Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana is an incredibly delicious Italian meal. Chicken cutlets are breaded, fried, and then baked with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
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What Makes the Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana So Good?
Chicken Parmigiana may not be an authentic Italian dish, but it is a mainstay of Italian-American cuisine. And why not? It is delicious!
The crispy breadcrumb coating helps ensure the chicken breast stays moist and flavorful, while the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese add a ton of flavor.
This Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana recipe is everything you want when it comes to homemade Chicken Parm.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
There is nothing fancy here. This straightforward copycat Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana recipe is easy to make and is sure to become one of your favorites. It is a great way to feed a crowd, and with so many ways to serve it, you have the flexibility to make it a family-style dinner or a great casual lunch.
Ingredients For Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Marinara sauce
- Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- Ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Italian breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered
- Vegetable oil
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Italian bread crumbs are a type of flavored crumb. You can also use regular bread crumbs or panko and season them with your favorite blend of spices and dried herbs.
The marinara sauce you use in this recipe gives the dish much of its flavor. So, use a good jarred sauce, or better yet, make your own!
How to Make Chicken Parmigiana Like Olive Garden
To bread the chicken:
- Prepare a breading station with three shallow-rimmed containers, such as a pie plate. Place the AP flour in the first container, a mixture of eggs and water in the second container, and Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in the third container. Put a wire rack on a baking tray at the end of the breading station.
- Cut the chicken in half horizontally.
- Place half of each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to flatten the chicken evenly. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Coat a pounded chicken cutlet in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip the flour-coated chicken into the egg mixture and then coat it in the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Place the bread cutlet on the wire rack.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken.
To pan-fry the chicken cutlet:
- Let the breaded chicken rest for about five minutes. Resting the chicken allows the breading to adhere and will help prevent it from falling off while frying.
- While the chicken is resting, heat a rondeau or deep skillet over medium-high heat and add a 1/2-inch of vegetable oil to the pan. Use a clip-on deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature and adjust the heat until the oil reaches 350°F.
- Cook the chicken in batches of two to three pieces until golden brown. Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature is at least 165°F. Drain cooked chicken on a paper towel lined sheet tray.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken cutlets.
To finish the Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- While the oven is preheating, warm the marinara sauce over low to medium heat on the stove.
- When the sauce is warm, top the chicken with the sauce and sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese.
- Place chicken in a single layer in a baking dish.
- Bake the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.
What To Serve With Chicken Parm
Chicken Parmigiana is excellent on its own, but it pairs very well with a side dish of pasta with a simple tomato-based sauce or an Olive Garden-style salad. You can also serve it with breadsticks or garlic bread.
Possible Recipe Variations
Feel free to make changes or get as creative as you want with this basic recipe. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make it a Grilled Chicken Parmesan. Save fat and calories by substituting a grilled chicken cutlet for breaded and fried chicken in the original recipe.
- Serve the Chicken Parmigiana on a toasted roll with extra marinara sauce and cheese for a hearty Chicken Parm Sub.
- Make the perfect appetizer with an Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana Breadstick Sandwich! Split a famous Olive Garden Breadstick in half and use it to make a mini Chicken Parm sandwich.
How to Store Chicken Parmigiana
Chicken Parm is so good that you won’t want to let any go to waste. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to three days. Chicken Parm will last up to three months in the freezer.
- Place the cooked chicken on a baking tray and pop it in the freezer uncovered until the chicken is frozen solid, about two to three hours.
- Wrap the frozen chicken with wax paper and then with aluminum foil.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Let the Chicken Parmigiana cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the food to an airtight container.
What’s the Best Way to Reheat
The best way to reheat thawed Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan is in an air fryer:
- Preheat an air fryer to 350°F.
- Air fry the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes until the chicken reaches 165°F.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can reheat the Chicken Parmigiana in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray the bottom of a shallow baking dish with olive oil.
- Place the chicken in the baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and cook for about five more minutes until the cheese melts and the chicken is at least 165°F.
Favorite Olive Garden Recipes
- Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara
- Chicken Scampi
- Crispy Chicken Fritta
- Formaggio Pizza
- Fried Mozzarella
- Grilled Chicken Alfredo
- Pasta Pomodoro
- Shrimp Parmesan
- Steak Alfredo
Want a special cocktail to go with your meal? Make one of the Olive Garden drinks.
Popular Italian Recipes
Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese divided use (packaged in plastic shaker bottles, like Kraft)
- oil for frying
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the marinara sauce in a pot over low heat.
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to gently pound them into cutlets about 1/4 inch thick. If the chicken breasts are over 1 inch thick, slice them in half horizontally before pounding. Season both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a dredging station. You will need three shallow bowls or pie plates, as well as a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the flour in the first bowl. In the second bowl, add the eggs and water, and beat to combine into a uniform mixture. In the third bowl, add the Italian breadcrumbs and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine so you have a uniform mixture.
- First, dredge a chicken cutlet in flour and shake off the excess. Dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, coat both sides, and shake off the excess. Finally, dredge the chicken in the breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese mixture. Coat well on both sides. Then place the breaded chicken cutlet onto the wire rack. Repeat for all cutlets.
- Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/2 inch. Heat the oil to 350°F.
- Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the breading is golden brown. The chicken is cooked through when it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove the cooked chicken from the oil and drain any excess oil from the chicken.
- Place the cooked chicken into a baking dish. Top with the marinara sauce, followed by the mozzarella.
- Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and the remaining Parmesan to serve.