Enjoy tender pieces of thin breaded chicken slow-cooked with marinara sauce and topped with creamy parmesan cheese. This easy recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan is perfect for a weeknight meal or a slow Sunday dinner!
Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish that combines the flavors of fried chicken with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. It's a fan favorite because it delivers great flavor, is quick and easy to make, and can be served over pasta alongside a crusty piece of garlic bread.
Chicken Parmesan vs. Chicken Parmigiana
When coming across a recipe for chicken parmesan, you may have seen it referred to as chicken parmigiana or simply “parm.” This is because the dish originates from the Italian city of Parma, and so people refer to it by its original name, Chicken Parmigiana. Other than the way it's spelled and the personal touch of the cook, they are the same!
Chicken parmesan can easily be made with the help of your slow cooker! Simply bread thinly sliced chicken in egg and panko breadcrumbs. Add it to the crock pot with marinara sauce and slow cook until the chicken is done. Add cheese and let it melt on top. Serve over a bed of pasta for an Italian feast that takes little effort and tastes delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s easy! Breading and slow-cooking the chicken in the crock pot makes this a no-fuss dinner that is ready when you are.
- It’s kid-friendly and delicious! The combination of breaded chicken, marinara sauce, and cheese is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
- Customizable and versatile! This recipe can easily be tailored to your taste by adding different types of cheeses or sauces. It can also be served over rice, as a sandwich, or even in a wrap!
- Easy enough for a weeknight meal or fancy enough for an Italian-style dinner party!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Marinara Sauce - This classic red sauce combines the fresh flavor of tomatoes, garlic, and herbs such as oregano and basil.
- Chicken Breasts - Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe to add satiating protein.
- Olive Oil - Used to sear the outside of the chicken to get a golden brown crust with the breading.
- Panko Breadcrumbs (Italian Seasoned) - These breadcrumbs are made of Japanese-style bread that is lighter and flakier than traditional breadcrumbs. They’re perfect for adding crunch to the chicken!
- Parmesan Cheese - Gets mixed in with the breadcrumbs to add flavor and texture to the chicken breast.
- Seasonings - A mix of salt, pepper, and onion powder helps enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Milk - Used in the dredging station to ensure that the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken.
- Egg - Used in the dredging station as a binding agent for the breadcrumb mixture.
- Minced Garlic - No Italian meal is complete without bold garlic flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese - Gets added on top at the end to give the chicken parmesan its classic cheesy finish.
- Spaghetti - Any cooked pasta is a great way to finish the dish when plated under the chicken and sauce.
How To Make Chicken Parmesan In The Crock Pot
Prepare the slow cooker: Pour the marinara sauce into the bottom of the crock pot and spread evenly.
Prepare the chicken breast: Pound the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is even in thickness. Set it aside.
Create the dredging station: Add parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder in a shallow bowl. Whisk until well combined. In another shallow bowl, add milk and eggs. Whisk until well combined. Set aside. One at a time, add chicken breast to the milk mixture. Then, coat each side in the breadcrumb mixture.
Cook the breaded chicken: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breaded chicken to the hot skillet and cook each side for 2 minutes or until browned. Do not cook the chicken all the way through.
Slow cook the chicken: Place the browned chicken breast in the crock pot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
Add cheese: 15 minutes before you're ready to enjoy, top the chicken with mozzarella and let it melt fully before serving. Enjoy!
- How to make thin chicken breast: Place the chicken breast in a freezer bag. Using a rolling pin, pound the chicken until it is even in thickness. This will ensure that the breading cooks evenly and quickly.
- When dredging the chicken, be sure to let the wet mixture drip off enough before dipping it in the breadcrumb mixture. This will ensure that your chicken is evenly coated.
- When searing the chicken, do not let the temperature get too hot, as this could cause the cheese to burn.
- Do not cook the chicken all the way through in the pan, as it will continue to cook in the crock pot.
- To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. It should read 165°F or higher to be fully cooked.
- If you're not using seasoned panko bread crumbs, you can season them yourself by adding Italian herbs such as oregano, basil, and garlic powder to the mixture.
- For a lighter version of this dish, you can omit the breading from the chicken and just cook it in the crock pot with the sauce until it's cooked through.
- If you don't have any panko bread crumbs on hand, you can substitute them with any other type of dry breadcrumbs, such as regular or Italian-style.
- Give the breading a kick of heat by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture.
- Instead of chicken breast, you can also use thin-cut chicken thighs for this recipe.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Leftover chicken parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing: This dish can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or bag.
Reheating: When ready to enjoy, allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it. To reheat, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until heated through.
No, after a while, the chicken will start to become dry and tough. It is best to check the chicken after 2-3 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW.
Yes, you can use mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, or a combination of all three. Feel free to customize for different textures and flavors.
Yes, you can use other types of sauces, including marinara, alfredo, and pesto. Be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the sauce you choose.
Yes, you can prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. When you're ready to enjoy, simply add the ingredients to the crock pot and cook as directed.
More Crock Pot Italian Dinners
- Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Crock Pot Lazy Lasagna with Ravioli
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Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cups Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp garlic (minced)
- 1½ cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 16 oz cooked spaghetti pasta (for serving)
- Add marinara sauce to the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
- Pound the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Set aside.
- Add parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder in a shallow bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- In another shallow bowl, add milk and eggs. Whisk until well combined.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. One at a time, add chicken breast to the milk mixture. Then coat each side in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Add breaded chicken to the hot skillet and cook each side for 2 minutes or until browned. Do not cook the chicken all the way through.
- Place the browned chicken in the crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Top the chicken with mozzarella cheese for fifteen minutes before cook time is done.
- Serve over pasta, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.