Chicken parmesan is one of the most common Italian-American dishes and a ubiquitous menu item at family-style Italian restaurants. It gained popularity as a dish to make at home in the 1950s and has spawned several different adaptations over the years, from grilled to stuffed to slow-cooked versions, all including chicken, tomato, and cheese.
Before you get started, make sure you have similarly sized chicken pieces so they'll cook evenly. Some recipes call for chicken cutlets, but you can substitute thinly-pounded boneless skinless chicken breasts if need be. To round things out, just add a side of spaghetti or your favorite pasta, some garlic bread, and a green salad.
01 of 07
This simple baked chicken parmesan uses jarred pasta sauce to keep things speedy, plus both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for maximum gooeyness. If you don't have Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, you can use plain and add a few pinches of basil and oregano for more punch. The chicken is breaded and sauteed until golden, then topped with the sauce and cheese, and baked until bubbling. Serve on a bed of spaghetti for a satisfying dish.
02 of 07
For an even more decadent dinner that takes hardly any extra time, stuff your chicken breasts with cheese before assembling your chicken parmesan. In this recipe, thick chicken breasts are butterflied and stuffed with cheese before being breaded and fried. Once covered in sauce and more cheese and then baked, this dish looks fancy enough to serve for a nice dinner party but comes together quickly enough for a weekday.
03 of 07
Whether for a hearty lunch or football food, a chicken parm sandwich is another favorite way to eat this dish. The breaded and fried chicken is topped with a bit of sauce and cheese and finished in the skillet. Combining with another Italian restaurant classic, the chicken parm is placed on garlic-butter toasted Ciabatta rolls, making for a sandwich with loads of flavor. Serve with extra marinara sauce for dipping.
04 of 07
No oven needed for this stovetop chicken parmesan—everything is done in the skillet, from crisping up the breaded chicken to melting the cheese topping. This recipe calls for jarred tomato sauce, but you can use your favorite homemade recipe, too. Serve over sauced spaghetti with a salad on the side for a complete meal.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
This entire recipe is cooked in the oven—even the breaded chicken. The dish starts with cheesy breadcrumbs for extra flavor and calls for freshly grating your own Parmesan cheese, which really makes a difference. Once the cutlets are golden brown, the sauce and mozzarella cheese are added and the baked chicken parmesan is returned to the oven until bubbling and melted. Perfect paired with pasta.
06 of 07
If you're craving all of the flavors of chicken parm but looking for a lighter, healthier version, this summery grilled take on the dish of chicken, tomatoes, and cheese is sure to fit the bill. Instead of the breaded and fried cutlets, the boneless chicken is grilled, and in place of the traditional marinara sauce, this recipe uses fresh-sliced tomato and fresh basil leaves from your garden or the farmers market; slices of mozzarella on top finish it off. It still tastes great with pasta and also works well as a sandwich.
07 of 07
Coating thinly-pounded chicken breasts in panko breadcrumbs before skillet-frying gives the chicken a crispy exterior that can hold up to the red sauce and cheese that rounds out this classic chicken parmesan. This dish is easy to put together thanks to the jarred spaghetti sauce and the fact that it is cooked in one oven-proof skillet.