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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grilled Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana

This recipe is an old favorite that I haven't made in awhile. Nick reminded me about it a few days ago, and I got an immediate craving for chicken smothered in a slightly-spicy tomato sauce layered with that deliciously gooey smoked mozzarella. This recipe is great any time of the year, but seems perfect for a chilly (er - mild?) winter evening when you don't have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen. There's no breading on the chicken, but you won't miss it as the cheese gets wonderfully brown and bubbly under the broiler (how's that for some alliteration!). Skip the pasta and serve it with some lightly sauteed spinach or a mixed-greens salad. Thanks to this recipe we can chow down on chicken parm and not feel guilty about it when we work out with our trainer tomorrow!

We just made half the recipe. Make sure you get the fire-roasted tomatoes as it adds a lot of flavor to this simple dish.

The Cuisinart Griddler works perfectly for grilling the chicken quickly. I just seasoned the cutlets with salt and pepper and used a cooking spray on the griddler to cut down on the fat.

Now, make the sauce. Start by cooking the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes for about ten minutes. I know that some of you probably don't like the spice from the red pepper, but I think it adds a TON of flavor and pairs well with the fire-roasted tomatoes. It won't be that bad, I promise!

Then add the tomatoes, followed by the torn basil pieces. Remember the salt and pepper too (taste it to make sure you have the seasoning right).

Next, turn on the broiler and start assembling the dish (chicken first, then sauce, then smoked mozzarella pieces and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano). Slip it into the oven, and the cheese will brown up before you know it.

Oh, and once you are finished with dinner, you'll be seriously tempted to snack on that extra mozzarella  that didn't make it onto your plate. Not that anyone would actually give in to that temptation . . .

Grilled Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana
Serves 4 


  • 2 pounds thin cut chicken breast, cutlets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small yellow skinned onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glenn brand
  • 1 cup, 20 leaves, fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced


Heat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to keep it from sticking to the grill. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side and transfer to a foil covered platter to hold. If you are using a grill pan, cook the chicken in 2 batches if necessary. While chicken cooks, make sauce.

Place a medium pot on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and chopped onions. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes and heat through, 2 minutes. Wilt in the basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler to high.

Layer the chicken with fire roasted sauce in a casserole dish. Top the casserole with Parmigiano and mozzarella. Brown the casserole under the broiler 3 minutes.


  1. Okay - I'm all set - got all the ingredients (even found the correct tomatoes after much searching). We're trying this on Saturday! Mom

  2. This recipe has become my new favorite. Had it twice this week and relished it both times!

  3. We made the full recipe for the sauce, and froze half of it to use later. We also sliced extra cheese and froze that. This week-end all we had to do was cook the chicken and thaw the sauce and cheese, assemble, broil, and we had dinner in 15 minutes! Tasted great - the sauce may have been a bit runnier after freezing, but the taste was just fine. I would probably prefer it w/o the crushed pepper, but it's a must for dad. We got 3-4 servings out of half the recipe. Mom

    1. I didn't think about freezing the sauce and the cheese - great idea! My one complaint with the recipe is the runny sauce, so I'll work on that.

  4. We fixed this recope today and just happened to have some left over Red Zinfandel (Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Zinfandel 2011). The label said that the wine paired well with spicy dishes, so we thought we would give it a try. The pairing was excellent! The wine and the entre couldn't have been better matched. So good that we added the wine to recipe so that we can pair the two in the future!

    Mom and Dad

    1. You could also add some of the wine to the tomato sauce . . . maybe add a little tomato paste to thicken it up! Glad you enjoyed the pairing. We'll have to try that as well.