Chicken parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish. Growing up in an Italian-American family in the Northeast, this was always one of my favorite Sunday dinner dishes. Cheesy and saucy, this dish has flavors and textures that compliment each other so well. Always a crowd favorite, this dish is worth every bit of effort.
A 3-step process
Chicken parmesan can be broken down into a 3-step process:
- Chicken cutlets
- Compilation & final cook
While that may sound like a lot of work, it’s really not too bad and can be broken up. As a matter of fact, I almost never make this dish start to finish without breaking things up.
I cannot recommend enough to use our Italian chicken cutlets for this recipe. This crispiness and flavor profile of these cutlets work so well with chicken parmesan. As a matter of fact, I mentioned in the Italian chicken cutlets post that these are great for chicken parmesan…and well here is their time to shine! Follow that recipe as written in the post, and step 1 of making chicken parmesan will be completed.
The next step is to make a nice homemade sauce for the chicken parmesan. I like my chicken parmesan to be saucy, so I make sure to make a lot – especially if you’re serving this with a side of pasta. This process is easy and definitely worth it. You will need the following ingredients:
- Dried thyme
- Red pepper flakes
- San Marzano tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
The key is letting the sauce cook for at least 1 hour (the longer the better). Bonus tip if you’re short on time: the chicken parmesan will need to cook in the oven for 40 minutes. You can consider these 40 minutes as “cooking time” for the sauce (as opposed to letting it slowly simmer on the stove).
Compilation & final cook
With the chicken cutlets and sauce done, it’s time to compile the chicken parmesan. I like to use loaf dishes and layer all of the ingredients on top of each other. The order of layering everything goes as follows (bottom to top):
- Sauce (this goes on the bottom)
- Chicken cutlets
- Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Basil (this goes on the top)
Repeat this as many times as possible until you’ve reached the top of the loaf dish or pan. Be careful when filling the dish all the way to the top as a little bit of the sauce can spill over when it’s in the oven. I like to put a pan under the dish just in case. Use multiple dishes as necessary – I typically need to use two dishes for all of the chicken. Once your chicken parmesans are compiled, put them in the oven uncovered at 400ºF for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Time to eat
The best part of making chicken parmesan in these loaf dishes is that you will have multiple layers of chicken/sauce/cheese/basil. Every bite is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Serve with a side of pasta (I bet you’re happy you made so much sauce now) and some garlic bread. This dish is amazing for a Sunday family dinner. Crispy, saucy, and cheesy, these flavors are unmatched. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think in the comments. Buon appetito!
- 1.5-2 lbs Italian Chicken Cutlets see Italian Chicken Cutlets recipe
- 1 Onion minced
- 1 head Garlic minced
- 2 tsp Dried thyme
- 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
- 2 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes cans
- 1 15 oz Tomato sauce can
- Water fill one of the 28 oz San Marzano cans 3/4 the way with water
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Olive oil for sautéing
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella sliced
- Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese to taste
- Fresh basil leaves
- Follow our Italian Chicken Cutlets recipe to make the chicken cutlets.
- If making ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until aromatic and softened.
- Add the garlic, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes. Mix and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the San Marzano tomatoes and the tomato sauce, Take one of the San Marzano 28 oz cans and fill it 3/4 the way with water. If there was still some San Marzano tomato sauce in the can (sides & bottom), keep that in the water. Add the water.
- Season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and then lower the heat so that it can lightly simmer for at least 1 hour.
Compilation & Cooking
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Using a loaf dish or pan, spray the bottom and sides with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Compile in the following order: sauce (on the bottom) -> chicken cutlets -> sauce -> mozzarella -> pecorino romano or parmesan -> basil (on the top)
- Repeat with as many layers as necessary.
- Put in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes. If you prefer crispier cheese on the top, broil at the end (keeping an eye on it to make sure it does not burn).
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. Enjoy!