Parmesan Chicken Bake is my most popular recipe because it is an easy dinner recipe using baked chicken breasts. This Parmesan chicken recipe only has a few ingredients, a quick prep time, and tastes amazing. These tender chicken breasts bake in the oven with mayo and parmesan cheese until crispy, but don’t be fooled by the simple list of ingredients in this recipe. It just might be the best (and simplest) chicken recipe you’ve ever made!
Why I Love this Easy Chicken Recipe?
This recipe for oven-baked parmesan chicken casserole brings back so many fun (and delicious) memories of the trips I’ve made to visit with all my family who live far away. When we are together there are A LOT of us and, we always make this cheesy chicken, usually on the first night. It’s the perfect dinner for our big crowd and hits all the required family-friendly notes: crispy, cheesy, and easy to throw together.
Visiting family is such a bittersweet experience for me. While it is so amazing to spend time with those I love most, I also suffer from such depression once it is over. After two weeks visiting my parents in Ohio, we are currently heading back home to Minnesota. Yes, it will be tough on me, but it is heartbreaking to see how tough it is on my kids. They have had two weeks packed with wonderful memories that I hope will get them through until next summer.
Do me a favor. If you are blessed to have family close by (and by that I mean under a 2-hour drive), be grateful and spend more time with them. Those of us who only get to see family a couple of times a year are very jealous!!!
Once we are back home, my children will expect me to cook them meals. How dare they! Like you, I am always on the hunt for great chicken bake recipes and this is definitely one. You won’t be disappointed! It is delicious hot from the oven and even better the next day as leftovers. I often make two pans at a time because we love this parmesan chicken that much.
What is Parmesan Chicken Bake?
As the name implies, a Parmesan Chicken Bake is a meal assembled in a casserole dish, starting with boneless chicken breasts on the bottom. Then, a sauce of mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, and seasonings gets slathered on top. The casserole is baked in the oven until the top gets golden brown and crispy, resulting in very tender chicken due to the mayo in the sauce. The cheesy recipe is a popular low carb, keto-friendly alternative to chicken parmigiana because there are no breadcrumbs or deep frying involved in the preparation.
Baked Parmesan Chicken Ingredients
The first time I ever made this recipe, it was a leap of faith. I took a look at the underwhelming list of ingredients and misjudged how the chicken bake would taste. I’ve fine tuned the recipe over the years until it is now perfect!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – simple to find at any grocery store and often the least expensive cut of chicken as well. Boneless chicken thighs would also work, as would bone-in breasts but remove the skin first. Any skin would only end up mushy under the sauce.
- Mayonnaise – don’t go cheap with this important ingredient. It is the base of the whole sauce and must be a quality brand. I recommend Hellmann’s (aka Best Foods) or Dukes. Do not use Miracle Whip!
- Fresh parmesan cheese – skip the fake stuff in the green can and grab a triangle of real parmesan cheese then grate it yourself. If possible, skip the containers of pre-shredded parmesan as well. The manufacturer covers the cheese in cellulose (wood pulp) and won’t melt into the sauce at all.
- Seasoned salt – *important note* this is not the same as regular salt so don’t make that mistake, or the finished dish will be too salty. Seasoned salt is a mixture of various seasonings, as well as salt. Lowry’s brand works well in this recipe and you’ll find it easily at your store.
Can I use powdered parmesan cheese in the green can?
Sorry, but this is a big no! The powdered parmesan cheese in the green cans is mainly buttermilk powder, salt, and then a bit of parmesan cheese. Not only will the finished chicken breasts be way too salty, but this “cheese” will leave a sandy, gritty texture in the sauce. Instead, grab a triangle of fresh parmesan cheese from the refrigerated section of the store, grate it up at home, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Using real parmesan results in the best parmesan chicken you’ve ever tasted.
What is the difference between “seasoned salt” in the recipe and regular salt?
There is a big difference and it is very important to understand so the chicken bake doesn’t end up much too salty. Seasoned salt is exactly as it sounds, a combination of salt and various seasonings like paprika, garlic, onion, and chili powder. The recipe below calls for 1 ½ teaspoons of seasoned salt but only about 25% of that is actual salt. If you use regular salt, in combination with the salty parmesan cheese, the finished casserole will be extremely salty, as some commenters on this post have complained about.
Can Parmesan Chicken Bake be frozen?
Unfortunately, this is not a recipe that works well as a freezer meal. The mayo in the sauce reacts in funny ways as it freezes. It creates an unpleasant grainy texture once it thaws and goes in the oven. Instead of freezing the chicken bake, assemble it a few days ahead of time, cover it tightly with foil, and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve. It can safely stay prepped in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before baking.
Can I use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise?
Unfortunately, this parmesan chicken casserole will not work well if you use Miracle Whip. Mayonnaise is the emulsification of water, oil, and eggs, while Miracle Whip adds high fructose corn syrup and seasonings. The end result is much too sweet for this chicken recipe and the sauce becomes thin and runny because the Miracle Whip doesn’t do well in the oven.
How to keep the chicken from getting watery
Because the chicken does get a bit crowded in the 9×13 pan, it creates a bit of a pan sauce. If you would prefer your end result without the pan sauce at the bottom of your dish, simply use a bigger pan or baking dish, or even a rimmed half-sheet pan. This creates room for the moisture to evaporate while it is baking. If you do this, you will need to reduce the cooking time by 5-8 minutes. The chicken cooks quicker being farther apart.
How to store leftover parmesan chicken
This recipe is one of those rare dinners that actually gets better tasting after it sits for a night in the fridge. Any leftovers will not last very long. Transfer the uneaten parmesan chicken into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up 5-6 days. Leftovers reheat very well in the microwave and make for a great lunch to bring to the office.
Parmesan Chicken Recipe Variations
Being a home cook provides endless opportunities to experiment with recipes, personalizing them to your tastes and creativity. Any of the following variations would be great spin-offs of this cheesy chicken bake:
- Add fresh vegetables to the pan with the chicken and sauce, but be sure to use a bigger casserole dish, or a rimmed baking sheet. This will give the chicken room for the excess moisture to evaporate from the pan.
- Add marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese to the top of the chicken for a tasty Italian spin on the recipe.
- Add buttered Panko breadcrumbs all over the top of the casserole. They will become golden brown and crispy as the parmesan chicken bakes. And even better, add some fresh garlic to the breadcrumbs as well.
- Serve it over rice or pasta with the pan sauce and some chopped fresh herbs like Italian parsley or basil.
Parmesan Chicken Bake Step by Step Video
Looking for More Chicken Recipes?Print
Parmesan Chicken Bake Recipe
An easy chicken recipe for dinner that bakes in the oven. Loaded with flavor and the chicken turns out crusted super tender.
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 C light mayonnaise or greek yogurt (I have done 1/2 of each as well)
- 1/2 c fresh parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
- 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (Not regular table salt)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the inside of a 9×13 glass pan. Lay the chicken inside the pan.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread evenly over each piece of chicken, being sure to cover all the exposed raw meat (so it doesn’t dry out.) Sprinkle on a bit more fresh parmesan over all the chicken.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. This dish is even better the next day, so just reheat in the microwave!
Some have commented that this dish was way too salty. Please be sure you are using fresh parmesan cheese, not the stuff from a can. Also, use seasoned salt, NOT table salt. I have made this multiple times and have never had trouble with the salt level. If you are worried, use less.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
- Calories: 500
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 953 mg
- Fat: 22 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 70 g
- Cholesterol: 193 mg
Keywords: easy chicken recipes, parmesan chicken bake, chicken breast recipes
I wonder if this would work in a casserole crock-pot? Thanks for the recipe!
If you give it a try Tracy, come back and let me know. I worry about it becoming really soupy since it bakes uncovered in the oven
Natalie Caviness says
Made this today for lunch and it was perfection. Used a whole cup of full fat mayo, the Parmesan in the can, omitted the seasoned salt, used garlic powder and a steak seasoning pepper blend. All on bone in, skin off thighs. Delicious. Paired it with homemade Mac & cheese and butter garlic corn niblets.
So glad it turned out well Natalie and that you made the recipe work for you!
I made this for dinner tonight. The end result was tasty; however, I ended up cooking the chicken for about an extra fifteen-twenty minutes. Do you have any tips for spreading the chicken evenly with the mayo, cheese, salt, garlic mixture? It kept sliding all over the chicken and into the bottom of the pan. My family’s one complaint was that it was too salty; however, I did use seasoning salt. I’m thinking that I’ll just halve the amount of salt to 3/4 of a teaspoon. That said, we’re not super big on a lot of salt, so I’m chalking that down to personal preference. Definitely saving the recipe, thanks!
My only thought is that your chicken was too wet so maybe try dabbing it with some paper towels before pouring on the sauce.
I was looking for a quick and easy recipe for dinner and came across this. I didn’t have many ingredients on hand so I changed it up a bit. I used a can of cream of mushroom soup instead of the yogurt. And I added diced potatoes. It turned out magnificient!
So glad you made it work for what you had on hand Kristen!
made this tonight! Very moist and good flavor. I used regular mayo! Mine came out very watery though. Followed the recipe exactly. Otherwise it was very good and my 11 year old loves it!!!
So glad you like it Heather! It does make a nice pan sauce in the bottom of the dish but if you would prefer less liquid, just use a bigger pan so the chicken breasts are not touching each other and more of that liquid will evaporate. You will need to reduce the cooking time a bit though! -Carole
Julie Davis says
Ii tried this tonight and it was a huge hit with my family! I will be making this many more times! Thanks so much for the recipe!
I sure appreciate you coming back and sharing your comments Julie! Thanks so much – Carole
Looks like a great recipe!
How many pounds of chicken are you using?
Thanks for your question Jaime! It is usually around 4-5 pounds of chicken breasts. -Carole
Wonderful! Thank you!
Any chance you can update the recipe with the total weight of chicken? Chicken breasts vary greatly in size and I think your readers would have a better results if they know the recommended total weight of the chicken. Mine is in the oven now, I had three 8 oz chicken breasts and also nestled broccoli florettes around the chicken an covered those with the topping as well.
Hi Yomi! The total weight is usually around 5 lbs or so.
Recipe sounds awesome! I just finished putting it together. It’s about an hour earlier than I want to put it in the oven. Should I refrigerate or will it be ok on the counter?
Definitely refrigerate it! -Carole
Both times I have made it there is a lot of juice from the chicken. I use Greek yogurt and it makes the yogurt running and juices just sit in the bottom of the pan. Any advice? It’s still amazing, but I think would be better if I could fix that.
Marisha- thanks for your question! The Greek yogurt definitely separates more than the mayo does. Maybe you can try half and half of each. Even with all mayo, there is still a pan sauce. Another option is to bake them on a cookie sheet spread out with the sauce on top of each breast by his will give room for the liquid to evaporate between the pieces of chicken. -Carole
I just finished dinner…..YUMMY…..I am looking forward to lunch tomorrow ….will make again…thank you very much.
Hi Mary! I’m so glad you loved the recipe and it makes perfect leftovers for lunch -Carole
about the salt issue, make sure it is garlic powder and not garlic salt. I am fixing this right now….cannot wait to bite into it
This was delish!!!
Awesome! Thanks for coming back to tell me -Carole
Great tip Twila and a distinction that is very important -Carole
I’m new to cooking things like this. But what brand of season salt did you purchase to make this?
Hi Victoria! I used Lowry’s -Carole
Okay, here are my findings: This chicken was excellent and I’ll definitely be making it again. Per suggestion in the ingredient list, I used 1/2 Greek yogurt and 1/2 mayo. Perfection. I’ll be doing that every time I make this dish. And I WILL make again.
The only negative is the sodium content. For our tastes it was very salty. Yes, I used seasoned salt, and, Yes. I followed the recipe exactly. Some people don’t like salt as much as others might. No biggie.
Just know going in, if you’re not a big salt fan, the combo of the Parmesan cheese (VERY salty cheese– no, I did not use the grated cheese from a can; I shredded my own from a fresh block) and the seasoned salt together make for a very high-sodium dish.
Bottom line? Cut back on the salt if you need to, like I will, the next time I make this.
Thank you for posting this recipe! I loved it and can’t wait to make it again. 🙂
Thank you Christine for your awesome feedback and details. Take some time to look around and find another great recipe to give a try! -Carole
Christie Cannon says
Mine didn’t end up looking anything like the picture, was good, but not “knock your socks off” good 🙂
Thanks for coming back and sharing your experience Christie -Carole
Thanks for an entertaining morning. The comments ranged from helpful to laugh aloud funny! I think that I have all ingredients, will give this a try for lunch and will be smiling all the while. Also thanks for your good humor with spelling police. Normally that’s a biggie with me but I glazed right past that looking for the recipe.
Thanks for your kind words Lynn. It is definitely quite funny to me! -Carole
Can you make this is a crockpot? Because of my work hours & commute, also my family’s schedule… Cooking in my crockpot is the only way we all get to have sit down meals through the week.
Also could you use sea salt instead?
Absolutely, but you will want to add a bit of garlic and onion powder as well since the season salt has other spices in it as well -Carole
I have never made it in a crockpot Sherry but I would assume it would work. You will definitely end up with a lot of sauce because of the low temperature and using a lid. Let me know how it turns out! -Carole
I’m only making 3 pieces. How long should I bake them for? Thank you!
Kellie- it really depends on the size of the pan you are using. I would start checking at 30 minutes – Carole
Taylor Hahn says
I never do this, and I’ve never commented on a Pinterest recipe before, but damn! For as incredibly easy as this was, it was amazingly delicious. Like DELISH. Mind-blowing really! Everyone should make it! 🙂
Aw, thanks Taylor! -Carole
Have you ever tried this recipe with the chicken shredded or cubed? Would that fix the soupy problem?
Hi Michelle! I haven’t ever tried cutting up the raw chicken first but I don’t think the pan juice is a problem at all. We spoon it over the finished baked chicken! If you try it cut up, please let me know how it works -Carole
Lynne Bauereiss says
Well now! I was on Pinterest looking for something new for dinner tonight and I found this recipe. First off, I’ve never used (hard to believe I know…) fresh Parmesan cheese and after grating some for this recipe – I’m now a huge fan! I couldn’t find seasoning salt but found a seasoning blend so I used that instead. I made the chicken for dinner and my husband pronounced it “fabulous”. I really enjoyed it too. Thanks so much for sharing! I will make it often.
I’m so glad you loved the recipe Lynne, but I think I am even more excited that I’ve converted you to fresh parmesan 🙂 -Carole
I’m glad too, Carole! BTW – I saw a comment about using Duke’s mayo. That’s what I used, and it was really good. I actually like Duke’s more than Hellman’s – and I love Hellman’s!
We don’t have Duke’s where I live but if it is better than Hellmans, I’ll have to round some up!
Carole – the photo makes me drool, so I’m trying this tonight. My solution for the people that complain or are worried about the salt is simple – taste it before you add the salt! There’s nothing in the sauce that is raw or shouldn’t be eaten, so simply mix it all together WITHOUT the salt and taste it. If it tastes salty enough to you then, don’t add any more. If you’d like more, then add what you think. My guy can be salt-phobic, so that’s what I plan on doing – will let you know how it turns out!
Awesome tip for my readers Mary! I hope you love the finished dish -Carole
Very tasty! Mine doesn’t look quite like yours (I only had enough Parmesan for the sauce on the chicken, so I had to take some shredded out of a bag), and I tasted the sauce before adding the salt and opted to leave it out. This is a keeper recipe! Thanks for sharing! Love the combination of the Parmesan and the garlic powder.
So glad you liked it Mary. Thanks for coming back to let me know
Made this today, and although the presentation was nice and the meat moist and flavorful, it was TOO OILY! UGH! I don’t feel like I can feed this to my family. Sorry. One thing to note; I did not use any seasoned salt or regular salt; my cheese, the mayo (Duke’s mayo), garlic powder and onion powder were enough to make this plenty flavorful. I cannot imagine if I had used seasoned or regular salt.
That’s too bad Nicole! I’m not sure quite what you mean by “too oily”. Yes, there is mayo slathered on top so fat content is higher but there shouldn’t be oil pooling in your pan or anything. Just the juices from the chicken.
Julie Ann Nichols says
I made this for dinner tonight. I used sour cream and for seasoning salt I used pappy’s seasoning. All I have to say is my family gave it a unanimous thumbs up!!! That is not easy to do!!! Was so yummy will put in my file to make again!!! Thanks so much for the yummy dinner!!!
Hi Julie! I will have to try sour cream next time I make this bake. Thanks for coming back to let me know how it turned out for you
I am making this dish tonight for a couple of friends that are coming over, but i only have chicken breast tenderloins and i would rather not go get the whole chicken breasts. If i use the chicken tenderloins should I change with recipe at all, like baking it for less time so the chicken doesn’t dry out?
Howdy Alyssa! You definitely will need to reduce the time in the oven since tenderloins are significantly smaller than breasts. Watch it closely because you do t want the chicken to dry out
Leah Thomas says
Everything in this sounds great but I don’t like mayo or yogurt, is there anything that I could use instead? Can I not use it at all?
Greetings Leah! Some people have commented that they used sour cream instead. Since the mayo or yogurt the base of this sauce, no you cannot just leave it out.
Made this last night and it was amazing. Super moist. I halved the recipe for hubby and me. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch. Used all Greek yogurt. Will make it again for sure.
The leftovers are even better Karen 🙂
Jennifer Jenkins says
Are you using uncooked chicken breast in the dish or do you cook the chicken first before adding everything into the baking dish?
Hi Jennifer! Uncooked chicken breasts
making this again for the second time – thanks for the yummy recipe !
It is always on repeat at our ace Angie 🙂
I made this tonight and it was great! I followed the recipe to a T and it wasn’t too salty. I did grate my own Parmesan, so cheese from the bag may be the problem. We’ll be adding this one to the rotation. Great for my low carb lifestyle!
Thanks so much Kendra for coming back and leaving your experience!
Making this tonight for dinner for my hubby! Trying it using all Greek yogurt instead of part mayo… We will see how it turns out!
Do you think it would be good to add some marina sauce? Or serve it over pasta with marinara?
Hola Jackie! I wouldn’t add the marinara to the dish, but it would be great to serve the finished chicken over the top of some pasta tossed with marinara.
Hey! I just found your website. I like blue plate mayo. Will that work?
Howdy Katrice and welcome to the madness 🙂 as long as it is a true mayo and not a salad dressing like miracle whip, it will work!
I was wondering if you could use mayo with olive oil
Hi Jerrick! I think that will work well
A friend posted this recipe on FB today. It looked so good I went right out to Trader Joe’s to get the ingredients (except for the “light” Mayo, TJ’s did not carry). Followed the recipe as stated, except for the following: 1/2 cup regular Best Foods mayo (I had in my frig) & the only glass pan I had was 9.5×13.5. The results: very tasty (not too salty as others have said) but the chicken was tough. Once it completed cooking, turned oven off, placed pan on top of oven & covered it gently with silver foil as I had to take my dogs out for a 15 minute walk. Could this have caused the chicken to toughen up?
It is possible Stephanie but more likely is just that it cooked too long or too high s temp. If you have an oven thermometer, check to be sure your oven isn’t running hotter than what you set it at. Otherwise, your chicken breasts may be smaller than mine, so just reduce your bake time by 5-10 minutes. You should always check meat for doneness instead of going by a certain time because of size variation is so great.
Thanks. Actually my chicken breasts were pretty large. I think I just may have cooked it to long in my oven or should not have placed silver foil over it right for another 15-20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. I hate to cook so I don’t cook often. But that recipe caught my eye & it looked so easy & tasty that I thought I would treat myself to cooking for a change! It was so tasty that I think I will try it again sometime! I put it over Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic (the 90sec. micro bag kind) & it was yummy!
I made this tonight and it was amazing! Super quick prep with easy ingredients and my boyfriend raved about the sauce. I felt a little guilty knowing how easy it was! I like to comment on the recipes of real winners so my fellow Pinteresters know what’s actually good.. And this is definitely one of them. Thanks!!
Thank you Kristin! Some of the best recipes are the simplest 🙂
This is the best chicken bake I have ever made. It was delicious and soooooo easy! Thank you for sharing your recipe. 🙂
You are very welcome Christina! Thanks for coming back and sharing your experience with my readers.
Just tried this awesome recipe tonight. It was wonderful tender and tasty. However, I would appreciate your thought on why chicken casseroles with creamy sauce often end up kind of watery around the meat. I tried so many recipes but the chicken and creamy sauce never really combine. The sauce stays nearly crumbled on top and the chicken looses water below. What can I try differently?
If you don’t like the liquid, you can use the same recipe and bake the chicken on a cookie sheet instead, leaving space between each chicken breast. That space allows the liquid from the cooking chicken to evaporate. Thanks Mary!
This recipe is a winner. My family are picky eaters. My husband doesn’t like mayo,sour cream, cream cheese or anything that has anything white creamy look to it. I was really worried at first to try this but all the comments I couldn’t help it. I didn’t tell my husband or kids what was in it and they LOVED it. My husband thought it was great, the chicken ends up with a little tangy,juicy flavor, no mayo flavor what so ever. It was quick and easy to make and the presentation when it comes out of the over is beautiful. I followed the recipe as directed. I am a mom of three, work full time and the kids all have after school activities which makes it hard for the traditional sit down dinner. This was possible with this meal. While cooking in over I was able to get other things done. I had some rice on the side and vegetable. Can’t wait to see what I can try next from here. Thanks Carol for making real recipes that busy mom’s and picky eaters will eat.
This comment made my day Dona! So glad it was a huge success