A crispy, pan fried chicken parmesan recipe that makes two servings and comes together in about 40 minutes. It’s the perfect recipe for a cozy date night at home!
Homemade chicken parmesan may seem intimidating, but you’ve absolutely got this! My recipe is pretty straightforward, with pan-fried crispy chicken, jarred marinara sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese. This recipe is for a smaller portion of chicken parmesan, which is perfect for a date night or weeknight meal for two.
Although this recipe is a small batch chicken parmesan recipe for two people, you can definitely multiply it as needed. My small batch version takes just over 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and makes two generous servings of crispy chicken parmesan.
- 1 boneless, skinless Chicken Breast (about 10 oz., doesn’t need to be exact)
- Salt & freshly cracked Black Pepper
- ⅓ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan Cheese (preferably grated on a microplane)
- Avocado Oil (or vegetable oil)
- 4 oz. fresh Mozzarella Cheese (OR 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese)
- 2/3 cup Good Marinara Sauce, such as Rao’s
- chopped Parsley and/or Fresh Basil, as garnish (optional)
Chicken Breast: I use one large chicken breast for this recipe, but you could easily use two little chicken breasts! With the bigger chicken breast, place the chicken on a cutting board. Position your knife so that it is parallel with the cutting board, then carefully cut the chicken through the center, keeping your knife parallel with the cutting board, to create a top half and a thin bottom half of the chicken breast(see the photos below). You’ll still have to pound the thicker ends down a bit, but this definitely gives you a head start to pounding the chicken to 1/4″ thickness.
Pounding the chicken to a thin, even thickness is key to frying it quickly and evenly. If you’re working with two small chicken breasts, that’s great! Just bypass that first part.
Salt: Salt is your friend in this recipe. Salt the chicken breast before coating it, and definitely sprinkle salt onto the chicken as soon as it’s done frying. This is SO important! It’s not to make the chicken salty, I promise. It’s to make it taste better.
Avocado Oil: I love to use avocado oil for frying and sautéing. It has a high smoke point, a neutral flavor, and it works consistently well for me. Other oil options would be canola or vegetable oil.
Mozzarella Cheese: I love fresh mozzarella for the light taste and squeaky texture. However, it isn’t quite as “gooey” as low-moisture mozzarella (like a squishy block of mozzarella cheese or a bag of shredded mozzarella). You can absolutely use any type of mozzarella for this recipe! The photos on this post have fresh mozzarella, which has been torn into pieces and place on top of the chicken. You are more than welcome to use a block of mozzarella that you cut into thin strips or shred, OR you can use bagged, shredded mozzarella if you prefer. That type of mozzarella typically has less moisture in it, so it melts a little easier. It will be super gooey and delicious, too!
Marinara Sauce: An important ingredient. The chicken parmesan will taste delicious no matter what, but when you use a really high quality marinara sauce like this one from Rao’s … it’s really delicious. It is more expensive, but it’s really, really good. If you’re just not feeling the Rao’s Marinara, use whatever marinara sauce you love! (And if you have a homemade recipe, even better!) But if you’re grabbing a jar from the store just for this recipe, be sure to use the leftover marinara sauce to toss with these Italian Meatballs and some noodles, and you’ll be treating yourself all week!
How to Make Chicken Parmesan for Two
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a quarter-sized baking sheet with a wire baking rack, then lay a layer of paper towels on top of the baking rack. Set aside.
- Cut the large chicken breast in half, keeping your knife parallel to the cutting board to create a thin top half and thin bottom half of chicken. (see photos above for reference.)
- Place one of the chicken breast halves between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet until it is 1/4″ thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breast half. Season both chicken breast halves generously with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
- Gather three shallow dishes. In one dish, combine the flour, Italian seasoning, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. In the second shallow dish, beat the egg. In the third shallow dish, combine the panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Dip one of the chicken breast halves into the flour mixture, coating both sides thoroughly. Shake off any excess, then dip it into the egg, again coating both sides and letting any excess drip off. Press the chicken into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides thoroughly. Set aside and repeat with second chicken breast half.
- Heat ¼” of oil in a pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Again working one a time, cook the chicken in the oil for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the crispy chicken to the prepared baking sheet (on top of the paper towel-lined wire rack), and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Repeat with second chicken breast half, letting both rest on the paper towels to absorb any excess oil for a minute or two.
- Remove the paper towels from underneath the chicken. Divide the marinara sauce over the tops of the chicken, followed by the mozzarella. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 F until cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Garnish with freshly chopped basil and serve hot!
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