Jun 30, 2015

Chicken Parmesan with Marinara Sauce

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Breaded and lightly pan fried pounded out chicken breasts over spaghetti topped with homemade marinara tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.

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I don’t order this at Italian restaurants often because it is fairly simple to make at home. Do not let the long list of ingredients fool you, the sauce can easily be made ahead of time and the chicken is simply breaded and pan-fried.

It may not be that difficult to make but there is a reason it remains on menus at restaurants, it is simply delicious. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

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Chicken Parmesan with Marinara Sauce

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Serves 4


For the marinara sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Vegetable oil, for frying, as needed

For serving:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


For the marinara sauce:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, basil and cans of tomatoes with their liquid, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon so that the sauce isn’t chunky.
  • Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. To make the sauce less chunky, I take about 3 cups of the sauce, let it cool, pulse it in a blender for 30 seconds then stir it back in with the rest of the sauce. It gives it a good consistency. Stir in the sugar then season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the chicken:

  • While the sauce cooks, cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise and place each piece of chicken into a large plastic zip-top bag. Use a mallet to gently pound them so they are about ½” thick. Be careful that the meat does not break.
  • To bread the chicken, set up three separate bowls. Place the flour in the first bowl. In the second bowl beat the eggs. In the third bowl combine the fine breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, garlic power, onion powder, and parsley.
  • Add enough vegetable oil to a large frying pan so that it is  ¼-inch deep. Take a piece of chicken and dredge through the flour then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs.
  • Fry until the chicken is completely cooked through and golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil.  Continue the process until all of the chicken is fried.

For serving:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Ladle in the enough of the marinara to lightly coat the pasta.
  • Heat broiler to high. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet and top with slices of mozzarella. Broil until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.
  • Place one piece of chicken on each plate. On the side of the chicken, serve pasta topped with extra sauce and Parmesan cheese.



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Recipe Rating

  1. This recipe was exactly what I was looking for when I offered to make dinner for my boyfriend and his family. Instructions are to the point, unless you’re cooking this with your eyes closed its almost impossible to mess this up. This is a great meal if you’re cooking for a large party or if you just want something hearty after work. Also, don’t forget the wine! 😉

    Definitely saving this to my archive of recipes. Thank you Kylie!