Forget the messy mayo. Easy Oven Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken comes out moist, flavorful and super crispy using just a few kitchen hacks and pantry staples. Crunchy parmesan crusted chicken breast is perfect for picky eaters, and a simple seasoning blend means it pairs well with any and all of your favorite sides or salads.
Look, we’ve all suffered dreaded chicken burnout before. I remember a stretch of years where just the thought of a boneless, skinless chicken breast made me cranky, weepy and slightly nauseous, all at the same time. But that’s because in my quest for efficiency, I forgot to respect the breast.
I treated them like this big ol’ lump of meat I was obliged to cook because they’re readily available, cost effective and require relatively little effort. But that doesn’t sound appealing at all!! I want flavor! I want variety! And if I was just going to have “lump meat,” it was sure as hell gonna be crab.
Chicken is the perfect protein canvas. I goes with everything. The flavor was never the problem; I had to conquer all that… flesh. And I did. In two simple and effective steps – first, flay it; and second, pound the crap out of it. (Sounds violent, but I was really hating on chicken at the time.) This breast-to-cutlet beatdown cured my burnout for good. Especially with this recipe for chicken with parmesan.
Baked parmesan crusted chicken breast is one of the easiest, crowd-pleasiest preparations out there, as long as you prep it properly. It’s not hard at all and it guarantees perfectly, evenly cooked (i.e. moist on the inside, and crunchy, but never burned, on the outside) parmesan chicken.
I’m also a big fan of this baked parmesan crusted chicken recipe without mayo because it calls for butter instead, and it makes the panko parmesan crust even crispier by almost mimicking fried chicken coating, so… yeah, totally worth the pummeling.
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How to Make Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken
You can still get crispy chicken in the oven, even without the skin! Easy Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken is a supremely satisfying but simple way to dress up your cutlets. Moist tender breast meat with a simply seasoned panko parmesan coating makes oven parmesan chicken a perfect partner for almost anything in your repertoire!
- PREP. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter, olive oil, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Microwave 30 seconds, until butter melts. Stir to combine.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings in a second shallow bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- DRESS. Butterfly the chicken breasts and dredge in the butter mixture. Transfer to the parmesan mixture and press to adhere; flip the chicken oven, press again, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- BAKE. Roast the chicken 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- FINISH. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil and serve immediately.
- Use grated parmesan, not shredded. Shredded parmesan won’t get crispy.
- This chicken cooks best when it’s thin. Purchase thin-sliced chicken breast, or divide the chicken into cutlets and pound even between parchment paper. Don’t use whole chicken breasts without prepping them – they’re thick enough that the crust will burn before the interior is cooked through. New to prepping cutlets? Click the link to see a photo and video tutorial.
- Always use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness – the internal temperature should register at least 165°F.
- Gently press the chicken into the breadcrumbs to ensure even coverage.
- A pop of fresh herbs makes a big difference! Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before digging in.
Pairings for Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Delicious oven baked parmesan chicken is super versatile so the possibilities are practically endless! Narrow down your choices with tasty pairings that won’t compete for room in the oven:
- These easy but flavorful air fryer vegetable sides are always a great choice. For picky eaters, try broccoli or cauliflower. More adventurous palates? Try Brussels sprouts or asparagus.
- Potatoes are always a fan fave. Get oven baked taste from your air fryer with classic wedges or crispy garlic parmesan nuggets.
- Risotto isn’t a chore at all with either this Instant Pot recipe, or stovetop creamy cauliflower risotto.
- Want to keep it simple? Steamed white rice or quinoa make a terrific base.
- Go full Italian by turning parmesan crusted chicken into a pasta dish – serve with creamy pesto or tomato cream sauce over your favorite noodles.
- Make it a salad night! Slice and serve over our easy Italian Salad or BLT Salad with hot bacon dressing; or sub out for grilled in this chicken caprese salad.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs?
Yes – make sure they’re boneless and skinless. Be sure to trim away any visible fat deposits first (they’ll get gummy) and pound thin between sheets of parchment paper if needed.
Is this Recipe Kid Friendly?
YES! Caps intended. Despite my best intentions, I have the pickiest children – but they both love this chicken and request it at least once a week.
More Italian-Inspired Chicken Breast Recipes
- Caprese Chicken
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Easy Bruschetta Chicken
- Healthy Tuscan Chicken
- Italian Basil Chicken
Did you make this baked parmesan crusted chicken? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken RecipePrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 c panko breadcrumbs
- ⅔ c grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets
- Chopped parsley or basil, to taste, optional
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter, olive oil, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until butter melts. Whisk with a fork until very smooth.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a second shallow bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts. Place the chicken breast onto a cutting board. Using a large chef's knife, slice the chicken in half horizontally through the center, and open up the breasts (like a book); slice all the way through to create two thinner chicken breast pieces. See notes for a photo tutorial link.
- Dredge one piece of chicken through the butter mixture, then transfer to the parmesan mixture. Press to adhere the coating, then flip the chicken to coat the other side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake 20 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces once halfway through. Check the temperature using an instant read thermometer and ensure the internal temperature is at least 165°F.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil if desired and serve immediately.