Delicious baked chicken parmesan recipe made from scratch! Crispy chicken, topped with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, and served with spiralized zucchini noodles.
Nothing says I love you like a piping hot plate of chicken parmesan after a long day, do you agree? My husband grew up eating homemade Italian food that his mom and grandma would prepare. The sauces were always made from scratch (lucky guy!), and the food carefully made with love.
I never try to compete with mama, but I like to make some of Jason’s favorite comfort foods to remind him of home. However, I always like the challenge of making a healthier twist on a classic dish to nourish my family.
This baked chicken parmesan recipe is topped fresh tomato sauce and served with a nutritious serving of sauteed spiralize zucchini noodles. This chicken dinner is sure to satisfy your Italian cuisine cravings!
Jason’s mom, Joan and Grandma Rose, are amazing cooks! Over the years, they have taught me how to make meatballs, freshly rolled pasta, and chicken spiedini to ensure Jason always gets to indulge in his favorite foods. Some I’ve had my share of Italian meal requests and this baked chicken parmesan being on top of the list!
To serve an Italian dish without sauce is criminal! When I have time, I like fresh tomato sauce from scratch. I used an easy blanching technique to peel tomatoes that I learned in culinary school to quickly remove the skin.
After a few quick chops, the sauce gets going first, so it has plenty of time to cook down and infuse flavors while the other components are prepared.
How do I get a crunchy crust on my Chicken Parmesan?
In culinary school I learned how to do a 3-step standard breading procedure:
- Dry the food with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper (if desired) and then dredge in flour. This allows the egg to adhere.
- Dip the floured food in an egg wash. Whisk whole eggs with 1 tablespoon of water per egg. This step helps the breadcrumbs adhere during cooking.
- Coat the food with breadcrumbs. Shake off excess crumbs, and transfer to a pan lining the food in a single layer. Refrigerate the breaded foods for at least 30 minutes before frying to make sure that the breading adheres after it is cooked.
- Try to use one hand for dredging the dry ingredients and the other for wet. This will help prevent your fingers from looking like breaded chicken tenders!
For this baked chicken parmesan recipe I combined the spices, egg, and flour together to give a thick coating of the breadcrumbs, saving you one dipping step. You’re welcome, friend!
The high temperature of the oven at 450 degrees quickly cooks the chicken and while browning and crisping the outside crust.
Since I got my Inspiralizer for my birthday, I’ve been a big fan of spiralized vegetables. It takes seconds to turn zucchini into long curly strands of “noodles.” After a quick saute, the tender squash is ready to be served with the baked chicken parmesan, yum!
Once baked to crispy golden perfection, these lovely breaded chicken breasts are topped with the homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and are baked one last time until the cheese is nice and bubbly. At this point my husband and toddler James has gravitated to the kitchen to see what is going on, it’s like they have a smell radar for tomato sauce cooking on the stove! If you are a chicken parmesan fan, you will love this healthier version.
How do you make sure the chicken cooks evenly in the oven?
You want the pieces of chicken to be an even thickness before you bake or fry so that it cooks at the same time and stays juicy. I like to place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a large plastic resealable bag and pound away with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer mallet to about 3/4-inch thickness. You can also slice each breast in half through the center if you don’t feel like pounding out the chicken.
Baked Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onions, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups diced tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (5 pounds Roma tomatoes) or canned
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 pound chicken breasts, each breast sliced in half or pound into thinner pieces (yield 4 pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, (regular or whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, (or whole wheat)
- 2 pounds zucchini, large (yield 10 cups spiralized noodles)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into even sized slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onions are translucent about 4 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir well. Add tomatoes and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until a thickened sauce is reached 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and season sauce with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place a baking rack on top of the tray and tray the rack with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, and basil. In another medium sized bowl whisk together eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Dip the chicken first in the egg mixture (it will be thick). Then dip the chicken in the breadcrumbs, coating well and pressing the coating into the surface. Shake off any excess bread crumbs and transfer chicken to baking rack. Bake until chicken is lightly golden and the coating is crispy. The internal temperature should reach 165°F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce on top of the chicken. Add one slice of mozzarella cheese placed on top of the chicken. Bake chicken until the cheese is melted, 5 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add spiralized zucchini and saute until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. You may have to cook in two batches if the pan is not large enough. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Divide zucchini noodles evenly on plates. Top with chicken and garnish with parsley.