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Easy Chicken Parmesan

easy chicken parmesan with homemade pasta

Chick­en Parme­san is ten­der, delec­table and fla­vor­ful served over pas­ta with your favorite mari­nara recipe. It’s a fab­u­lous­ly deli­cious meal that your fam­i­ly will love. And, it’s quick enough to be on the table in around 30 min­utes! This dish will get the whole fam­i­ly to the table for a scrump­tious meal!

My favorite week­night hack for this yum­my dish is to use pre-pack­aged pas­ta, (dried or fresh), and jars of our favorite store-bought pas­ta sauce. The whole meal will come togeth­er quick­ly and then I can enjoy deli­cious food and fun with my family!

The sec­ond crit­i­cal time-saver is to pound out the chick­en breasts to an even ½‑inch thick­ness, before cook­ing them.

If I’m mak­ing Chick­en Parme­san over the week­end, you bet I will make home­made pas­ta and maybe even a deli­cious sauce from scratch. But, that will add time to the prep that I don’t have on busy week­nights. So, this post is about easy, breezy and fast din­ner prep!

When you need a beau­ti­ful and mouth-water­ing­ly deli­cious dish for fam­i­ly and friends, this recipe should be at the top of your list. 

Prepping the Chicken & Boiling Pasta

Put a pot of heav­i­ly salt­ed water on to boil for your pas­ta. Pas­ta water should taste as salty as broth or stock, so the noo­dles have great fla­vor after they are done cook­ing. Lit­er­al­ly, sip a few drops of the water from a spoon before cook­ing the pas­ta. If it does­n’t taste salty, add more salt.

chicken breast in zip-top bag ready to be pounded to even thickness

While the water is com­ing to a boil, pound the chick­en breasts so they will cook quick­ly and even­ly. This sim­ple step shaves half the usu­al cook­ing time! The chick­en should be a uni­form ½‑inch thick­ness when you have finished.

I pound them inside a gal­lon zip-top bag and make sure that thick end is flat­tened to match the thin­ner end in thick­ness. Once it has been flat­tened, you will like­ly be able to cut the chick­en breast in half, mak­ing two por­tions, rather than one. That means you will be able to use HALF the nor­mal amount of chick­en, mak­ing Chick­en Parme­san an inex­pen­sive meal, as well! (Look at the dif­fer­ence in the pic­ture below. The flat­tened chick­en breast is much larg­er than the way it start­ed. It’s also way more than most peo­ple will eat as a sin­gle serving.)

flattened chicken breast

Cooking the Chicken

Add the oil to a *cast iron skil­let over medi­um high heat. Salt and pep­per the chick­en right in the skil­let. Sear each chick­en breast por­tion for 4–6 min­utes on that first side. Check to make sure they are becom­ing gold­en brown. When they have, flip them to the oth­er side.

Salt and pep­per the sec­ond side of the chick­en. Allow it to caramelize and become gold­en just like you did the first side. When it is browned, remove all the chick­en to a plate to rest.

browned chicken after searing in cast iron skillet

Assembling the Chicken Parmesan

Once the chick­en is rest­ing on a plate, add your pas­ta to the boil­ing water and reduce the heat to medium-high.

Pour the pas­ta sauce into the skil­let you just cooked the chick­en in. I use a store brand sauce, but we doc­tor it up with some petite diced toma­toes, our favorite herbs and a touch of sug­ar. If the one you buy is per­fect as-is, don’t do a sin­gle extra thing. Make this recipe your own and fix it just the way your fam­i­ly enjoys it.

Get that sauce bub­bling in the *skil­let, reduce the heat to medi­um and add the chick­en breasts back to the pan. Spoon a lit­tle sauce over each piece and then top with grat­ed Moz­zarel­la cheese and a lit­tle Parme­san. Oh my holy heav­en, you guys! This is SO good! Put the lid back on the skil­let just long enough to get the cheese melty and gooey and drip­ping down the sides of the chicken. 

Check the pas­ta and test its ten­der­ness. It should be al dente. If it’s ready, go ahead and drain it. If not give it a cou­ple more min­utes cook­ing time and then drain it.

chicken Parmesan in cast iron skillet

You can use a meat ther­mome­ter to test the done­ness of the chick­en. Make sure it reg­is­ters 160° in the cen­ter. By the time the cheese has com­plete­ly melt­ed, my guess is you’ll be at the per­fect tem­per­a­ture. Now all that’s left to do is to serve it.

Put a bed of ten­der pas­ta on the plate. Spoon a lit­tle sauce over it and then top it with one of the Chick­en Parme­san por­tions. Gar­nish with a lit­tle chopped pars­ley or basil and you lit­er­al­ly have com­plet­ed a restau­rant qual­i­ty dish in about 30 min­utes. You’re a rock star!

easy chicken parmesan
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easy chicken parmesan with homemade pasta

Easy Chicken Parmesan


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Prep Time: 10 min­utes
  • Cook Time: 20 min­utes
  • Total Time: 30 min­utes
  • Yield: 8 serv­ings 1x

Description

This quick and easy week­night sup­per will bring your fam­i­ly run­ning to the kitchen to see what you’re mak­ing!  It will also become one of their most request­ed chick­en din­ners. Enjoy!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 bone­less skin­less chick­en breasts, pound­ed to ½‑inch thick­ness and cut in half
  • 3 Table­spoons avo­ca­do oil
  • salt and pep­per, to taste
  • 8 cups pas­ta sauce, use your fam­i­ly’s favorite
  • 2 (1 lb) box­es of spaghet­ti or fet­tuc­cine noodles
  • 1 lb. Moz­zarel­la cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parme­san cheese, grated
  • option­al: fresh pars­ley or basil for gar­nish, rough chopped

Instructions

  1. Put a pot of heav­i­ly salt­ed water on to boil for your pas­ta. Pas­ta water should taste as salty as broth or stock, so the noo­dles have great fla­vor after they are done cook­ing. Lit­er­al­ly, sip a few drops of the water from a spoon before cook­ing the pas­ta. If it doesn’t taste salty, add more salt.

  2. While the water is com­ing to a boil, pound the chick­en breasts so they will cook quick­ly and even­ly. This sim­ple step shaves half the usu­al cook­ing time! The chick­en should be a uni­form ½‑inch thick­ness when you have finished.

  3. Add the oil to a cast iron skil­let over medi­um high heat. Place the chick­en pieces into the hot oil to begin brown­ing them.

  4. Salt and pep­per the chick­en right in the skil­let. Sear each chick­en breast por­tion for 4–6 min­utes on that first side. Check to make sure they are becom­ing gold­en brown. When they have, flip them to the oth­er side.

  5. Salt and pep­per the sec­ond side of the chick­en. Allow it to caramelize and become gold­en just like you did the first side. When it is browned, remove all the chick­en to a plate to rest. 

  6. Once the chick­en is rest­ing on a plate, add your pas­ta to the boil­ing water, stir to sep­a­rate and reduce the heat to medium-high.
  7. Pour the pas­ta sauce into the skil­let you just cooked the chick­en in. I use a store brand sauce, but we doc­tor it up with some petite diced toma­toes, our favorite herbs and a touch of sug­ar. If the one you buy is per­fect as-is, don’t do a sin­gle extra thing. Make this recipe your own and fix it just the way your fam­i­ly enjoys it.

  8. Get that sauce bub­bling in the skil­let, reduce the heat to medi­um and add the chick­en breasts back to the pan. Spoon a lit­tle sauce over each piece and then top with grat­ed Moz­zarel­la cheese and a lit­tle Parme­san.  Put the lid back on the skil­let just long enough to get the cheese melty and gooey and drip­ping down the sides of the chicken.

  9. Check the pas­ta and test its ten­der­ness.  It should be al dente.  If it’s ready, go ahead and drain it.  If not give it a cou­ple more min­utes cook­ing time and then drain it. 
  10. Serve the chick­en and sauce on a bed of pas­ta.  Gar­nish with chopped pars­ley or basil, if you like.
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Chick­en, Main Dish, Entree
  • Method: stove top
  • Cui­sine: Ital­ian

Key­words: chick­en, chick­en parmesan

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