This quick and easy recipe for 30 Minute Chicken Parmesan has been a supper standard in our family for many, many, years and is still my kid’s absolute favorite no fuss dinner. There’s no easier way to get Noah home on time for dinner than to tell him that this chicken and pasta is on the menu. My mom first started making her version of this recipe longer ago than I can remember.
While you can use dried breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs in this recipe, my kids always insist that we use the old fashioned cornflake crumb version that they grew up with; it really does make the crust on the chicken super crispy and goes a terrific job of sealing in the chicken juices so it never dries out while cooking. The best part of this satisfying family meal is that you can easily have this one on the table in a half hour.
We sometimes have guests who are required to eat gluten-free and with some great new gluten-free products out there, this is one of the meals we serve to everyone on those occasions. Excellent gluten-free dry pastas are now available as are gluten free versions of some breakfast cereals like corn flakes. The only other substitution necessary is to replace the flour for the dredge with practically any gluten-free flour, like the rice flour mentioned in the recipe. I love it when everyone at the table, no matter what their dietary requirements, can enjoy the exact same meal together and this is an exceptional recipe to accomplish that goal.
Recipe updated and re-photographed on March 19, 2014
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups pureed canned tomatoes (San Marzano if possible)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 ½ cups corn flake crumbs (use a gluten free brand if needed)
- ½ cup flour, for dredging (use rice flour for gluten free version)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup canola oil (for frying)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 4 servings of your favorite cooked pasta (use gluten-free pasta here if needed)
- In a medium saucepan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium low flame and sauté the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, thyme, oregano, chili flakes, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Simmer over low flame for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the chicken as instructed below.
- Crush the cornflakes until into small crumbs by placing them in a Ziploc bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin. I find this to be a better method than using the food processor for a more uniform crumb that doesn't turn to dust.
- Pound the chicken breasts out to a uniform thickness of about a half inch which will help them to cook more quickly and evenly. I usually remove the chicken tenders and fry them separately.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper before dredging it completely in flour, covering it well on all sides.
- Whisk together the eggs and water to create an egg wash. Dip the floured chicken into the egg wash, then coat it well in the corn flake crumbs. Firmly press the chicken into the cornflake crumbs on all sides to make it adhere well.
- Heat ½ inch canola oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium flame. Add chicken breasts and reduce flame to medium low. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side until evenly golden brown and the chicken is completely cooked through. If using dried pasta, I usually cook that while the chicken is frying.
- Place cooked chicken breasts in a baking dish and top with a little of the tomato sauce.
- Mix together the grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Top the chicken breasts with the cheese and place under the broiler for just a couple of minutes to melt. Watch it closely and don't walk away.
- Serve with the cooked pasta, tomato sauce and a generous sprinkle of additional Parmesan cheese.
- NOTE: for extra flavor in the crust, add about ¼ cup of extra grated Parmesan to the corn flake crumbs.