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Easy Baked Italian Chicken Breasts

Here’s one of my ultimate go-to recipes for an awesome and impressive chicken dinner!  This Italian breaded chicken breasts baked in the oven recipe that still delivers a crispy coating with a crunch! 

This recipe is easier, cleaner, and healthier than fried chicken breasts. Plus, this recipe is full of Italian flavor thanks to the herbs that you mix in with the breadcrumbs!  

It was given to me over the phone by my Italian mother in law and is one of my favorite Italian recipes of all time!

Is it necessary to soak the chicken breasts in milk?

I have family members that will soak the chicken breasts in milk for a few hours prior to making the meal.  Soaking the chicken in milk is to help tenderize it, but I never noticed a difference. 

I prefer soaking them in a salt brine instead for 30 minutes if I want to ensure they will not be dry.

How thick should you slice the chicken breasts to bake in the oven? 

This is to taste.  I prefer to fillet mine so they are thinner.  You can take two large thick breasts and make at least 4-6 thinner breasts.  I think by doing this you get more flavor with the final dish.

This is because when the breasts are thick, you get more chicken and less breading which is key to the flavor.  Plus since I make these to be crispy, you can even use them in sandwiches like a cutlet sandwich.

What to serve with Italian baked chicken breasts? 

If you want to make a real big impressive splash with this dish, serve it with a side dish of pasta and red sauce in a nice Italian pasta bowl.  The two compliment each other so nicely and goes great with some Italian bread. 

If you’ve never made authentic Italian bread… momma mia you need to try my recipe. 

Another side is some Italian green beans, peas, antipasto salad, or a green salad.  Also my roasted potatoes recipe is also an easy side to make too!

I’ve included a video also below of me making the recipe and you’ll see it truly is simple.  I never have to refer to my recipe box, a true sign it’s very easy!

By the way, if you ever want to make this recipe and realize you didn’t thaw your chicken breast don’t worry.  Simply soak them in cold water for about 30 minutes and they should thaw.

Also, if you decide to slice them thinner as I like to do, you want them to be slightly frozen so they are easy to slice.  If they already thawed all the way just put in the freezer for about 5 or 10 minutes. 

Here’s my quick video and the recipe is further down which you can print.

 

Recipe for Italian Breaded Chicken Breasts

My Italian mother in law gave me this baked chicken recipe and I've made few minor adjustments to make it healthier over time. It's such an easy dinner for your family and is great for leftovers too. Enjoy!

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian baked chicken breasts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 6-8 1/4" thick thawed chicken breasts
  • 2 cups bread crumbs panko works fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 Tablespoons shredded/crumbled romano cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash your hands (do so after touching raw meat throughout the process too!) My husband likes to use those non-latex gloves when working with raw meat and those work great too.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F
  3. Drizzle olive oil on bottom of pan and spread to cover pan. Set aside.
  4. Pour breadcrumbs, parsley and romano cheese in a large bowl and mix it together.
  5. Dip chicken breasts in mixture and coat both sides. Use hands to push the mixture into the meat so it won't just fall off.
  6. Place breaded chicken breast in pan and rub around to get the oil soaked in.
  7. Turn over and do the same. (The oil in the oven will make the breadcrumbs crispy giving it a slightly fried texture without the need of frying!)
  8. Do this for all chicken breasts and add more oil if need be to pan.
  9. Cover with tin foil shiny side down. (The shiny side has the protective coating on the foil so the aluminum won't affect your cooking since aluminum is not good to digest.)
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove cover.
  11. Bake for remaining 10 - 15 minutes to allow the oiled mixture to get crispy.
  12. Remove and make sure thickest parts of chicken show no pink inside.

Recipe Notes

Sometimes for extra breading, I will dip the breasts in a bowl of flour, then into 2 beaten eggs in another bowl, then the breading mixture.  This is more commonly the process when frying, but can still be done for baking too.   The flavor isn't all that different and to keep it simple and still maintain lots of flavor, you can easily just follow the recipe I have above and you'll be fine!

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