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The best unfried chicken you’ll ever eat

This crispy chicken Parmesan will have everyone fooled that it came out of the oven.

Crispy parmesan "fried" chicken

Chicken Parmesan is the ultimate Italian comfort food. But unless you’re sporting a deep-fryer in your kitchen countertop (no joke, when I studied abroad in Spain my host parents had one in theirs, and it was incredible and highly dangerous for my waistline at the same time), enjoying it at home can be hard.

Crispy parmesan "fried" chicken

This baked version, though, gets just as crispy as the one at the restaurant, and it’s a heck of a lot better for you. No deep-fryer needed.

Crispy Parmesan “fried” chicken recipe

Serves 4


  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (see note in directions)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with baking spray.
  2. Combine the buttermilk (note: if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use regular milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice) and egg whites in a small bowl and whisk together.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil and salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix together with a fork.
  4. Dunk the chicken in the milk and egg white mixture and let the excess drip off.
  5. Place the chicken in the bowl with the breadcrumbs and coat both sides with the mixture.
  6. Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet and spray the top with baking spray.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and spoon the marinara sauce evenly over each piece of chicken.
  8. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top and return to oven for 1-2 minutes until melted.
  9. Remove from oven and serve with additional fresh chopped basil.

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