The easiest and yummiest fancy-not-fancy dish you’ll ever make.
Cast Iron Chicken Parmesan. One skillet. Incredibly easy. Insanely delicious. It’s your new best friend. Crispy, juicy, boneless chicken thighs. Rich, tasty marinara sauce. A ridiculous and possibly obscene amount of stretchy, melty mozzarella cheese. And did you hear me say one cast iron skillet? ONE skillet.
This dish is officially in the running for my number one favourite comfort food. The chicken is super crispy because we shallow fry it in oil. I know you might not want to do that but you just will not get the same results with any other method. And listen, it’s shallow fried so the mess is minimal and it fries really quickly so it will be over before you know it. Trust me. This is the way.
You know that I don’t like anything that’s overly fussy so you know I have your back here. This really, truly isn’t complicated. When you can have chicken parm perfection in just over 30 minutes even though you still fried the chicken to glorious, golden, crispy heaven why wouldn’t you? You will. Let’s do it.
Cast Iron Chicken Parmesan recipe, how to make it…
Pay attention because this is going to happen quickly…
Step 1: bread your boneless, skinless chicken thighs. We’re going for speed here so we’re skipping the flour part but have faith. I promise this is every bit as crispy and delicious. We are going to coat our chicken with a couple of eggs and bread it with some parmesan seasoned breadcrumbs.
Step 2: then, we’re going to pan fry the chicken in our 12″ cast iron skillet in some oil. A few minutes per side until it’s browned and crisp. Set the chicken aside and remove the excess oil from the skillet. This may seem like an extra step, but you’d have to get the chicken out of there to put the sauce in anyway right? Right.
Step 3: Pour marinara sauce into the skillet. You can use store bought or make your own. Sometimes I use this one, or this one, or if I’m feeling spicy I’ll use this one. I am also not even a little bit above using a good store bought marinara.
Step 4: Add the chicken back into the skillet and cover it with not one, but TWO kinds of mozzarella. Obviously you don’t have to use two kinds, but it’s better. Trust.
Step 5: Bake. Bake it until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce is bubbly. Done.
I like to serve this with simple buttered pasta and a side salad, but I am not opposed to eating it straight out of the skillet with a big chunk of crusty baguette.
Cast Iron Chicken Parmesan Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:
Chicken – boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the key to flavour and recipe success. They’re less likely to dry out and more flavourful. You can use breasts if you like or even bone-in chicken, just be sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Marinara – store bought or homemade. It’s all good.
Breadcrumbs – regular dried breadcrumbs work perfectly, but if you like extra crunch you can sub in panko.
Mozzarella – I like to use both fresh and brick mozzarella here because the combination gives maximum creaminess and maximum stretchiness and we all know how important a good cheese pull is. Pick your fave combination of mozzarellas… did you know there are six types of mozzarella??!!
looking for more easy dinner ideas that impress? try these…
- Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Ricotta Pesto Pasta
- Slow Cooker Hunter’s Chicken
- Honey Glazed Pork Chops with Apples
Cast Iron Chicken Parmesan
- 1 cup oil
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp finely minced parsley
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups (about 1/2 lb) fresh Mozzarella cheese torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup pizza mozzarella grated
- For serving:
- Fresh basil
- Red pepper flakes
- Place the chicken thighs in a dish and add the eggs. Toss well to make sure the chicken is well coated in egg.
- In a separate dish combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley and a good pinch of salt.
- One at a time, coat the chicken thighs in breadcrumbs and set aside while you get the oil ready.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 12” cast iron skillet. When it’s hot (drop in a couple of breadcrumbs and if they sizzle, it’s ready).
- Add in the chicken thighs (in batches, if necessary so as to not crowd the pan) and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until well browned.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and discard the excess oil.
- Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and then add the chicken to the skillet, on top of the sauce.
- Evenly scatter the cheese over the chicken.
- Bake at 375 for 20 minutes until the cheese is well browned an bubbly.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh basil and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Let me know what you think below and if you like this Kale Apple Salad Recipe then I know you’ll love my Air Fried Apples Recipe. They’re my new favourite apple recipe and you won’t believe how good they are.