Our family loves anything breaded. Biting into chicken that’s crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside is amazing. I’ve been getting huge cravings for some good, old-fashioned comfort food, and this recipe is a classic! This Easy Chicken Parmesan is so good and I’ve added a homemade marinara tomato sauce recipe to it too! Who can resist sauce and cheese on breaded chicken!?
Homemade marinara tomato sauce is so easy to make and you can forgo the additives and preservatives by making your own.
Kids love foods like spaghetti and chicken nuggets, and that makes this super easy chicken parmesan even better. Simply swap out the chicken breasts for chicken tenders, and your little ones will love this dish even more! Adults will love the homemade tomato basil marinara, and there’s plenty of choices when it comes to vegetables you’d like to add. With filling pasta and flavorful chicken, this dish brings the best of both worlds—actually, with all the delicious cheese, it’s the best of three worlds!
So give your family some cozy comfort food to warm their hearts and tummies with some easy chicken parmesan today!
Why You’ll Love Breaded Chicken with Homemade Marinara
- Perfect for Nugget Lovers – This is a great less processed way to eat chicken nuggets. I call it a grown up chicken nugget. Nuggetarians rejoice! Some store bought chicken nuggets have so many added preservatives, so this is a nice alternative when you have time to make it.
- Versatile – You may add chopped carrots or spinach to the sauce or even blend it for your most selective eaters. You can also add additional spices if you like a more aromatic sauce. I kept it simple here for pickier eaters.
- Protein Rich – the chicken is a lean, low fat, and a great protein source. The cheese also adds some protein to the mix.
How to Make Homemade Marinara
First, preheat your oven to 375F. For the sauce, in a large pot, saute onion in olive oil and butter for 5 minutes or until softened.
Next add in garlic and cook for another minute. Add in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and stir. Cook the sauce on low heat while you prepare the chicken, stirring every few minutes. Now create your stations for the chicken. Prepare 3 shallow pans or bowls. In one bowl, combine flour and salt and pepper. In another bowl, add beaten egg. Finally, in the last bowl mix breadcrumbs with spices and Parmesan cheese. Take a piece of chicken and dredge in flour, then egg mixture and finally the breadcrumb mixture. Continue and repeat this process until you’ve breaded all the chicken. Allow your chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes while breading sets. Tip: Make sure you shake off excess from each dredge station before moving on to the next.
Next you’ll want to add some olive oil in a cast iron skillet or oven proof saute pan on medium high heat. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes per side , or until golden brown. Then you’ll want to add your marinara sauce to the bottom of an oven safe dish. It’s about 1/2 a cup of sauce depending on what size dish you use. Add enough to cover the bottom of the pan or dish. Place cooked cutlets on the sauce, top it with fresh grated fresh mozzarella cheese and bake it for 10-15 minutes in your preheated oven.
You’ll want to bake it in a baking dish and use a food thermometer to make sure it reaches 165F. It usually takes 15 minutes or less depending on how cook your chicken is. It should not take loner than 20 minutes unless you’re using very thick chicken breast which I don’t advise. The cheese will also be melted.
My family loves to eat this with pasta noodles. I myself like to eat it with zucchini noodles.
- Use thinly sliced chicken breast if you’d like the chicken to cook faster. I also feel like the kiddos enjoy a thinner variety
- Serve with zucchini noodles to cut down on carbs and increase vegetable intake
- Use a food thermometer to assure chicken is cooked. Make sure the thickest part of the meat reaches 165F
- Try using your favorite store bought marinara sauce to save on cook time.
- When cooking the chicken in the pan, it does not have to be fully cooked through. It will continue to cook in the oven.
- If you prefer dark meat you may use chicken thighs, but I do prefer breasts in this recipe.
- Use garlic powder if you don’t have any fresh garlic.
- Feel free to use Italian breadrcumbs if you prefer those flavors.
- What to serve with chicken parmesan?
- You may serve it with your favorite garlic bread, pasta, or even vegetable pastas. Even mashed potatoes go great with it or a bed of fresh cooked vegetables.
- What cheese is on chicken parmesan?
- Parmesan cheese gives the chicken a wonderful flavor, and added mozzarella on top makes it even tastier.
- Can you freeze these?
- This recipe is best fresh. There are no preservatives in the recipe.
- How long will it keep in the fridge?
- You can happily keep them in the fridge for 3 days. Cover it in plastic wrap. Either reheat it in pan for a crispy texture or microwave it for a few seconds
- What is the difference between chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana?
- It’s the same! Depending where you live it has different names. It actually started as eggplant parmesan where thin slices of eggplant were breaded the same way.
- For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 15 basil leaves torn
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 c half and half optional
- For the chicken:
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts or tenders
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 c parmesan cheese grated
- 1 c panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried italian herbs
- 1 c marinara sauce
- 1/2 c mozzarella cheese
- 4 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the tomato sauce: Grab your favorite large pot and sauté onion in olive oil and butter for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add in garlic and cook for another minute. Add in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, and stir.
- Cook the sauce on low heat while you prepare the chicken, stirring every few minutes. When the chicken is done, remove sauce from heat, add more salt and pepper if needed, and add in half and half.
- For the chicken: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare a breading station with 3 shallow dishes or pans
- The first dish, combine flour salt and pepper, the second dish the beaten egg and the third bowl breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and spices.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add a good pinch of salt and pepper to each dish of the breading station as well.
- Take a piece of chicken and dredge in flour, shake off excess. Dip into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure chicken is well-coated. Set chicken aside on a small baking sheet. Continue the process until you've breaded all the chicken.
- Allow chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes while breading sets.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or oven proof sauté pan on medium high heat.
- Add in 2-3 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Make sure not to crowd the pan. Chicken does not have to be cooked thru. They will finish cooking in the oven.
- For the chicken parmesan: Once all the chicken is cooked, remove excess oil from the pan and add 1/2 cup of sauce, or more to the bottom of the pan until it is covered.
- Place chicken cutlets in the sauce, top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.
- Allow chicken parmesan to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with pasta of your choice and the tomato basil marinara.
Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Try these:
Watch how to make it below:
Try these BBQ Turkey Zucchini Meatballs for dinner too!