Skillet Chicken Parmesan is a great comfort food dish that’s easy enough for a weeknight meal, but special enough to serve at a dinner party!
Quick and Easy Skillet Chicken Parmesan
Skillet Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite at my house… I mean, what’s not to love? Nobody can turn down a plate of juicy chicken, fried to perfection, and covered in gooey cheese. Especially when it’s served with a side of pasta.
The great thing about this dish is you can really prep most of it in advance, making meal time a breeze. So, of course Chicken Parmesan makes a regular appearance on our weeknight dinner rotation. But I really think it’s special enough to serve to friends at a dinner party too!
What is the Difference Between Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Parmigiana?
There isn’t one! Chicken parmesan is also known as chicken parmigiana, which is a traditional Italian dish of breaded chicken, covered in tomato sauce and bubbly cheese. Recipes may vary from place to place, but they’re all essentially the same.
It doesn’t really matter what you end up calling this chicken dinner as long as it makes its way into your meal rotation – your family members (and your stomach 😉 ) will thank you!
What are you going to need to construct this pan-fried chicken masterpiece? Gather up the following:
- Chicken: I used 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, sliced into medium sized cutlets, and sliced or pounded to 1/3- 1/2 inch thick.
- Salt and Pepper: To season chicken.
- Breadcrumbs: I like to use Panko breadcrumbs, but whatever your favorite brand is will work.
- Seasoning: You’ll need dried basil, dried parsley, and garlic powder.
- Eggs: For breading the chicken cutlets.
- Vegetable Oil: For frying the chicken.
- Tomato Sauce: 1 (24 ounce) jar Bertolli* sauce.
- Cheese: Use both grated mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Optional: 1 pound pasta cooked according to package directions to serve with the chicken.
Can You Use Chicken Thighs?
Yes! Using chicken breasts is the traditional approach, but chicken thighs make for a deliciously flavorful chicken parm. Make sure to pound them with a meat mallet so that they will be thin enough to fry, but after that, proceed as usual.
How to Make Homemade Chicken Parmesan
Anyhow, let’s talk about this Skillet Chicken Parmesan and how to do it for your family or guests…or really whoever! What I love best about this recipe is so much can be done in advance, so if you are hosting you have the maximum time with your guests!
Trim & Season the Chicken: Place your chicken breasts on a large cutting board, trimming any excess fat. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
Prep the Frying Stations: In a shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, basil, parsley and garlic powder. In another shallow bowl whisk together the 2 eggs.
Dip & Coat the Chicken Cutlets: Creating a working station, dip each cutlet into the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly. Repeat this process with all the chicken.
Heat Oil: In a 10- inch skillet add enough oil to cover and fill the pan until it’s 1/4- inch deep. Heat the oil on medium until it’s hot enough to fry. (To test the heat of the oil place the back end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If bubbles form immediately the oil is ready. If not allow the oil to heat a few minutes more.) Line a large plate with paper towels and set aside.
Fry the Chicken: Place 3-4 pieces of chicken in the hot oil. Allow the chicken to cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to the paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. When all the chicken is cooked pour the frying oil into a glass container to dispose of. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
Add Tomato Sauce & Cheese: Pour the entire jar of Bertolli sauce in the skillet and nestle all the chicken into the sauce and sprinkle the chicken pieces with both cheeses. Preheat the oven to broil.
Cook on Stovetop: Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and place back on the stove top and heat over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is just about melted.
Broil and Serve: Finally uncover the skillet and place under the broiler for 1- 2 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and lightly toasted. Serve immediately with pasta.
Tips for the Best Chicken Parm
And that’s the process! It takes a bit of work to get to this bubbly, crispy chicken parm, but the result is so worth it. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Make Ahead Tips: I bread my chicken way in advance. Just cover it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it! You can even fry your cutlets ahead too. That is a huge time saver! If you do that just take them out of the fridge about 15 or so minutes before you place them in the sauce to take the chill off.
- For Extra Cheesy Chicken Parm: Mix in some parmesan cheese with the breadcrumbs. Also, make sure to use fresh mozzarella. It yields the best results!
- If You Want to Skip Frying: You don’t have to fry the chicken. If you’re looking to make a somewhat lighter meal calories-wise, bread the chicken and make baked chicken parm instead. Skillet Chicken Parmesan is the family favorite, but we wouldn’t turn down a serving of baked chicken parm either!
What goes with pan-fried chicken parmesan? So many things! Here are a couple of my suggestions:
- Pasta: You could do anything from spaghetti to penne! Whatever you like.
- Salad: A light leafy green side salad goes perfectly with chicken parm.
- Bread: Toasted garlic bread would be great, and if you have time, you could make a batch of these Garlic Knots!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftovers (if you have them!) in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
When you’re ready to enjoy another delicious plate of chicken parm, simply reheat in the microwave or the oven, with a little extra cheese. Because the chicken has been sitting in the sauce, the breading will probably be a little soggy, but the chicken will still taste fabulous.
Can You Freeze Extras?
Yep! It’s a great idea to freeze this dinner before you melt the cheese and add the sauce. Then when you’re ready to eat it, just allow it to thaw out, add in the sauce, sprinkle in the cheese, and heat! Store in an airtight container for 2-3 months.
More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes
Looking for more easy chicken dinners to whip together?