Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken

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The cheesiest, easiest Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts! Chicken cutlets are breaded with a simple panko-parmesan crust & pan-fried until perfectly juicy with a gloriously crispy & golden brown crust. Serve ’em on their own, or add them to your favorite salads, pasta dishes, & more. Made with 7 simple ingredients in 25 minutes or less, these crispy panko parmesan chicken cutlets are perfect for weeknights & easy entertaining alike.

Parmesan crusted chicken cutlets on a large white platter, which sits atop a gray striped linen napkin on a white surface, surrounded by salad, a bowl of lemon wedges, a small bowl of pesto, & a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese.

Pin this Crispy Parmesan Chicken recipe for later!

Should you ask me what my all-time favorite chicken dish is, I’d tell you that you’re lookin’ at it! This Crispy Parmesan Chicken is a recipe I’ve been making for years. Funnily enough, I think it might be the first recipe I ever “developed” my college days! Back then I had a bit of an obsession with the crispy parmesan chicken at Noodles & Co. Having watched enough Food Network to understand how to set up a dredging station for breaded chicken, I tinkered around with swapping some breadcrumbs for parmesan to replicate the flavors & textures of the chicken I loved so much. As they say, the rest is history.

This crispy parmesan chicken has stood the test of time in my kitchen. After turning to it time again & again in the past decade plus, I figured it’s about time we publish the full how-to here on PWWB. So, that’s exactly what we’re doing today…

Parmsean chicken breast on a large plate with a green salad & a small bowl of pesto. The plate sits atop a white surface, next to a gray striped linen napkin.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Recipe Highlights:

These Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts are…

  • Downright craveable – There’s so much to love about parmesan cheese + chicken, but the golden brown & totally crispy breading on this panko parmesan chicken is to die for.
  • Seriously easy – Made with 7 simple ingredients in 25 minutes or less, it’s the kind of recipe that’s great for weeknights but also really easy to throw together for a dinner with friends. (& a kinda major bonus? It always impresses!)
  • Super versatile – Enjoy it all on its own or add it to any number of different dishes. Add it to the top of salads, pasta dishes, or even risotto….it’s always good!

I’m telling you, there’s just so much to love about it! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!

Close up of sliced parmsean chicken breast, topped with pesto & parmesan cheese, on a large plate with a green salad & a small bowl of pesto. The plate sits atop a white surface, next to a gray striped linen napkin.

Key Ingredients for Crispy Parmesan Chicken:

Among the many reasons you’ll love the recipe is the fact that it’s made with incredibly simple ingredients. You need just 7 ingredients, & they’re all pantry staples (& no mayo in sight!).

Parmesan crusted chicken breast recipe ingredients arranged on a white surface: chicken cutlets, breadcrumbs, all-purpose flour, parmesan cheese, oil, eggs, salt & pepper.
Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

You will need…

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – Which are pounded into pretty thin chicken cutlets. If your chicken breasts are large, it’d be helpful to butterfly them before pounding them out. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, you can skip butterflying altogether. More details in the Recipe Notes, below!
  • Parmesan – Of course! You can buy finely grated parmesan at the store, but it is also very easy to make freshly grated parmesan at home. Simply chop a hunk of parmesan into a couple of large pieces & blitz them up in your food processor until the parmesan is finely grated.
  • Breadcrumbs – A combination of panko breadcrumbs & seasoned Italian breadcrumbs create the perfect crust on this parmesan chicken. The addition of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs helps coat the entire surface of the chicken cutlet & adds a little extra flavor, while Japanese panko creates a downright craveable & extra crispy texture.
  • A couple of other basics – all-purpose flour & eggs for dredging, & high-quality olive oil for pan frying the chicken.

How to Make Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts:

Building off the simplicity of the ingredients list, these parmesan crusted chicken breasts come together in 25 minutes or less. It’s a super simple recipe with 3 key parts: pounding out the cutlets, breading the chicken with the crispy panko-parmesan coating, & pan frying.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  1. Pound out the chicken cutlets: Place the chicken breasts on a sturdy surface. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap & use a meat mallet (a rolling pin works great, too!) to pound the chicken into cutlets with 1/4-inch thickness. Why ⇢ Pounding the chicken breasts into uniform 1/4-inch thick cutlets ensures that the chicken will cook through completely just as the panko parmesan crust gets perfectly golden brown. If your chicken breasts are on the larger side, it will be helpful to butterfly them before pounding them out. In this case, you’ll likely only need 2 large chicken breasts to yield 4 nice cutlets. 
  2. Prep the dredging station & bread the chicken: Grab 3 large plates or shallow bowls & set up your dredging station, placing flour on the first, lightly whisked eggs in the second, & the breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese on the third. Lightly dust the chicken cutlets with flour, submerge in the eggs, & finish with a thorough coating of the panko parmesan mixture. Breaded chicken tips ⇢ To prevent the breading from building up on your hands as you work, designate one hand as a “wet” hand (use to handle the chicken & egg) & keep the other hand “dry” (use to handle the flour & panko parmesan mixture). Be sure to shake off any flour, egg, & breadcrumbs as you work, which keeps the cutlets nicely breaded & prevents excess breading from falling off & burning in the pan.
  3. Pan fry the parmesan crusted chicken: Heat a good amount of olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, carefully add in the chicken cutlets & cook about 2 minutes per side. Why ⇢ The oil gives the panko parmesan breading its gloriously crisp texture and its beautiful golden brown color, while the quick cook time ensures the parmesan crusted chicken breasts stay completely juicy tender.
Close up of a parmesan crusted chicken cutlet, served on a large white platter, which sits atop a gray striped linen napkin on a white surface.

Serving a crowd?

If you’re prepping a larger batch to serve to a crowd, you can easily keep your parmesan crusted chicken breasts warm once they’re cooked. Place the pan-fried chicken on a baking sheet & hold in a 250 degree F oven to keep warm until serving.

What to serve with parmesan crusted chicken:

My absolute favorite thing about this crispy parmesan crusted chicken is its versatility. It’s so good on its own (of course!), but it’s also a wonderfully easy & versatile protein that you can serve up with any number of meals. That’s exactly why it’s my longtime go-to!

Parmsean chicken breast on a large plate with a green salad & a small bowl of pesto. The plate sits atop a white surface, next to a gray striped linen napkin.

A couple of my favorite ways to serve crispy parmesan crusted chicken breasts:

  • On its own! Finish it off with some freshly snipped chives, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, & a sprinkling of extra parm (duh!). If you’re feeling extra fancy, drizzle a little bit of your favorite pesto over top…it’s *chef’s kiss!* perfection.
  • On top of a salad. My favorite is an easy green salad with tomatoes, pine nuts, & a simple vinaigrette. This panko parmesan chicken is also amazing on a hearty kale salad with Caesar dressing…it’s basically cheesy meat croutons & what’s not to love about that?!
  • Alongside some risotto. My personal favorite menu for easy entertaining is pairing crispy parmesan chicken with creamy risotto. So easy & seriously impressive!
  • Mixed into a pasta dish. Parmesan crusted chicken is fantastic with lots of different pasta dishes, too! Add it to something as simple as spaghetti pomodoro or as indulgent as creamy homemade mac & cheese…just like Noodles & Co., but better!
Sliced oparmsean chicken breast, topped with pesto & parmesan cheese, on a large plate with a green salad & a small bowl of pesto. The plate sits atop a white surface, next to a gray striped linen napkin.

I cannot wait for you to try these Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts! They’re a longtime favorite here at the PWWB House, & I know they’ll be a hit at your house too. If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

Love fast & flavorful chicken recipes? Try these Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders, Sheet Pan Chicken Carnitas or this Thai-Style Green Curry with Gingery Chicken & Veggies next! Happy cooking! ♡

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Parmesan crusted chicken cutlets on a large white platter, which sits atop a gray striped linen napkin on a white surface, surrounded by salad, a bowl of lemon wedges, a small bowl of pesto, & a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes, Chicken Recipes
  • Method: Stovetop, Pan-Fried
  • Cuisine: Italian, American

Description

The cheesiest, easiest Crispy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts! Chicken cutlets are breaded with a simple panko-parmesan crust & pan-fried until perfectly juicy with a gloriously crispy & golden brown crust. Serve ’em on their own, or add them to your favorite salads, pasta dishes, & more. Perfect for weeknight dinners & easy entertaining!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (roughly 2 pounds – see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • heaping 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season Parmesan crusted chicken breast recipe ingredients arranged on a white surface: chicken cutlets, breadcrumbs, all-purpose flour, parmesan cheese, oil, eggs, salt & pepper.

Instructions

  1. Prep the chicken: Cover a chicken breast with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet (or rolling pin) to pound it out to uniform thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside & repeat with the remaining 3 chicken breasts. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and ground black pepper if desired. Set aside. How to make parmesan crusted chicken, Step 1: Chicken breasts in a large plastic bag on a white surface. A woman's hand reaches into the frame with a meat mallet, pounding them flat.
  2. Prepare the dredging station: Grab 3 large plates or shallow bowls. Place the all-purpose flour on one, whisk the eggs on the second, and mix the panko breadcrumbs, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs & grated parmesan on the third. Lightly season each plate with kosher salt and ground black pepper and mix to combine. How to make parmesan crusted chicken, Step 2: A breading station of flour, egg, & parmesan-breadcrumbs in large gray ceramic dishes atop a white surface. One chicken cutlet is in the flour mixture.
  3. Bread the chicken: Working one by one, give each chicken breast a light dusting of flour (shaking off any excess), followed by a light coating of egg (shaking off any excess). Place the chicken into the panko parmesan mixture, pressing to adhere & coat the chicken as completely as possible. Shake off any excess breading and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

    Breaded parmesan-crusted chicken cutlets on a silver quarter baking sheet, atop a white surface.

  4. Cook the parmesan crusted chicken: Add 3-4 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, give the skillet a swirl to ensure its entire surface is coated in oil. Working 2 chicken breasts at a time, carefully add the parmesan crusted chicken to the skillet. Be careful to avoid overcrowding the pan as it prevents browning. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until the panko parmesan coating is crispy & golden brown & the chicken is cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet, as needed, & repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.How to make parmesan crusted chicken, Step 4: Pan frying parmesan crusted chicken in a black nonstick skillet, which sits atop a white surface.
  5. Serve immediately. Crispy parmesan chicken is great served with a simple salad or with a Caesar salad, over a simple pasta dish or alongside risotto – pretty much everything! Enjoy!Parmesan crusted chicken cutlets on a large white platter, which sits atop a gray striped linen napkin on a white surface, surrounded by salad, a bowl of lemon wedges, a small bowl of pesto, & a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese.


Notes

  • Chicken breasts: It is very important to pound the chicken breasts into 1/4-inch thick cutlets, otherwise the breading will brown before the chicken is completely cooked through. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, pounding out to 1/4-inch thickness shouldn’t be too much of a problem! If your chicken breasts are larger, it will be helpful to butterfly them before pounding them out. To butterfly, carefully slice the chicken breasts open lengthwise. In this case, you’ll likely only need 2 large chicken breasts to yield 4 nice cutlets. 
  • Serving a crowd: If you’re prepping a larger batch of crispy parmesan chicken to serve to a crowd, it’s helpful to keep the chicken warm once it’s cooked to ensure everything is warm when you serve dinner. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place cooked crispy parmesan chicken on the baking sheet after Step 4 & keep warm in the oven until serving. 
  • Storage & reheating: Crispy parmesan chicken is best served fresh, though leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The best way to reheat is to toast them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the parmesan crusted chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes per side, until toasty & warmed through.
  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: While this crispy parmesan chicken is a quick recipe, you can eliminate nearly all of the active prep time involved by prepping the chicken ahead of time. To prep, pound out the chicken according to Step 1. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. At dinnertime, all you have to do is dredge & cook – easy!

Keywords: crispy parmesan crusted chicken breast recipe, easy chicken recipe, 30-minute recipe, dinner recipe, date night, pantry staples

Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Parmesan crusted chicken cutlets on a large white platter, which sits atop a gray striped linen napkin on a white surface, surrounded by salad, a bowl of lemon wedges, a small bowl of pesto, & a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese.

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Don’t forget to pin this Crispy Parmesan Chicken recipe for later!!!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 5.25.21
    Elizabeth Beckmann said:

    So quick and easy, with a perfect crispy crust that didn’t fall off or get soggy. The instructions in the post are so approachable and these are really versatile as leftovers, too!

  2. 3.31.21

    This was so great! The coating didn’t fall off (which has happened with other recipes) and pounding it thin kept the chicken juicy and flavorful

  3. 3.19.21
    Devan said:

    Made these tonight to top our salads, and they were delicious! The combination of panko, regular breadcrumbs and parmesan in the breading gives such great flavor and crispy texture. This will be our go-to crispy chicken recipe from now on.

  4. 3.18.21
    Lisa said:

    This looks fantastic! What is the green sauce in the pictures?

    • 5.14.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Lisa! The green sauce is our newly updated Kale Pesto linked here – we hope you can give it a try! It is a PWWB fave!