Try this baked chicken Parmesan with steamed broccoli or pasta for an easy to make weeknight dinner. 

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: It’s easy to make and lower in calories than traditional chicken parmesan.

How long it takes: 33 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: oven, baking pan with wire rack, sharp knife, mixing bowls.
Servings: 4

Baked chicken Parmesan on a white plate with a tossed green salad.
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Do you love restaurant style chicken parmesan? However, maybe you don’t love the calorie count or how it makes you feel afterwards.

This baked chicken parmesan is the perfect solution. It has all the flavor without making you feel weighed down or overfull. And it’s so easy to make!

The breading process is simplified by skipping the normal flour and egg steps. Instead you’ll dip the chicken in buttermilk. Not only will the buttermilk help the breading stick but it does double-duty and also tenderizes the chicken.

Next, the chicken is dipped in a mixture of panko and seasonings, baked on a wire rack in the oven, and topped with sauce and cheese.

It turns out so well, with a nice crisp coating encasing tender juicy chicken. I think you’re going to love it, and it’s just 323 calories per serving.

Chicken parmesan on a white plate with salad.

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for this recipe are fairly simple. I’ll run you through the recipe to get you started with a few extra tips and instructions.

  • Chicken Breasts – This recipe calls for about 2 pounds, but you can halve or double the recipe easily. Make sure to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you want to eliminate the step of cutting them and pounding them, buy the thin cutlets.
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk serves two purposes in this recipe, so don’t skip it. It will tenderize the chicken and will also help the breading stick to the chicken.
  • Panko, Dried Herbs, and Parmesan – This combination gives the chicken crunch and flavor. If you happen to have Italian seasoned panko, skip the dried herbs (but not the cheese or salt and pepper!). By the way, homemade bread crumbs (panko) are easy to make and you can use day-old bread.
  • Marinara Sauce – Go ahead and pick up your favorite pizza sauce (or make homemade pizza sauce), or make a batch of spaghetti sauce and use it to top your chicken. Spicy red arrabbiata sauce is perfect, too. If you have sauce left over after making this recipe, it can be used to make zucchini pizza bites or English muffin pizzas.
  • Mozzarella Cheese – Shred your own for maximum meltiness!
Overhead view of ingredients needed to make baked chicken parmesan.

How to make Chicken Parmesan

To make this baked chicken parmesan, thinly slice two chicken breasts horizontally, like you would to butterfly them but slice all the way through. Pound them lightly between two sheets of plastic wrap so they are a uniform thickness.

A chicken breast, cut in half to make thin cutlets.

Soak the chicken in buttermilk while you get the breading mixture prepared. The buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and helps the breading adhere.

Raw chicken breasts soaking in buttermilk.

Combine panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs and seasoning for the breading.

Panko bread crumbs mixed with dried herbs.

Let the excess buttermilk drip off before dipping the chicken in the bread crumbs.

Chicken being dipped in bread crumbs.

Bake the chicken on a baking rack placed on top of a sheet pan. All in the name of crunchiness. Crunchiness = goodness.

Breaded but uncooked chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

This chicken parmesan is baked in a hot oven (450°F) and it doesn’t take long, only about 15 minutes. Smear on a little marinara sauce and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Chicken cutlet topped with marinara and mozzarella.

Return to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Close up of chicken topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Serving Suggestions

I love to serve this chicken parmesan with steamed or roasted broccoli or air fryer Brussels sprouts instead of pasta for a healthier dinner but go ahead and make pasta if you prefer. It is divine with angel hair pasta with fresh tomato cream sauce or pasta with roasted red pepper sauce. If you prefer potatoes to pasta, throw a pan of diced potatoes in the oven with the chicken to make crispy roasted potatoes.

For a lighter meal, serve chicken parmesan with a tossed green salad with red wine vinaigrette or healthy homemade ranch dressing. Marinated mushrooms and a loaf of Italian bread with Italian bread dipping oil will round out a perfect dinner.

Since you have the oven on, you may as well make dessert, too. Apple blueberry crisp is easy and so delicious! Another favorite is strawberry rhubarb crisp.


Should you bake chicken covered or uncovered?

For chicken parmesan, you’ll definitely want to leave the pan uncovered so the air can circulate freely around the chicken pieces. Using a wire rack inside the pan aids in air circulation as well ensuring that the chicken will crisp up nicely. Soggy breading is a real turn off.

How do you keep chicken from drying out in the oven?

In this chicken recipe, the buttermilk coating not only tenderizes but also adds moisture. In addition, the chicken is thinly cut, flattened, and then baked in a hot oven for only fifteen minutes. This process quickly sears in the moisture so the chicken isn’t dried out.

What wine goes best with chicken parmesan?

Try a medium bodied red wine with your chicken parmesan, such as pinot noir, chianti, or sangiovese.

Chicken parmesan being taken off a metal baking rack with a metal spatula.

Make It Your Own

  • Skip the sauce and/or cheese and serve the breaded chicken cutlets as is.
  • Make it vegetarian. Try my easy air fryer eggplant. Simply add marinara and cheese for an easy eggplant Parmesan entrée.
  • If you prefer bone-in chicken, try these oven roasted bone in chicken breasts. They’re very easy and so versatile. Or go all out and make a whole roasted chicken dinner with potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Storage & Reheating Tips

Refrigerate: Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Chicken Parmesan freezes nicely and will keep for up to three months. Wrap well and date the package before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating for best results.

Reheat: Reheat in an oven, air fryer, or toaster oven at 350-400ºF until heated through. Avoid reheating breaded chicken in the microwave because the breading will be soggy.

Leftover Love

Have leftovers? Try cutting the chicken into slices, adding a little extra marinara, and putting on a sub roll for a perfect chicken parmesan submarine sandwich.

Close up of cheese pull on top of a breaded chicken breast.

Favorite Chicken Recipes


Baked Chicken Parmesan

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 33 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Try this healthy baked chicken Parmesan with steamed broccoli or pasta for an easy to make weeknight dinner. 
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  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place rack in foil-lined rimmed baking pan.
  • Cut each chicken breast in half as though you were going to butterfly it, but cut all the way through to make two thin flat pieces (4 total). Pound to an even thickness (about ¼ -inch) between two pieces of plastic wrap, or in a zip-top bag, using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin or the heel of your hand.
  • Add buttermilk to a medium bowl and place the chicken in it.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, salt, basil, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, and thyme; mix to blend.
  • Lift each piece of chicken out of the buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and coat it in the bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared wire rack. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts.
  • Bake 15 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Remove from the oven, spoon marinara on top, and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  • Continue to bake for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through (165°F on instant read thermometer).


  • Refrigerate leftovers, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days or up to 3 months in the freezer. 
  • To reheat, avoid using a microwave oven (breading will get soggy). For best results, reheat in an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer.
  • Gluten-free panko can be substituted for regular panko. Make your own bread crumbs, if you wish (it’s really easy!).



Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 1257mg, Potassium: 478mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 474IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 260mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Lauren says:

    Can I move in next door?

  2. Christina @ This Woman Cooks! says:

    Looks grest Rachael, I love chicken parmesan, it’s a weakness of mine! I actually have it on the menu this week. :)

  3. Bev Weidner says:

    omgomg. YES.

  4. Erin says:

    Crunchiness is definitely goodness. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Susan with Permanent Posies says:

    I am so glad that you chose this recipe of mine to cook. It is really my son’s and he now lives in Italy. I miss him so much that I have to periodically just whip up some of his favorite dishes. Your version looks yummy and I love the idea of extra crunchiness on the bottom by lifting it up to cook. Check out my entry….

  6. Vivian thiele says:

    Looks so crisp – I want to just take a fork to it!

  7. amanda @ fake ginger says:

    So my husband claims to hate chicken parmesan which obviously means I need to make this soon, before he comes home, right? It looks amazing!

  8. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    Great SRC post. I love chicken parmesan but your right it can be very heavy at times. This is a great light version and just beautiful too!

  9. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme says:

    Now you got me craving Chicken Parmesan! I haven’t made it in so long, but this looks delicious! I have some buttermilk that I need to use up, so this recipe will definitely be on the menu this week! :)

  10. Emily says:

    Looks delicious! I love me some parm (although I can never resist having it with pasta :P)