Chicken Parmesan: Easy Recipe, Pairing Ideas, and Dietary Tips

Chicken Parmesan: Easy Recipe, Pairing Ideas, and Dietary Tips

Chicken Parmesan, also known as Chicken Parmigiana, has its roots in Italian cuisine. Immigrants brought the dish to America in the early 20th century, blending Italian culinary techniques with local ingredients. The dish evolved in the U.S., becoming a staple in Italian-American households. It combines elements of traditional Italian cooking with American flavors, creating a unique and beloved dish.

Key Ingredients

Simple Chicken Parmesan requires basic ingredients, including:

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless and skinless, typically pounded to an even thickness.
  • Breadcrumbs: Often seasoned, used to coat the chicken.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a savory, rich flavor to the breading.
  • Marinara Sauce: A tomato-based sauce, preferably homemade or high-quality store-bought.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Melted on top to create a gooey, delicious layer.
  • Olive Oil: For frying the breaded chicken.
  • Spices: Common spices include salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

These ingredients come together to create a dish that is both simple and flavorful, perfect for any home cook.

How to Make Simple Chicken Parmesan

Essential Tools and Equipment

Ensure you have key tools and equipment for preparing Simple Chicken Parmesan. Use a sharp knife to slice the chicken breasts evenly. A meat mallet ensures they are pounded to an even thickness. Utilize measuring cups and spoons for accurate ingredient portions. A mixing bowl is necessary for coating the chicken. A baking dish provides the space to cook the chicken and melt the cheese. Finally, have a skillet to sear the chicken properly.

  1. Prepare Chicken
    Slice chicken breasts horizontally to create thinner cutlets. Pound each piece with a meat mallet to ensure even thickness. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  2. Coat Chicken
    In separate bowls, place flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese. Dredge the chicken in flour, coat in egg, then press into the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring an even coat.
  3. Sear Chicken
    Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken cutlets for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from skillet and place in a baking dish.
  4. Add Sauce and Cheese
    Spoon marinara sauce over each chicken piece. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Add extra Parmesan cheese if desired.
  5. Bake Chicken
    Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the chicken in the prepared baking dish for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) and cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  6. Serve
    Once baked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if preferred.

Follow these steps to create an easy, delicious Simple Chicken Parmesan dish that impresses any guest.

Nutrition and Dietary Considerations

Caloric Content

Simple Chicken Parmesan typically includes ingredients like chicken breasts, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese. This combination makes the dish nutrient-dense. One serving, approximately 300 grams, contains roughly 600 kcal. It’s important to consider portion sizes if you’re counting calories.

Modifications for Dietary Restrictions

Dietary adjustments can make Simple Chicken Parmesan more inclusive without sacrificing flavor.

  1. Gluten-Free: Replace traditional breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed rice crackers.
  2. Low-Carb: Use almond flour instead of breadcrumbs.
  3. Dairy-Free: Substitute regular cheese with dairy-free mozzarella and Parmesan options.
  4. Low-Sodium: Opt for low-sodium marinara sauce and reduce added salt.

These modifications ensure you can tailor the recipe to fit various dietary needs while enjoying this classic dish.

Pairing Suggestions

Best Side Dishes

Complement Simple Chicken Parmesan with side dishes that enhance its flavors and balance its richness. Roasted vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers add a healthy and vibrant touch. These veggies provide a crunchy contrast to the cheesy, saucy chicken. Garlic bread is another excellent choice, offering a savory and crunchy element that’s perfect for dipping in any leftover marinara sauce. Mashed potatoes or creamy polenta also match well, providing a comforting, starchy base that pairs seamlessly with the dish’s bold flavors. For a lighter option, serve a mixed green salad with a zesty vinaigrette to cut through the richness of the chicken Parmesan.

Wine Pairing Ideas

Select wines that complement the robust flavors of Simple Chicken Parmesan. A medium-bodied red wine, like Chianti or Merlot, pairs excellently, offering balanced acidity that matches the tomato sauce’s tanginess. Chianti has bright cherry notes, while Merlot boasts softer tannins and plum undertones. If you prefer white wine, Chardonnay works well, providing the right amount of body and fruitiness to complement the dish. Its creamy texture and hints of oak harmonize with the cheese and chicken. For those who enjoy sparkling wine, Prosecco is a good match, as its bubbles and slight sweetness create a pleasant contrast with the savory Parmesan flavors.


Simple Chicken Parmesan is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary experience that brings together the best of Italian and American cuisine. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a special occasion, this dish offers versatility and rich flavors that are sure to impress. By pairing it with the right sides and wines, you can elevate your dining experience to a whole new level. So gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal that everyone will love.

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