Naked Chicken Parmesan

When was the last time a forkful of delicious Chicken Parmesan chugga chugga choo chooed down your food pipe? Thankfully this recipe makes it a piece of cake to make!

Pan Seared Chicken Parmesan topped with melted mozzarella cheese

As a kid, I never liked to wash the dish with the soggy breadcrumbs when my mom made Chicken Parmesan. With this naked breadcrumb-free version you get to skip cleaning that awful mess.


preparing chicken with meat tenderizer for skillet

Before I pan-sear boneless chicken breast, I halve and pound each piece to a ¼ inch thickness with a meat tenderizer. This gives the heat from the skillet an express pass to the middle of the chicken breast so it can cook quickly in the pan.

Pan-seared chicken breast with golden brown crust

 If all goes well, the chicken will have a golden brown crust and there will be a treasure of browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. These will be scraped up with a wooden spoon – once the tomato sauce goes in the skillet – for extra flavor!

BTW: We cover each of these steps in further detail in Skillet Pro Jumpstart – including how to prepare a savory pan sauce to spoon over top your golden brown chicken breast – for days when you’re not in the mood for Chicken Parmesan. 🙂

Time to Dress

Pan-Seared Chicken Parmesan topped with sauce and mozzarella cheese

With the pan-searing done, simply top each piece of naked chicken with sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Then put your feet up and let the oven finish the cooking!

To lightly brown the cheese, set the oven to broil for the last four minutes of cooking. Makes the chicken look and taste PERFECTO!

Naked Chicken Parmesan: All Dressed with Sauce and Cheese

Are you ready to give this Nudo Parmigiano di Pollo recipe a shot? Did I say that right? Grab the recipe details below and you will be all set to go!!!

Naked Chicken Parmesan

Makes: 6 helpings ~ Cost: $8.73 ~ Time: About 30 minutes 

Download Printable Recipe


1 tablespoon canola oil / $0.10
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half / $6.35
salt and pepper / $0.02
1 can (398 ml / 13 oz) reduced sodium tomato sauce / $0.88
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese / $0.18
1 teaspoon dried oregano / $0.03
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese / $1.12
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional) / $0.05


In a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. While oil is heating, liberally season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper – both sides. When oil is hot, place 3 pieces of chicken in skillet. Cook until outside of each chicken breast is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip each piece to cook the other side. Transfer cooked chicken to a 8 x 11.5 x 2 -inch 2 QT casserole dish (or an oven safe dish similar in size). Repeat the process with remaining canola oil and 3 pieces of chicken breast.

While the skillet is still warm, slowly add tomato sauce (be careful – if the pan is too hot the sauce with spatter all over the place). Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in Parmesan cheese and dried oregano. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes to slightly reduce sauce.  Pour sauce over chicken in casserole dish and top each piece with equal amounts of grated cheese.

Heat oven to 350 F (175 C).  Place chicken in oven, uncovered, and cook for 8 minutes to melt cheese. Once cheese is melted, set the oven to broil and cook for 4 minutes longer to allow the melted cheese to slightly brown (optional). Remove from oven and top with chopped parsley (again, optional).

How to Make: Naked Chicken Parmesan

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(P.S. Have you made a recipe you found here at the cafe? Snap a photo and tag  @collegerecipecafe on Instagram. I wanna see what you made! )

Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe CafeBrent Garell – Brent is the guy behind College Recipe Cafe, and author of The Cook-a-Palooza Experience.  He visits local colleges to teach students cooking 101 skills, and is the author of the digital cookbook 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students: Cup of Recipes for When You Need Food NOW! Available now on Amazon.

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