BEST Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan Recipe - Crispy coated chicken cutlets, smothered in marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese is a restaurant quality dish made easily in your air fryer.
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This recipe is originally published on 03/17/2021 but modified on 02/20/2022. However the recipe and photos remain the same.
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Easy recipe to cook in the air fryer and clean up is a breeze. Panko breaded breasts come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside with less oil. My favorite part is that you can easily use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
It has tender juicy, well seasoned meat with crispy crumb coating. It is healthier than regular fried cutlets with almost no oil and it is great stored in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner on busy nights.
Air fryer love continues with a classic recipe. Chicken dishes are usually a family favorite for weeknight dinners. It is a kid favorite and most importantly leaner than other protein.
What is Chicken Parmesan?
Also called Chicken Parmigiana, it is a classic Italian American chicken dish in the world. Crispy breaded cutlets is smothered in homemade marinara and topped with flavorful ooey gooey melty cheese. BUT often times, it comes out too dry, or doesn’t have enough flavor or seasoning and most importantly, it is deep fried or shallow fried.
Overwhelming the meat with sauce and cheese is one of the main culprits. This air fried method involves just a little bit of sauce on top, so the breading stays relatively crisp. If you are a sauce lover, then we recommend serving extra sauce on the side.
The coating stays amazingly crispy with it's unique and simplified breading process. The parmesan along with panko, not only adds flavor but also guarantees crispness.
What is the difference between chicken parmesan and chicken parmigiana?
Chicken parmigiana or pollo alla parmigiana in Italian, is essentially the same as chicken parmesan in Australia. Few variations includes topping with ham or bacon and the cheese might include mozzarella, cheddar or provolone.
This parmesan crusted chicken air fryer involves our clever technique in breading procedure. It is so much healthier, easier and easy clean up when compared to the stove top method.
Instead of adopting a regular breading method of flour-egg mixture-bread crumb, we’ve come up with a much easier one which involves tossing the cutlets in a batter and then coating them with breadcrumbs. The crumbs stay intact and forms a lovely crust on the outside. Check out the popular Crispy Tilapia Fish and Chicken Nuggets, both made using the same method in Air Fryer!
Parmesan Garlic Breading
A wet batter made with eggs which helps with the binding, all purpose flour to help the breading adhere to the cutlets and seasoned with garlic powder, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. The crumb coating is made with a mix of panko and parmesan for a light and crispy coating.
How Long To Cook?
The chicken only takes a few minutes to cook through in air fryer and results in a juicy breast! If you have a smaller air fryer basket, you might have to cook in two batches.
- Start by preheating the air fryer to 380 degrees.
- Cook for 8 minutes then flip the chicken
- Finally top with the marinara sauce and cheese and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Total time should be about 10 to 11 minutes.
DON'T OVERCROWD THE BASKET
Place in a single layer, and leave a little space around for the air to circulate, which helps in crisping the outside and juicy inside. OVER CROWDING will NOT make them crisp.
What type of sauce to use?
We love to use Prego tomato sauce (tomato, basil and garlic). Any good marinara sauce that you enjoy tossing your pasta in will work here.
What type of cheese to use?
All types of mozzarella are amazingly delicious - Shredded, fresh balls (cut into slices) or pre sliced mozzarella are all great options.
- Chicken - Boneless, skinless breasts or thighs work well in this recipe.
- Egg – Helps in binding the crust
- All purpose flour – Just couple of tablespoons for binding
- Panko breadcrumbs – Gives a light, airy crispy breading.
- Parmesan – Parmesan gives a wonderful salty, nutty flavor.
- Seasonings – A combination of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
- Marinara sauce - I used Prego, tomato basil garlic
- Cheese - Shredded mozzarella cheese or use fresh cheese
Tips for success
- Dredge well – Using hands or tongs, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on the chicken cutlet to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.
- Choose meat portions that are equal in size, so they cook evenly.
- Make it gluten free – Use gluten free flour and gluten free Panko bread crumbs.
- Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the chicken won’t get as crispy).
- Pound poultry to even thickness.
- Parmesan – Finely shredded parmesan cheese is highly recommended. If you are using pre shredded cheese (that is very coarse), then process for a few seconds in a
How to make ?
Slice chicken - Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to get 4 cutlets. This helps them in cooking evenly and faster.
Prep chicken - Whisk eggs, flour, salt and pepper to make a smooth batter. Toss cutlets in the wet batter, remove allowing excess batter to drip off. Coat in parmesan-bread crumb mixture on both sides, packing them well with fingers.
Air fry – Cook at 380 degrees for about 8 minutes.
Top with sauce and cheese - Spread marinara sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese and continue cooking for an addition 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
What to serve with parmigiana?
- It is delicious served as is with a side of roasted or steamed vegetables like cheesy broccoli, air fryer zucchini parmesan chips, or roasted broccoli.
- Serve with cooked spaghetti (tossed lightly with some olive oil and some marinara sauce) or any of your favorite pasta like Alfredo noodles, penne all vodka, Instant pot pesto pasta, or Garlic Ramen.
- Garlic bread / garlic knots / Avocado dinner rolls.
How to store leftovers?
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- From the refrigerator – Simple microwave them for couple of minutes to quickly re heat (the breading will be soft). However, to revive the crispy coating, re heat them in the air fryer for 5 minutes or bake at 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. However, with the marinara added, the longer it sits, the more likely it is to become soggy.
- From the freezer – Placed in zip lock bag, tightly sealed and frozen for up to a month. Microwave them for few minutes to quickly re heat (the breading will be soft). However, to revive the crispy coating, Re heat them in the air fryer for 10 to 15 minutes or bake at 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Our favorite method to store
Cook, cool breaded cutlets (without any sauce/cheese) and freeze in zip lock bags for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, place frozen cutlets (without thawing) in a pre heated 400 degree air fryer and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, Turn over, spread marinara sauce on top, followed by cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts ----> The cutlets stay crispy and it almost tastes like a freshly cooked dinner!
Frequently Asked Questions
There have been some disputes over the title. Some experts believe that is named after "Parma, Italy", which is believed to be the origin of the tomato sauce and/or cheese used.
Another theory is that it derived it's name from palmigiana (which means shutters in Italian), since the initial version with eggplant resembled slats of window shutters. (Read more here)
Winner winner chicken dinner - More Chicken recipes for dinner:
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Alfredo Pasta
- Chicken Pesto Rice
- Chicken Cutlets in Oven
- Mexican Chicken
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Pasta with vodka sauce
- Cashew Chicken
- Baked Burger
More Air Fryer Dinner Recipes to try
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 9 ounces each)
- 2 eggs, large
- 2 and ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 and ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¾ to 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (use as much as you like)
1. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally to get 4 cutlets.
2. Whisk all wet ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir all dry ingredients in a seperate shallow plate.
3. Dip each chicken cutlet in the wet batter on both sides and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
4. Pre heat air fryer to 380°F for 8 minutes.
5. When hot, place prepared chicken cutlets in a single layer (don't overcrowd, cook in 2 batches if needed), spray a coating of non-stick cooking spray and cook for 8 minutes. (I sprayed another coating of non-stick cooking spray half way through to get a more golden and crispier crust. This step is optional).
6. After 8 minutes, top each chicken cutlet with marinara sauce and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top (use as much cheese as you like).
7. Close air fryer and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is fully cooked (an internal temperature of 165° F).
8. Serve HOT with cooked pasta / crusty bread.
Dredge well – Using hands or tongs, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on the chicken cutlet to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.
Do not over crowd the air fryer basket – Place air fryer chicken parmesan in a single layer, and leave a little space around for the air to circulate, which helps in crisping the chicken. OVER CROWDING will NOT make a crispy chicken parm.
Make it gluten free – Use gluten free flour and gluten free Panko bread crumbs.
Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the chicken won’t get as crispy).
Parmesan – Finely shredded parmesan cheese is highly recommended. If you are using pre shredded cheese (that is very coarse), then process for a few seconds in a small food processor or dry grinder.
If using larger chicken breasts then increase the cooking time by an additional minute or two.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 1032mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 33g
I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. The information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com, although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health and ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate.
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