Simple Chicken Parmesan


This chicken Parmesan pasta is the perfect, simple dish to lure kids into the kitchen — what kid doesn't like chicken tenders and spaghetti? This dish is loaded with mini cooking lessons, too. With one simple recipe, kids learn how to boil pasta, mince garlic, grate cheese, make tomato sauce, and pound, bread, and sauté cutlets. Bonus: This recipe makes twice the sauce needed, so freeze half for another meal.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine

Chicken Cutlets:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each), halved crosswise

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Make tomato sauce: Heat oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer; cook until sauce slightly thickens and flavors meld, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover and keep warm. (Remember, this makes twice the amount of sauce needed, so put aside half for another meal.)

  2. Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

  3. Make chicken cutlets: Lay chicken pieces between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or heavy pan to pound chicken to about 1/4-inch thickness.

  4. Beat egg in a shallow dish until well blended. Season bread crumbs with black pepper in another shallow dish.

  5. Preheat the oven broiler to high. Place a rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat source.

  6. Working with one cutlet at a time, dip chicken in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs. Lay breaded cutlets on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet (this step helps breading stay put).

  7. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.

  8. Fry breaded cutlets in hot oil until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes total. Wash and dry the wire rack and return to the cookie sheet. Place fried cutlets on the clean wire rack.

  9. Top each cutlet with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese melts and is spotty brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

  10. Portion pasta onto 4 plates and top each with a chicken cutlet. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato sauce over each cutlet, then sauce pasta as desired. Serve with extra Parmesan at the table.


If you think this recipe contains too many lessons for one night, consider a few shortcuts: substitute a good-quality tomato or marinara sauce for homemade, use pre-grated cheese, and buy butcher-prepared chicken cutlets from your store's meat case.

The quality of canned tomatoes varies dramatically; I prefer Redpack, Progresso, and Muir Glen brands).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

715 Calories
29g Fat
67g Carbs
46g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 715
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 655mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 25%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 295mg 23%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 1062mg 23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love