From-scratch Chicken Parm is an Italian restaurant staple (at least here in the United States) and it’s fun to make at home, as well. But if pounding, dipping, and breading chicken is too much work for a quick weeknight dinner, then you’ll love this shortcut version that is ready in less than 30 minutes with almost zero dirty dishes. We love pairing with a Caesar salad, and you could easily serve the chicken over pasta, as well.
This is a meal that all my kids like and look forward to. There are a couple great options for frozen, breaded chicken that we love, and paired with a high quality store-bought marinara, this recipe can be whipped up in just minutes.
Ingredients and Equipment
- Frozen Breaded Chicken – the two brands of frozen chicken I use most often are ones I purchase at Costco. We love the Just Bare brand lightly breaded chicken filets (pictured below) and also the Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Tenderloins.
- Marinara Sauce – my favorite store-bought marinara is Rao’s Brand, but any brand that you enjoy is just fine.
- Mozzarella cheese – I like a whole milk low moisture mozzarella cheese. Often times pre-shredded bagged cheese doesn’t melt well, so feel free to shred your own, but I love this Kroger brand pictured, it tastes great and melts beautifully. I don’t recommend fresh mozzarella here because the high moisture content can quickly make your chicken soggy!
Cooking Easy Shortcut Baked Chicken Parm
This takes just minutes of hands-on time and can be cooked in either the oven or the air fryer. Most chicken parm recipes will call for topping the chicken directly with sauce. I’ve found that placing a layer of cheese on top of each piece of chicken first, creates a barrier between the sauce and the crunchy chicken and results in better texture.
- Bake breaded chicken according to package instructions.
- Top with a small layer of cheese.
- Add a few spoonfuls of marinara.
- Top with additional cheese.
- Return pan to oven for 1-2 minutes just until cheese melts and sauce is hot.
This easy chicken parm is such great dinner to have in your back pocket. One of the things I love most is that all of the ingredients are ones you can keep on hand for long periods of time. A great jar of marinara in the pantry and chicken and cheese in the freezer. That way it’s a great back-up plan when you’re short on groceries or short on time!Print
Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 25
- Yield: 4-6
Shortcut recipe using high quality jarred marinara and frozen breaded chicken breasts. Saves time and everyone loves it! Bake in the oven, or the air fryer.
4–6 pieces frozen breaded chicken (*see notes for brands I like)
1 jar marinara’s (I like Rao’s brand)
1–2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
- Cook chicken pieces according to package instructions in either the oven or the air fryer. Tip: If using the oven, convection mode will achieve extra crispy pieces.
- When chicken is fully cooked, remove from oven and top each piece with about 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, followed by a couple spoonfuls of marinara. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces, this could be anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons.
- Top with an additional 2 tablespoons cheese, or more if desired.
- Return pan to oven for 1-2 minutes, just until sauce is heated through and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Check your grocer for breaded chicken breasts. My two favorites are brands I purchase in the frozen foods aisle of Costco. We like both the Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Tenderloins and also the Just Bare brand Chicken Filets.
Keywords: shortcut easy baked chicken parmesan
Made this last night for dinner and it was a hit with everyone! My oldest has been asking for chicken Parm, but I haven’t wanted to deal with the mess of making it, but then I saw this recipe! So, thank you for a super easy meal!
The Idaho Falls Costco no longer carries the panko chicken and told me they don’t plan on ordering it again. I don’t think they realized how deeply they’ve hurt me. They do have the Just Bare though. For now. 😭
Oh sad! I’m glad they have the Just Bare though!