veggies and salad! Our favorite is mashed potatoes!
Tomato Basil Marinara
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil (or 3 tsp dry)
- 1-2 T olive oil
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste (plus 2 cans water)
- 3 T sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp dried basil (in addition to fresh)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Pour a little olive oil in a pan. With the heat on medium, add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes. Add the chopped fresh basil, tomatoes (with liquid), tomato sauce and tomato paste (plus 2 tomato paste cans of water). Stir to combine. I use my potato masher to squish the chopped tomatoes up a bit. Add the sugar and additional spices to taste. Allow this mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes so that flavors meld together and longer if you have the time.
- For our large family, I use 6 chicken breasts (cut in half), so adjust as needed. I use a jelly roll pan and they fit perfectly.
- I use the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Be sure not to use the rough side or your plastic wrap/bag will split and leak. You can also use a rolling pin (with no handles), which may come in handy as a protection device. (see photos below)
- I like using Panko crumbs and add my own spices since they brown and crisp very nicely.
- Light olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are best for sautéing at higher heats because of their smoke point. See my post here on the best oils to use!
- You can omit the sugar from the marinara sauce if you prefer. We use it to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes.
- If you don’t have time to make fresh marinara, just use a jar from the store. I like Newman’s Own, Classico and Barilla brands.
- I usually go light on salt and pepper in my recipes to be safe. Adjust these and all of the spices to your taste.