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Summer Chicken Parmesan

Summer Chicken Parmesan
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The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

I love the combination of fresh mozzarella, basil and in-season tomatoes dressed simply in oil and vinegar. What better way to turn this classic salad into dinner than with another Italian-style favorite: Parmesan breaded chicken! This light and refreshing summer-inspired dinner is so quick and easy. You can even prepare the chicken ahead of time and serve it cold. To please everyone, feel free to cook some pasta with jarred marinara sauce to serve on the side.

Summer Chicken Parmesan

Traditional breaded chicken is first dredged in flour then dipped in eggs before a coating of breadcrumbs. I’ve found I can achieve a really flavorful breaded chicken by simplifying the process. These cutlets are brushed with garlic-infused olive oil then dredged in a combination of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese. The result is a light, crispy and flavorful breading that isn’t soggy.

Summer Chicken Parmesan

Summer Chicken Parmesan

Summer Chicken Parmesan

Summer Chicken Parmesan


For the Chicken

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. dried Italian herbs
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. chicken breast cutlets, ½-inch thick (about 5-6 cutlets)

For the Salad

  • 1 6 oz. package Heinen’s baby arugula
  •  cup Tomz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil and the garlic clove into a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave for about 15 seconds, just to infuse the oil. Discard garlic clove and set oil aside.
  2. In a wide shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs and salt.
  3. Using your hands or a pastry brush, coat the chicken cutlets with the garlic-infused olive oil. Transfer each cutlet to the breadcrumb mixture and dredge until coated on all sides.
  4. Heat the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the breaded chicken in an even layer (working in batches if necessary). Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the internal cooking temperature reaches 165˚F.
  5. In a separate large bowl combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves. Dress to taste with olive oil and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the chicken topped with the arugula salad.

Summer Chicken Parmesan


Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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