Vodka Sauce Chicken Parmesan.
This vodka sauce chicken parmesan is a fun spin on the classic! Crispy chicken, rich vodka sauce and melty mozzarella cheese. It’s so good!
When dinner has a blanket of cheese on it, you know it’s going to be delish.
We love absolutely everything about this chicken parmesan with vodka sauce. It is SO flavorful, so satisfying, one of our ultimate comforting dinners that everyone freaks over. Really!
And can you blame us? Just look at it.
Chicken parm is easily one of Eddie’s favorite dishes. I love to surprise him with it! Since I grew up not loving tomato sauce, chicken parm was never a dish I cared about. I probably didn’t even truly eat it until my 20s.
It’s also a dish that Max has always loved to help me make. He loves dredging the chicken in the flour, dipping it, cooking it, covering it with sauce and cheese – you name it. He asks to make it all the time and it’s so cute.
And why not make it with vodka sauce all the time?! Only the best sauce ever. So much better than marinara!
I mean, you can have a week of vodka sauce meals! I wouldn’t complain.
This is how the deliciousness goes down:
The vodka sauce is decadent and creamy. I use a base of tomato pasta, shallots and garlic then bring it together with starchy pasta water and cream. Oh and parmesan. Of course!
P.S. I offer a great substitution below in the recipe if you aren’t making pasta – you don’t need the starchy water.
Our favorite chicken cutlets are lightly breaded with the perfect amount of crisp. We love thin-sliced chicken breasts with just a spoonful of the sauce on top!
I tend to use seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese because the flavor is incredible.
Then finish everything off with sliced fresh mozzarella that gets bubbly and melty in the oven.
Because the vodka sauce is so rich, I knew I wanted to do a lighter breading on the chicken. The flour + egg + breadcrumb combo just seemed too heavy for this, plus I knew it wouldn’t stay as crunchy either with the vodka sauce.
So I used the method of butter + breadcrumbs here and we are obsessed. I love how the chicken turns out. You lightly brush the butter all over the chicken breast so the bread crumbs have something to adhere to. Then dip the chicken in the breadcrumbs and you’re good to go!
A quick pan-fry in the skillet to get the chicken crispy happens next. Then I top with some of the vodka sauce, some fresh mozzarella, and bake just until the chicken is cooked through. It’s juicy and tender and ridiculously flavorful.
It’s so versatile too! Eat it with pasta, on a salad, in a wrap, with a side.
When I make this chicken parmesan during the week, I rarely make it with pasta. I usually serve it with a roasted vegetable of some sort – most often broccoli or brussels sprouts. The whole family loves this meal! If I want to make this for a bigger sunday dinner, then I may make pasta.
But during the week I like to keep it simple and a bit lighter. It’s satisfying but doesn’t put you in a food coma, if you know what I mean.
This dish can be a little high maintenance – you do need to make the sauce AND the chicken. But I suggest making the sauce ahead of time! Then you can have it on hand to quickly make this… or the pizza! Or the pasta!
Serious comfort food on a plate that deserves a spot in your kitchen.
Vodka Sauce Chicken Parmesan
Vodka Sauce Chicken Parmesan
- 1 cup reserved pasta water, or substitution, listed below
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons vodka, (I like Tito’s)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 4 chicken cutlets
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, for the pan
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- fresh basil and oregano for serving
- Make the vodka sauce. To make a starchy pasta water without cooking pasta, combine 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon of cornstarch and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan, then turn off the heat!
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the shallots and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions soften. Add in the tomato paste and stir, cooking for 5 minutes. The color will darken - this is where the flavor is!
- Stream in the vodka and stir, scraping the brown bits and flavor from the bottom. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved (or makeshift) pasta water. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan, stirring until the cheese melts. Taste and season the sauce with more salt and pepper if needed. This will make more sauce than needed. Store it in the fridge for a few days or use it to make pizza or pasta.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have a baking dish (9x13 works, or anything that fits 4 pieces of chicken!) nearby.
- Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Have the butter ready to go in one bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan on a plate and stir to combine.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the chicken with the butter on both sides. Dip the chicken in the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so the bread crumbs adhere. Place the chicken in the skillet.
- Cook until the chicken is just golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish and repeat with the other chicken.
- Top each piece of chicken with a few spoonfuls of vodka sauce. You can use as much vodka sauce here as you like! Top each piece of chicken with sliced mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and sprinkle with fresh herbs and more parmesan. Serve immediately!
Definitely want to snuggle under that cheese blanket.