There’s so much flavor in this Baked Chicken Pesto Parmesan. A layer of tomato sauce, baked chicken, pesto, and mozzarella. Make this baked chicken for 2 or for 42.
Baked not Fried
Chicken Parmesan is definitely a family favorite in our home. I don’t make it often because I avoid fried dishes whenever I can. However, the kids were asking for some and I got creative. I had some basil pesto that I made from our plants in the garden and got to work. The combination of pasta sauce, crispy oven baked chicken, savory pesto, and melted mozzarella cheese is amazing.
Baking the chicken is so much easier and way less messy than frying it and the most important thing is that the chicken is still juicy and loaded with flavor. The secret lies in seasoning every step of the way.
How to Make the Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Begin with boneless skinless chicken breasts: trim off the fat and butterfly them down the center to end up with two chicken cutlets per breast. I skip the pounding part because it’s time consuming and honestly, too much work. I prefer thicker cuts of chicken anyway for my chicken parmesan. It stays juicy that way.
- Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with salt, pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, and oregano and lay them flat on a baking tray.
- Melt some salted butter and add it to a shallow bowl, or pie pan. Season that as well with some black pepper, cumin powder, and oregano.
- Create the bread crumb coating: Add panko breadcrumbs to a shallow pan and season them with shredded parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, cumin powder, and oregano.
- Shred Mozzarella cheese using a box grater.
- Dip the chicken in the butter mixture and allow the extra butter to drip back into the pan. Coat it in the breadcrumbs and place on a baking tray. Bake the chicken until golden.
- Assemble the dish: Spread a layer of your favorite pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Set the chicken on top of the sauce. Place a spoonful of pesto on top of the chicken and then add the shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
What to serve with the Chicken Parmesan
- For more toasted mozzarella cheese, bake the chicken parmesan uncovered. For a paler mozzarella cheese, bake the chicken covered and uncover it for the final 10 minutes of baking.
- Do not overcook the chicken during the first bake or it will be dry.
- Once the breaded chicken comes out of the oven allow it to rest for 10 minutes in the pan. This will help it release easier from the pan to place it over the sauce.
- Add some olive oil to the butter mixture if it is running low.
- Use store-bought pasta sauce to save time or feel free to make your own.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes to Try
- Skillet Chicken in Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce: Ready in an Hour!!
- Greek Chicken & Trahana: Ready in under 45 minutes!
- Easy Chicken Shawarma Recipe
I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy this delicious Chicken Parmesan. If you give this recipe a try, let me know in the comments section. Also, send your recipe requests my way! I will continue to add them to my list and will get to them as soon as possible. Kali Orexi and I’ll be back soon with another recipe worth sharing.
For the Chicken:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- black pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
Flavored Melted Butter:
- 4 oz salted butter, melted
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
The Breadcrumb Mixture:
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup (or more) olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 475 °F, 250 °C
Butterfly each chicken breast and separate it into 2 chicken cutlets.
Place the chicken cutlets on a baking pan and season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano.
Make the pesto:
Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender or a food processor and puree until smooth.
Make the breadcrumb mixture:
Combine all of the ingredients in a pie pan or in a shallow baking tray and mix them together. Set aside.
In a shallow pie pan, add the melted butter and the seasonings. Mix them together and dip the chicken cutlets in the butter. Allow the excess butter to drip back into the pan.
Coat the chicken on both sides with the breadcrumb mixture and set it on a baking tray.
Bake the chicken on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and set aside.
Pour the pasta sauce into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and taste it. Add more seasoning if desires. I usually add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Place the chicken cutlets on top of the sauce.
Dollop a tablespoon of pesto on top of the chicken and then top with mozzarella cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and raise the heat to 500 °F, 260 °C. and bake on the center rack for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil and turn the broiler element on so that the cheese gets some color.
Serve with pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, or a salad. Enjoy!
Make homemade tomato sauce: add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves to a saucepan along with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and cook over medium heat for a minute. Add 28 ounces of pureed tomatoes along with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until thickened. About 15 minutes. Season with dried oregano or basil.
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Emile Henry Made In France HR Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker, 13 x 9", White
Sheet Pan,Cookie Sheet,Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Baking Pans,Toaster Oven Pan,Jelly Roll Pan,Barbeque Grill Pan,Deep Edge,Superior Mirror Finish, Dishwasher Safe (16.2x12.6x2.4 inches)
KitchenAid Gourmet 4-Sided Stainless Steel Box Grater with Detachable Storage Container, Small, Black