Baked Chicken Parmesan is a DELISH, healthy alternative to the beloved classic! An easy oven version of the traditional recipe, it offers chicken parm’s signature cheesy, crispy goodness, with a healthy spin and less mess.
When we’re craving a homemade Italian meal, I often turn to quick and easy pasta recipes.
When I was feeling extra fancy, however, this oven-baked chicken Parmesan (also known as chicken parmigiana) is my forever go-to.
The first time I made this easy baked chicken Parmesan recipe, I knew it was an instant keeper.
The Parmesan-crusted chicken is perfectly crispy on the outside and lusciously juicy on the inside, and the cheese topping is hot, bubbly, and every bit as satisfying as it should be.
(Love crispy chicken and cheese? Don’t miss Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu.)
The best part?
Unlike most restaurant versions, which are deep-fried and heavy with greasy breadcrumbs and cheese, my version is baked, has minimal prep, and can be ready in 30 minutes (like my Chicken Piccata).
I’d venture to say that this is the BEST chicken parmesan recipe ever.
Why You’ll Love It
Today’s version is a light, healthy chicken Parmesan that’s easy to make and offers the same comfort and satisfaction as a go-big restaurant meal.
5 Star Review
“I had this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely amazing, so flavorful and delicious! Definitely making this again.”— Bee —
How to Make Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
The funny thing about baked chicken Parmesan is that even though it seems pretty deluxe, it’s actually one of the easiest baked chicken recipes to make (just like Chicken Cacciatore).
Further, now that I have my own perfect version of a crispy, oven-baked chicken Parmesan with panko crust, I actually prefer it.
It’s delicious but not overdone and baked instead of fried.
The panko breadcrumb crust is satisfyingly crisp, without being so thick, you feel like you are eating a slab of breading.
- Chicken Breasts. Lean and protein-packed boneless, skinless chicken breasts stay tender and juicy underneath the breading. For another italian-inspired chicken breast recipe, try my Chicken Marsala.
- Breadcrumbs + Panko. Because baked chicken Parmesan without breading just wouldn’t be right! Like my panko-crusted Chicken Katsu, oven-baked chicken Parmesan with panko is crispy like the fried version, and it’s so much better for you!
- Cheeses. Mozzarella cheese turns melty, gooey, and bubbly on top of the chicken, and the Parmesan helps flavor the breading. (For another cheesy chicken dish, try my Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese.)
- Egg Whites. Making baked chicken parmesan egg white-style is what helps make the breading stick to the chicken breasts. Skipping the yolk further reduces the fat and cholesterol in this healthy recipe. If you prefer, you can use 1 whole egg instead.
- Tomato Sauce. To make the recipe especially weeknight-friendly, I took a shortcut using good-quality store-bought tomato sauce (any marinara sauce you enjoy will work).
- Pasta. Try serving baked chicken Parmesan with a side of whole wheat spaghetti. Roasted Spaghetti Squash or cooked zucchini noodles are also great options if you want to cut a few carbohydrates from your plate.
- Split and pound the chicken breasts.
- Whisk the egg whites in one bowl and prepare the breadcrumb mixture in another. Slice the mozzarella into 4 pieces.
- Dredge each of the chicken cutlets into the egg whites, then the bread crumb mixture.
- Bake chicken parmesan at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
- Top the chicken with sauce and mozzarella.
- Return to the oven to melt the cheese. Garnish with additional fresh basil. ENJOY!
- To Store. This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Leftover baked chicken Parmesan can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat.
Leftover chicken is also good sliced and served at room temperature on top of salads. Try it with this Italian Chopped Salad for a feast!
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Pie Plate. Pie plates like this white ceramic one (doubles when you need good presentation) or these simple Pyrex ones are my favorite for any recipe that calls for breading in different dishes. (This Baked Fried Chicken is another great recipe that uses them.)
- Baking Sheets. Incredibly useful and essential in my kitchen.
- Whisk. This smaller size won’t splash all over the counter.
I hope this healthy baked chicken Parm with a crispy crust adds some extra Italian flare to your kitchen.
Add some No Knead Focaccia and olive oil for dipping, and you’ll truly feel like you’re out on the town!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! To Make this recipe in an air fryer, prepare the recipe as directed through Step 3. Lay the breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, spritzing the tops with cooking spray. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. Flip the chicken breasts over and add the cheese and sauce on top. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through.
Dry chicken is often overcooked chicken. For best results, invest in a simple instant-read thermometer to check your chicken’s internal temperature as it bakes. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, but it will continue to cook as it rests, so for this recipe, I remove mine at 160 degrees F.
No. However, you can swap the breadcrumbs in this recipe for a breadcrumb mixture of your favorite gluten-free alternatives.
Sure! No need to split them. The cook time would likely increase since thighs typically take slightly longer to bake. Also, note that the nutrition will change if you opt for thighs since they are not as lean as chicken breasts.
Baked Chicken Parmesan
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 12 ounces each
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella
- 1/2 cup high-quality jarred tomato sauce plus extra for serving as desired
- Fresh basil thinly sliced or chopped
- Optional for serving: prepared whole wheat spaghetti or zucchini noodles, or just enjoy on its own!
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise, so you have 4 pieces total. Pound each piece to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl (a pie dish works well), combine the Italian breadcrumbs, whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites until lightly foamy. Cut the mozzarella into 4 slices, or grate and divide into four equal portions.
- Arrange your workstation in the following order: pounded chicken, egg whites, breadcrumb mixture, then the baking sheet. Working one at a time, dip each piece of chicken into the egg whites, shaking off any excess, then the breadcrumbs, gently patting the chicken as needed so that the crumbs stick to all sides.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness) and the crumbs are brown, about 15 minutes. (Per the FDA, chicken is cooked through at 165°F, but its temperature will continue to rise after it is removed from the oven.)
- Remove from the oven, spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce over each piece of chicken, and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 3-5 additional minutes.
- Sprinkle with basil and enjoy immediately, topped with extra sauce as desired.
- TO STORE: This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Leftover chicken can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
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