The Chicken Parmesan Recipe Your Nana Would Be Proud Of -
Pan of Chicken Parmesan straight out of the oven with melted cheese and fresh basil.

The Chicken Parmesan Recipe Your Nana Would Be Proud Of

My Nana was an amazing cook. She made Sicilian/Italian dishes that make my mouth water to this day, and she taught all her grandchildren her kitchen secrets. Like this Chicken Parmesan recipe, for example. Such a simple recipe, but made with love and it goes the extra mile. Crispy coated chicken breasts are layered with homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for the perfect combination of flavors. And it’s so easy to make!

This hearty Chicken Parmesan recipe is passed down from my Italian grandmother.

This recipe for Chicken Parmesan is so rich and cheesy, and works well to feed a family. This is definitely the Italian dish you want to make when you want to feed a crowd a hearty Italian meal.

Growing up in an Italian American home, I have always had a great appreciation and affinity for authentic pasta dishes. These are the ones that remind me of Sunday dinners at my Nana’s table. There was always lots of pasta, lots of “sugo” (otherwise known as sauce), and of course lots of laughter. This Chicken Parmesan recipe takes me right back to those days. Go ahead and make this for dinner, and try to tell me it’s not delicious!

Call it Chicken Parmesan, or Chicken Parmigiana as my family did, or Chicken Parm for short. Just make it – you won’t regret it.

Why is this an authentic Chicken Parmesan recipe?

Since this recipe is based on my experience growing up in an Italian home, I  have a good sense of what this dish should taste like. My Italian family did not follow recipes – they just knew how to make it from memory. Here, I have taken the steps necessary so your version tastes like Nana used to make. 

Using freshly made marinara sauce as opposed to sauce from a jar is one of the main ways to brighten the taste of this dish. By using my marinara recipe, you will get a smooth sauce that is bursting with flavor. In addition, you might be tempted to use shredded mozzarella but resist that temptation. The thick slices of real mozzarella cheese in this Chicken Parmesan recipe will melt perfectly. Plus they add an extra flavor and melty goodness to this meal. 

In addition, using organic boneless and skinless chicken breasts in this recipe really make this meal extra delicious. I can feel good about feeding my family chicken that is antibiotic-free and is raised as they did on a family farm 100 years ago. Honestly, it does not take much to freshen up your regular pasta dish with these high-quality ingredients. They can make an ordinary meal something really special. 

tomatoes picked fresh from the back yard vegatable garden
Fresh tomatoes grown in our own vegetable garden.

Will kids eat this dish?

My kids beg me to make this recipe all the time, so I guess the answer is yes! Kids adore the tanginess of the homemade marinara sauce as it combines with the buttery soft melted mozzarella cheese. The sauce can be made in under 20 minutes and is very leftover friendly. It is actually rather simple to make. Yes, this Chicken Parmesan recipe is an impressive dish to serve to company, but you can also whip it up for a special treat for your family. Just be sure to make enough for everyone to have seconds!

If you really want to make sure that your kids eat this dish, have them help you make it! This chicken parmesan recipe works well for little hands to help. Let them lay the sliced mozzarella on top of the sauce. Or they could pour the marinara sauce over the chicken. Older kids can help mince the onions or beat the eggs. Of course, make sure anything the kids are doing is supervised by an adult.

Mangia!

woman's hand picking up red grape tomatoes

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (I use organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups homemade marinara sauce (see recipe below)
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish, if desired
Use fresh cheese, eggs and basil for best flavors.

Directions for Making Chicken Parmesan Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the flour in one shallow bowl and the beaten eggs in another shallow bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a third shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in the flour, turning to coat them completely. Dip the chicken into the eggs and then the bread crumbs, turning to cover completely and patting it gently to make sure the coating sticks.
  5. In a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes more.

    Breaded chicken breasts fried in pan of olive oil
    Cook the breaded chicken breasts to crispy on both sides.
  6. Pour the marinara sauce (see recipe) over and around the chicken. Slice and place the mozzarella over the top. Place skillet in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is bubbling.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped basil if desired, and serve immediately.
Place fat slices of mozzarella cheese on the chicken before placing in oven to bake.

Basic Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:

  1. In a nonstick pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring often for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, red wine, sugar, oregano, and basil and stir until combined. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve (or use in Chicken Parmesan recipe) immediately.

You can store the sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to two months.

All the flavors combine to make this hearty Italian dish a family favorite!

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