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Baked Chicken Parmesan {No Frying + Healthy} –

Baked Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and healthy alternative to the beloved classic! The traditional recipe has been given a skinny makeover without losing any of its signature cheesy, crispy goodness.

crispy and healthy oven baked chicken parmesan on a plate with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil

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When we’re craving a homemade Italian meal, I often turn to quick and easy pasta recipes. When I was feeling extra fancy, however, this oven-baked chicken Parmesan (also known as chicken parmigiana) is my forever go-to.

The first time I made this easy baked chicken Parmesan recipe, I knew it was an instant keeper.

The Parmesan-crusted chicken is perfectly crispy on the outside and lusciously juicy on the inside, and the cheese topping is hot, bubbly, and every bit as satisfying as it should be. (The same can be said for this Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu.)

The best part? Unlike most restaurant versions, which are deep-fried and heavy with greasy breadcrumbs and cheese, my version is baked, has minimal prep, and can be ready in 30 minutes (like my Chicken Piccata).

I’d venture to say that this is the BEST chicken parmesan recipe ever.

Why You’ll Love It

Today’s version is a light, healthy chicken Parmesan that’s easy to make and offers the same comfort and satisfaction as a go-big restaurant meal.

A plate of healthy baked chicken parmesan with a piece cut away on a fork

5 Star Review

“I had this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely amazing, so flavorful and delicious! Definitely making this again.”

— Bee —

How to Make Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan

The funny thing about baked chicken Parmesan is that even though it seems pretty deluxe, it’s actually one of the easiest baked chicken recipes to make (just like Chicken Cacciatore).

Further, now that I have my own perfect version of a crispy, oven-baked chicken Parmesan with panko crust, I actually prefer it.

It’s delicious but not overdone and baked instead of fried. The panko bread crumb crust is satisfyingly crisp; without being so thick, you feel like you are eating a slab of breading.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Lean and protein-packed boneless, skinless chicken breasts stay tender and juicy underneath the breading.

Dietary Note

Are there vegetarians at your table? You can easily adapt this recipe into a tasty baked eggplant Parmesan recipe. Swap the chicken for thick slices of eggplant and prepare as directed. Watch closely in the oven and remove once the eggplant is tender.

  • Breadcrumbs + Panko. Because baked chicken Parmesan without breading just wouldn’t be right! Like my panko-crusted Chicken Katsu, oven-baked chicken Parmesan with panko is just as delicious as fried, and it’s so much better for you!

Why The Two types of breadcrumbs?

A combination of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and whole wheat panko creates the perfect light, crispy exterior.

  • Panko breadcrumbs (also known as Japanese-style breadcrumbs) are larger and drier than traditional breadcrumbs. They’re the key to ensuring the chicken Parmesan coating has maximal crunch.
  • Traditional breadcrumbs adhere more easily to chicken than panko breadcrumbs do. Including some here ensures the surface area of the chicken is fully coated.
  • Cheeses. Part-skim mozzarella cheese turns melty, gooey, and bubbly on top of the chicken, and the Parmesan helps flavor the breading. (For another cheesy chicken dish, try my Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese.)

Substitution Tip

Provolone cheese is a nice alternative to mozzarella if that’s what you have on hand in your kitchen.

  • Egg Whites. Making baked chicken parmesan egg white-style is what helps make the breading stick to the chicken breasts. Skipping the yolk further reduces the fat and cholesterol in this healthy recipe.
  • Tomato Sauce. To make the recipe especially weeknight-friendly, I took a shortcut using good-quality store-bought tomato sauce (marinara sauce works too).

Substitution Tip

If you prefer to make your baked chicken Parmesan sauce from scratch, you can check out the simple sauce that’s included with my recipe for Whole30 Meatballs.

  • Pasta. Try serving baked chicken Parmesan with a side of whole wheat spaghetti. Roasted Spaghetti Squash or cooked zucchini noodles are also great options if you want to cut a few carbohydrates from your plate.
a sheet pan of the BEST baked chicken parmesan

The Directions

four pieces of butterflied chicken breasts covered with plastic and pounded thin
  1. Cut and pound the chicken breasts.
chicken breasts, egg whites, and breadcrumbs lined up for coating
  1. Stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and pepper. Whisk the egg whites until foamy in a separate bowl. Slice the mozzarella into 4 pieces.
a piece of chicken breast being coated in panko breadcrumbs
  1. Dredge each of the chicken cutlets into the egg whites, then the bread crumb mixture.
four pieces on panko breaded chicken breasts on a sheet pan ready to bake in the oven
  1. Bake until golden and crispy.
crispy baked chicken parmesan topped with tomato sauce and slices of mozzarella cheese
  1. Top the chicken with sauce and mozzarella.
healthy baked chicken parm recipe garnished with fresh basil ready to serve
  1. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with additional fresh basil. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Leftover baked chicken Parmesan can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat.

Leftover Ideas

Leftover chicken is also good sliced and served at room temperature on top of salads.

panko breaded easy baked chicken parmesan on a plate with a bite cut out

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan

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Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Baking Sheets

A kitchen staple for a reason. Use these for roasting veggies, making one pan meals, cookies, and more!

crispy and healthy oven baked chicken parmesan on a plate with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

healthy baked chicken parmesan no frying on a plate with cheese, basil, and pasta sauce

I hope this healthy baked chicken Parm with a crispy crust adds some extra Italian flare to your kitchen. Add some bread and olive oil for dipping, and you’ll truly feel like you’re out on the town!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Chicken Parmesan be Made in an Air Fryer?

Yes! To Make this recipe in an air fryer, prepare the recipe as directed through Step 3. Lay the breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, spritzing the tops with cooking spray. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. Flip the chicken breasts over and add the cheese and sauce on top. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through.

How Do You Bake Chicken Without Drying It Out?

Dry chicken is often overcooked chicken. For best results, invest in a simple instant-read thermometer to check your chicken’s internal temperature as it bakes. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, but it will continue to cook as it rests, so I remove mine at 155 degrees F.

Is Baked Chicken Parmesan Gluten Free?

No. However, you could experiment with swapping the breadcrumbs in this recipe for a breadcrumb mixture of your favorite gluten-free alternatives. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.

Can I Make Chicken Parmesan With Chicken Thighs?

I have not tried making this easy chicken Parmesan with anything other than chicken breasts, so it would be an experiment. The cook time would likely increase since thighs typically take slightly longer to bake. Also, note that the nutrition will change if you opt for thighs since they are not as lean as chicken breasts.

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 12 ounces each
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup high-quality jarred tomato sauce plus extra for serving as desired
  • Fresh basil thinly sliced or chopped
  • Optional for serving: prepared whole wheat spaghetti or zucchini noodles, or just enjoy on its own!

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise, so you have 4 pieces total. Pound each piece to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside.

  • In a wide, shallow bowl (a pie dish works well), combine the Italian breadcrumbs, whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites until lightly foamy. Cut the mozzarella into 4 slices, or grate and divide into four equal portions.

  • Arrange your workstation in the following order: pounded chicken, egg whites, breadcrumb mixture, then the baking sheet. Working one at a time, dip each piece of chicken into the egg whites, shaking off any excess, then the breadcrumbs, gently patting the chicken as needed so that the crumbs stick to all sides.

  • Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness) and the crumbs are brown, about 15 minutes. (Per the FDA, chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees F, but its temperature will continue to rise after it is removed from the oven.)

  • Remove from the oven, spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce over each piece of chicken, and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 3-5 additional minutes.

  • Sprinkle with basil and enjoy immediately, topped with extra sauce as desired.

  • TO STORE: This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Leftover chicken can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat.

Serving: 1piece with sauce and cheese (does not include pasta)Calories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 50gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 133mgPotassium: 828mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 404IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 326mgIron: 2mg

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