Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan
How to make mouthwateringly delicious chicken parmesan or eggplant parmesan – or both! (Spoiler alert: It’s all about the sauce.)
In my family, some of us prefer eggplant parmesan, some prefer chicken parmesan, and some (me!) love both. So, when I make this dish, I use a 9×13-inch pan and layer chicken in one side and eggplant in the other. You can do the same, or opt to only use one or the other – chicken parmesan or eggplant parmesan. You could also layer the chicken and eggplant together, alternating layers of eggplant with layers of chicken.
Whatever you decide, the method is the same: make a kick-ass pot of homemade marinara, coat slices of eggplant or thinly slice chicken breast with panko bread crumbs, layer them in a casserole dish with a lot of cheese, bake, and devour.
This recipe makes enough to fill a 9×13-inch pan, but can be easily cut in half, filling a 9-inch square baking dish instead.
Meal Plans that Include Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan:Print
This recipe layers chicken parmesan on one side of a 9×13-inch baking dish and eggplant parmesan on the other. If you’d rather only use eggplant or only use chicken, simply double the amount of one and leave out the other. This recipe can also easily be halved to fill a 9-inch square baking dish.
- About 1 & 1/4 lb eggplant, (you want about 1 lb of eggplant slices after trimming the top and bottom from the eggplant)
- 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 5 oz shaved or grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1 – 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 6 cups homemade marinara sauce
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Trim the top and bottom from the eggplant and cut it into 1/2-inch thick slices. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer on several sheets of paper towels. Sprinkle the slices with a generous amount of salt and pepper, flip them over and season the other side. Top the slices with more paper towels and lay a baking sheet over the top. Place a heavy pot on top of the baking sheet, so that the eggplant is being slightly squeezed between the sheets of paper towel. Let sit 45-60 minutes. This will rid the eggplant of excess water.
- Lay the chicken slices out onto separate sheets of paper towels and sprinkle on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Add the panko, oregano, crushed red pepper, 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, and 1 tsp ground black pepper to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse 5 or 6 times to combine. Dump the mixture out into a pie plate or other shallow baking dish.
- Add the flour to a separate pie plate or shallow baking dish, add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper and stir to combine.
- Crack the eggs into a shallow pie plate or bowl and whisk to combine.
- Dredge each slice of eggplant in the flour, dip in the eggs, then press each side into the panko bread crumbs, pressing firmly to coat the eggplant on both sides with the bread crumbs. Set on a plate and continue with the rest of the eggplant slices. Repeat the same process with the chicken.
- Add 1 cup of oil to a large saucepan set over high heat. Heat the oil to between 340 and 350. A deep fry thermometer can be super helpful. If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Do your best to keep the oil between 300 and 325 while frying the eggplant and chicken.
- Using metal tongs, add a few slices of eggplant to the hot oil. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Using the tongs, remove the slices from the hot oil to a baking sheet that’s been lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices than the chicken. Add more oil to the pan if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Ladle about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay 1/3 of the eggplant slices on one side of the pan, and 1/3 of the chicken slices on the other side of the pan. Ladle about 1/3 of the marinara sauce over the eggplant and chicken, spreading it with the bottom of the ladle to cover. Sprinkle the sauce with 1/3 of the fresh mozzarella, and 1/3 of the remaining parmesan cheese. Repeat this process – eggplant and chicken, sauce, cheese – two more times.
- Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick spray or brush it with a bit of olive or vegetable oil so that it won’t stick to the cheese and use it to cover the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the sheet of foil, turn the oven up to 425 degrees, and cook until the cheese is beginning to brown and the sauce is bubbly – about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Letting it rest will make it much easier to dish out.