Weeknight Chicken Parm

December 14, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This chicken parm wants to be there for you when you've had a long day and need a big hug in saucy, cheesy form. It has all the charm of your standard parm—crispy crust, jammy sauce, bubbly cheese—but comes together with minimal mess in 25 minutes, thanks to the broiler. Ella Quittner

Food52 Review: Featured in: A 25-Minute Chicken Parm for When You're Like, "It's Monday Again?!”.The Editors

Serves: 2 to 4
Cook time: 25 min


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed or pureed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided, plus more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus 4 tablespoons
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally (like you’re slicing a layer cake into two layers), then pounded to 1/2-inch thick (so you have 4 roughly 5-ish-ounce cutlets total, 1/2-inch thick each)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat-friendly neutral oil)
  • 1/2 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella
In This Recipe


  1. Make the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pot set over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook until the onions are just becoming translucent, then add the garlic. Continue to sauté another 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until it’s thickened and tastes rich and a little sweet. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, while the sauce is cooking down, get a large bowl, and two plates. In the large bowl, lightly beat the eggs until there are no big streaks of egg white visible. On one of the plates, sprinkle the panko, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and use a fork to mix thoroughly. One at a time, take your chicken pieces and dredge them through the egg, letting any excess drip off back into the bowl. Once dredged in egg, press each side of the chicken firmly to the panko-Parmesan mixture to coat. Set aside on the second, clean plate.
  3. Turn on your broiler. (If your broiler is on the inside-top of your actual oven, before you turn it on, move your highest oven shelf as close as possible to the broiler, and use this top shelf for the remainder of the steps). Place your largest cast iron skillet under your broiler. Let it heat up under there for 5 minutes. Use this time to mix together the mozzarella and remaining 4 tablespoons of Parmesan, and set that aside.
  4. Using oven mitts (it’ll be very hot!), take out the skillet. Add the avocado oil and the four chicken pieces—spaced out, in a single layer—into the pan. Place the pan under broiler. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the cutlets are crispy and golden brown. (Peek after 3 minutes to avoid burning. If, after 4 minutes, the tops still aren’t getting golden, leave it for another minute or so.) Remove the skillet from the broiler. Use a spatula to flip over the chicken, and top each piece with several spoonfuls of sauce, and a heavy sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan. Place back under broiler for another 2 minutes until cheese is bubbling and dotted with brown spots.
  5. Remove from the broiler. Serve hot, preferably with big hunks of buttered bread.

More Great Recipes:
Sauce|American|Mozzarella|Onion|Parmesan|Tomato|Olive Oil|Chicken Breast|Chicken|Dinner Party|Sunday Dinner|Back to School

Reviews (13) Questions (1)

13 Reviews

Jessica December 27, 2018
Made as directed but added a bit more mozzarella and parm cheese that partially oozed off the edges of the chicken and got nice and crispy in the pan. Delicious, will make again.
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 27, 2018
Hi Jessica,<br /><br />So glad you enjoyed!<br /><br />Ella
Sonya December 23, 2018
Recipe says brown side 1, flip, add sauce, broil again. How does the 2nd side brown if covered in sauce and cheese? I’m assuming you brown the 2nd side then add sauce?
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 24, 2018
Hi Sonya,<br /><br />The second side actually browns while touching the skillet (while the first side browns under the broiler), so it should be fairly crispy when you flip it up to add the sauce. <br /><br />Ella
Melanie L. December 22, 2018
Delicious and easy!! I made it with Rao's marinara and it was super fast and delicious.
Melanie L. December 22, 2018
Oh also I happened to have salted my chicken breasts the day before which I'm sure helped a lot!
bakedziti December 19, 2018
Excellent recipe. Made mid week for kids. Enjoyed by all with mixed arugula and greens. on the side. I added a little shredded provolone to mix. And only suggestion which is often overlooked but I think makes a difference is to season chicken breast a little prior to dipping in egg and bread crumbs. And, I’m a fan of cooking sauce as long as you can. More the better. Thanks. Will make this a regular thing in our house.
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 20, 2018
So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing.
zoemetro U. December 16, 2018
MMMM...Ella thanks for this quick recipe. My family loves, loves and loves chicken parm. Your sauce is absolutely a game changer and the crispy chicken is finger licking good. If I may suggest a further hack for weeknights--I have started using Trader Joe's frozen breaded chicken breast tenderloins and just add sauce and cheese and place under the broiler for the last 5 minutes. It is super because there are no pans and very little cleanup.
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 16, 2018
Hi Zoe,<br /><br />So glad you enjoyed! That sounds like a great shortcut, too. :)<br /><br />Ella
Jeanne December 14, 2018
This recipe does not explain how to prepare chicken with the egg and panko. Just to cut and pound the chicken.<br />Reading other recipes guides me on how to proceed.
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 14, 2018
Hi Jeanne,<br /><br />Huge apologies! I’m having some technical difficulties uploading this but step 5 is actually step 2—am working on getting this fixed ASAP!
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 15, 2018
Hi Jeanne,<br /><br />This is fixed now! Apologies again for that.<br /><br />Ella