Mayo Parmesan Chicken is oven-baked skinless boneless chicken breasts coated with garlic Parmesan mayonnaise and then sprinkled with Panko bread crumbs. Crunchy, moist, and tender baked mayo chicken breasts for a perfect weeknight dinner.
Italian Panko bread crumbs
Pantry ingredients—seasoning salt, garlic powder, black pepper
Featured comment from Katherine:
"Five-stars. This recipe has been a go-to since you first posted it. Comes out melt-in-your-mouth perfect every time!"
You can never have too many great chicken recipes; this one has everything. It's extraordinarily moist, has a great taste of Parmesan, and a slight crunchiness. Plus, it has a skill level of 2/10. Anybody can handle this easy dinner recipe.
Sometimes called "melt-in-your-mouth" chicken, this baked garlic Parmesan chicken is perfect for a healthy low-calorie. And since it is a lightly breaded, it is also a great low-carb chicken recipe.
👨🍳How to Make Mayo Parmesan Chicken
Preheat the oven to 375° convection or 400° for a regular oven. Trim and pat dry skinless boneless chicken breasts. If thick, thin it to ¾ inch with a meat mallet.
Mix mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded or grated preferred), seasoning salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Prepare a cooking sheet with aluminum foil (to help clean up) and a rack. The rack will help crispness all around. You can do without the rack, but the bottom will not be crispy. Give the rack a good spray of PAM. They can go directly on PAM-sprayed foil if you don't have a rack.
Dry the chicken with paper towels. Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise Parmesan mixture. Be sure to get all surfaces coated. Finger use is allowed, but wash well before and after. Note: keep the coating light.
Lightly sprinkle with some Italian bread crumbs on both sides. You are not coating them but just adding some crispy flavor—about ¼ cup for two breasts.
Bake until an internal temp of 165°. This will vary by oven but mainly by the size of the chicken. At 20 minutes into baking, flip the breasts with a fork. The total cooking time of about 40 minutes for medium to large. 45 minutes for huge. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
For more details, keep reading. See the Recipe Card below for complete instructions and to print.
🐓Ingredients options and variations
This recipe uses skinless boneless chicken breasts. You can use skinless chicken thighs, chicken cutlets, or tenders, but the cooking time varies.
TIPS: Try to use breasts of about the same size and thin if over ¾ inches thick. For other forms of chicken, cook to 180° for thighs for tenderness, but 165° for other chicken.
Use good quality since cheaper versions may be more watery and not stick as well.
Other possible bases for the coating are Miracle Whip®️, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even cream cheese. People worry about the mayonnaise taste, but even the "mayo haters" love it in this recipe—see the comments.
TIP: DO NOT apply the mayo layer too thick. It will lead to the coating not sticking well and "melting" off. A light coat only, please.
Parmesan cheese is the most commonly recommended cheese. Other cheeses like Ramono, cheddar, or Asiago may be used.
TIP: Grated cheese is usually used, but I prefer shredded cheese for added texture.
Bread crumb options
Panko-type bread crumbs will add some crunch. I prefer the Italian spiced bread crumbs, but use what you want.
TIP: Keep the bread crumbs light. You are not making "Panko chicken."
Seasoning salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, but modify to your taste.
↕️How to make this a "for two" or "family size " recipe
The recipe is now set for two chicken breasts. But this is a very easy recipe to scale to any size. Make it for one, two, or a crowd.
- Use the recipe card and adjust the number of servings to the number of breasts you are cooking.
- Use the amount of ingredients in the ingredient list, not the instructions—those do not adjust.
- Cooking instructions remain the same.
Serve with rice, potatoes, or noodles as a starch—hot vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, or asparagus. A side salad and some crusty bread will round out a complete meal.
How to get the coating to stick better
- Nothing sticks well to wet chicken, so dry the chicken before coating.
- The mayonnaise needs to be of good quality. Cheap mayo will have more liquid.
- The mayonnaise coating must be thin—too heavy of a coat will melt off the chicken.
- If the chicken is still partly frozen, it will release fluid, and the coat will fall off.
- Never pick up coated or breaded meat with tongs—it will rip off the coating.
How to store leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 4 days refrigerated or 4 months frozen, but the crunchiness will suffer.
Reheat in a convection oven or an air fryer for best results.
❓FAQs and Tips
I'm adding a suggested flip of the chicken halfway through the cooking. Some (not me nor many others) have problems with a soggy bottom.
A couple of possibilities occur to me. First, previously frozen chicken or older chicken can release more fluid. Also, too much or thinner mayo could contribute. Or nothing they did.
Either way, the flip should help those cases and won't hurt. Use a fork for the flip. Tongs may remove some coating.
You can cook directly on PAM-covered foil, but it will have a soggy bottom. A rack will help prevent this.
I love cooking my chicken on a rack. You really need to get a rack. For a few dollars, you will become a much better cook. But get one that is "oven-safe." Some racks are cooling racks only and have a coating.
If your local store does not have them, Amazon will. I list a few in Cooking for Two Shop, but others will work.
If you have time, brining it will make the chicken more moist and tender.
The ratio for a brine is 2 cups of water and one tablespoon of table salt. Some people will add some brown sugar equal to the salt. Remember that all salt is not identical, and 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
As little as 15 minutes makes a big difference. But you can brine for up to 2 hours if you want. This is a "heavy brine" in the amount of salt and matches the Cooks Illustrated suggestions. You may see longer brine times suggested, but please limit it to 2 hours maximum.
If you brine, be sure to wash off the salt gently. Also, instead of seasoning salt, use paprika in the coating.
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Have you tried this recipe, or have a question? Join the community discussion in the comments.
Mayo Parmesan Chicken
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts trimmed
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese - grated - fresh preferred
- ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt - Lawry’s
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup Italian Panko bread crumbs - Very light coat
- Preheat the oven to 375° convection or 400° for a regular oven. Trim and pat dry 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts. If thick, thin it to ¾ inch with a meat mallet.
- Mix ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded or grated preferred), ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Lawry's), ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Prepare a cooking sheet with aluminum foil (to help clean up) and a rack. The rack will help crispness all around. You can do without the rack, but the bottom will not be crispy. Give the rack a good spray of PAM. If you don't have a rack, they can go directly on PAM sprayed foil.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels. Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise Parmesan mixture. Be sure to get all surfaces coated. Finger use is allowed, but wash well before and after. Note: keep the coating light.
- Lightly sprinkle with some Italian bread crumbs on both sides. You are not coating them but just adding some crispy flavor—about ¼ cup for two breasts.
- Bake until an internal temp of 165°. This will vary by oven but mainly by the size of the chicken. At 20 minutes into baking, flip the breasts with a fork. The total cooking time of about 40 minutes for medium to large. 45 minutes for huge. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Your Own Private Notes
- Try to use chicken of about the same size. If over ¾ inch thick, flatten it out a bit with a meat mallet.
- Be sure to pat dry the chicken. Very dry. The coating will stick better.
- Keep the coating light and bread crumbs light. You may not need all the coating.
- I added a flip in the middle of the recipes. Some appear to need it. Use a fork, please. Not mandatory.
- Miracle Whip, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even cream cheese may be used.
- Obviously, an easy recipe to adjust.
- Common problems: Not drying enough, too much coating, too many bread crumbs, cheap mayonnaise, previously frozen chicken will release more fluid.
- Be sure to cook to the final internal temperature of 165°. Or cook to 180° if using chicken thighs for tenderness.
- Storage for 4 days refrigerated or 4 months frozen, but the crunchiness will suffer.
- Reheat leftovers in a convection oven or air fryer.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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The "inspired by" for today goes to Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breast at Food.com.
Editor's Note: Originally published December 12, 2012, it has been buried on the blog for a while and needs to see the light of day. The pictures are re-edited. The text is rewritten and buffed up.