Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Parmesan Crusted Chicken is a quick and easy recipe to make for a delicious dinner. Thin chicken cutlets are coated in parmesan, egg, and panko bread crumbs, then pan fried until crispy!
If you’re one of those people who’s often short on time but still wants something delicious and homemade for dinner, this is the perfect recipe for you. It only takes 15 minutes to make, is simple to pull off, and can be paired with so many different sides.
What is parmesan crusted chicken?
This dish is simply a chicken cutlet that’s breaded in parmesan cheese and crispy bread crumbs, and pan fried until crispy and golden.
You can buy chicken cutlets from the store, or you can cut them yourself by slicing a chicken breast in half through the middle, so you get a thin, flat piece of chicken.
The nicest thing about this recipe is that it’s one of the fastest meals you can prepare, because chicken cutlets cook up lightning fast.
I’ve made it so many times that I have a few tricks I want to share below for how to make it extra delicious, with a breading that sticks quite easily to the chicken.
That’s our real goal here: to have a breading that’s thick enough to coat all sides of the chicken, but doesn’t fall off.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tip #1: Zest the cheese
The first thing I like to do is whip out a zester, instead of a grater, to break down the parmesan cheese:
By zesting instead of grating, it gives you a texture that’s lighter than snow, so it sticks to the chicken cutlets very well. The parmesan cheese is the first layer to the breading, and the zested cheese adheres well to get the coating started.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tip #2: Mix any desired flavorings or herbs in with the egg wash
If you’d like to add some chopped herbs to the chicken, the egg wash is where to add it.
I love adding fresh minced rosemary, but fresh thyme and oregano are also fantastic.
Since there are so few ingredients in this dish, adding a fresh herb like rosemary or thyme makes a HUGE difference in flavor and really makes the recipe pop:
Once you have the zested cheese in one bowl and the herbed egg in another bowl, add panko breadcrumbs to a third bowl and get ready to dip.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tip #3: Shake off excess to prevent breading from falling off
Every step of the way, always shake off the excess ingredients before dipping the chicken into the next bowl. This will prevent the breading from falling off.
First dip a seasoned chicken cutlet in the zested parmesan:
Then into the rosemary egg wash:
And finally, into some crispy Panko bread crumbs:
Once your chicken cutlets are breaded, you can pan fry them in olive oil in a single layer, for about 4-5 minutes each side:
Once they’re crispy and golden, you can zest a little more parmesan on top, and serve!
You can also use this same method with pork: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tips:
- What goes with Parmesan Crusted Chicken? You can serve it with Red Potato Salad, Steak Fries, Roasted Parsnips, Caprese Pasta Salad, or many more potato, vegetable, and salad based sides.
- How to bake Parmesan Crusted Chicken: It won’t be as crispy, but you can bake these instead. Spray with cooking spray and bake in a 425F oven for about 10 minutes, until they measure 165F in the center with a thermometer.
- How to fry Parmesan Crusted Chicken: This recipe calls for pan-frying, but you could also deep fry these if you prefer. They should only need 3-4 minutes in 375F oil.
- How to reheat: I recommend re-warming in a 300F oven for about 10 minutes, until crispy again.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
For the Parmesan Crusted Chicken:
- 1.25 lbs chicken cutlets (I had 4)
- salt and pepper
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 cup grated or zested parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup olive oil for frying, and more as needed
- Lay the chicken breasts out on a cutting board and season them generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Next it’s time to set up your breading station. Set out three bowls, and in the first bowl add the zested parmesan cheese, then the eggs in the second bowl, and the panko bread crumbs in the third. Strip the leaves from the fresh rosemary sprig and mince them finely with a knife. Add the minced rosemary to the egg bowl, then whisk the eggs and rosemary together until combined.
- Heat up a large skillet over medium heat, and let it heat up while you bread the chicken.
- First dip each chicken cutlet into the parmesan, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg, then let the excess drip off, then finally dip into the panko bread crumbs (by the way, the reason we shake off the excess during each step is to prevent our breading from falling off later).
- When the pan is nice and hot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2-3 tbsp. Add 2 or 3 chicken cutlets to the hot oil (do not crowd the chicken cutlets), and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. If the bread crumbs are browning too quickly, you can turn the heat down. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, and enjoy!
Post updated with more tips in June 2018. Originally published March 2014.