Wednesdays Unplugged – Baked Chicken Parmesan with sauce on the bottom



"Reflect frequently upon the instability of things, and how very fast scenes of nature are shifted. Matter is in a perpetual flux. Change is always and everywhere at work." ~ Marcus Aurelius


NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!



Embracing change has always been a part of our lives… in fact, we commissioned a clock for an anniversary about 20 years ago with a face engraved with 'change can happen at any time'. While we were in ND, we met for brunch with my husband's aunt and cousin… who happens to be married to my college apartment-mate. What was really fun is that another apartment-mate (my cousin) was also there for the memorial service so we had a mini reunion, together for the first time in about 20 years. Speaking of change and minis, I picked up my new car this first week of fall… not a mini Cooper, but an adorable FIAT!  I fell in love with FIATS when I first went to Europe 45 years ago… had our first one when we were newly married and am excited to have one again!


When I had my surgery last spring I craved Chicken Parmesan and my dear husband would go to Macaroni Grill for takeout to satisfy my cravings. They have now closed around here and I haven't found a substitute so figured it was time to make my own. John doesn't like tomato sauce so this recipe from Marc at No Recipes with the chicken and sauce cooked separately, then baked for a short time with the sauce on the bottom just long enough to melt the cheese was perfect for our family. The chicken was deliciously juicy and crunchy made with panko rather than traditional bread crumbs, the tomato sauce delicious. I made a double recipe and mistakenly quadrupled the mozzarella cheese when I made it… still very good, but half the cheese would have been better. We pounded the breasts flat so they cooked more evenly.

BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN with sauce on the bottom

CHICKEN Chicken parmesan

  • 1-1/4 pound chicken breasts or thighs, bones and skin removed and pounded flat
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, stem removed and minced
  • 3 springs fresh thyme, stems removed and minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgn olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 28 ounce can whole stewed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Black pepper to taste


  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Angel hair pasta
  • Italian parsley for garnish, if desire

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with rack in the middle. Prepare baking pan with cooling rack on the top to bake crunchy chicken.

In a large bowl, combine the panko, rosemary, thyme and parmigiano reggiano. Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and put the flour in another separate bowl.

Generously salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, then dust with flour and thoroughly coat with the panko mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken.

Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

While chicken bakes, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until onions are translucent and start turning brown around the edges. Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Break up the tomatoes into small pieces as it cooks and simmer until the sauce is no longer watery.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil.

Remove the chicken from the oven and increase the temperature to 500 degrees F.

Pour the sauce into a casserole dish, then top with baked chicken and Mozzarella, sprinkle with additional Parmesan.

Bake the Chicken Parmesan until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has formed a golden brown crust on top.

Boil the pasta according to package direction, drain and toss with olive oil… serve with the chicken.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks


Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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