What Sauce Is on Chicken Parmesan?




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What sauce is on Chicken Parmesan? Traditional chicken Parmesan typically features a tomato-based sauce, commonly marinara or tomato sauce, made from tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and sometimes onions. This sauce is then simmered to develop rich flavors and used to smother the breaded and fried chicken cutlet, along with a layer of melted mozzarella cheese, creating a classic and flavorful dish.

Have you ever wondered what sauce is on your beloved chicken parmesan?

Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey as we explore the various sauces that grace this classic dish.

From the rich and tangy marinara sauce to the creamy indulgence of Alfredo, each sauce brings its own unique twist to the table.

Discover the perfect sauce to satisfy your taste buds and elevate your chicken parmesan experience to new heights.

Get ready to savor every delicious bite!

Key Takeaways

  • Chicken Parmesan can be topped with tomato-based sauces such as classic marinara sauce, which is made from high-quality tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs.
  • Cream-based sauces like béchamel sauce can also be used on Chicken Parmesan, adding a luscious texture to the dish. Béchamel sauce is a classic French sauce made from butter, flour, and milk.
  • Herb-based sauces like pesto sauce can be used as an alternative to tomato sauce on Chicken Parmesan, adding a fresh and vibrant taste. Pesto sauce is made from basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
  • Creamy sauces like Alfredo sauce can enhance the creaminess of Chicken Parmesan, providing a smooth texture and luscious flavor. Alfredo sauce can be made with creamy garlic sauce or parmesan cream sauce, which adds a subtle kick of flavor and a savory tanginess.

What Sauce Is on Chicken Parmesan?

Chicken Parmesan has a classic marinara or red sauce on it then topped with mozzarella cheese. The classic marinara sauce is a vibrant and tangy tomato-based sauce that’s a staple in Italian cuisine. It’s made from high-quality tomatoes, garlic, onions, and a blend of aromatic herbs and spices. The sauce is simmered slowly to develop its rich and intense flavors, creating a velvety texture that coats your taste buds with each bite.

Whether you choose to make it from scratch or purchase a store-bought version, the classic marinara sauce adds a burst of freshness and complexity to your chicken parmesan dish. The homemade version allows you to customize the flavors to your liking, while the store-bought option offers convenience without compromising on taste.

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Whichever marinara sauce variation you choose, it will elevate your chicken parmesan to new heights of deliciousness.

Try our Simple Chicken Parmesan recipe.

what sauce is on chicken parmesan

Can You Use Storebought Tomato Sauce For Chicken Parmesan?

Yes, you can absolutely use store-bought tomato sauce for chicken Parmesan. Many brands offer a wide range of tomato sauces, including marinara and pasta sauces, which work perfectly as a convenient and flavorful topping for your chicken Parmesan.

It saves time in the kitchen while still allowing you to enjoy the classic combination of tomato sauce, melted cheese, and crispy chicken cutlets. Simply choose your favorite brand or variety of tomato sauce, heat it, and use it to smother your cooked chicken for a delicious meal.

Can I use a different sauce on chicken Parmesan?

While the classic choice is tomato-based sauce, you can certainly get creative with your sauce options for chicken Parmesan. Some variations include using Alfredo sauce, pesto, or even a mushroom cream sauce.

These alternatives can add unique flavors to the dish, but keep in mind that they will result in a different taste compared to the traditional version.

Exploring the Béchamel Sauce

To enhance the creaminess of your chicken parmesan, try adding a rich and velvety béchamel sauce drizzled over the top. Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is a classic French sauce made from butter, flour, and milk. It’s a versatile sauce that can be used in various dishes, adding a luscious and smooth texture.

Here are some facts about béchamel sauce:

  • Béchamel sauce has a long history, dating back to the 17th century in France.
  • It’s one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.
  • Béchamel sauce can be made using different techniques, including the traditional stovetop method or using a microwave.

This sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in lasagna, gratins, and of course, chicken parmesan. Its creamy texture complements the crispy chicken and tangy tomato sauce, creating a harmonious and indulgent flavor profile.

A Twist With Pesto Sauce

Adding a twist with pesto sauce can elevate the flavor of your chicken parmesan, giving it a fresh and vibrant taste. Picture a succulent chicken breast, perfectly cooked and topped with a luscious layer of melted mozzarella cheese. But instead of the traditional tomato sauce, imagine a generous dollop of vibrant green pesto sauce.

The aromatic basil, nutty pine nuts, and sharp parmesan cheese blend together to create a sauce that’s both creamy and herbaceous. As you take a bite, the sauce coats your tongue, releasing a burst of flavors. The combination of the tender chicken, gooey cheese, and the zingy pesto creates a harmonious balance of textures and tastes.

It’s a delightful twist on the classic chicken parmesan that will leave you craving more. So go ahead, be adventurous and try this twist with tomato sauce, using barbecue sauce. You won’t be disappointed.

Creamy and Indulgent Alfredo Sauce

Try the creamy and indulgent Alfredo sauce for a rich and satisfying addition to your pasta dishes. This velvety sauce is known for its smooth texture and luscious flavor. It pairs perfectly with chicken parmesan, creating a mouthwatering combination that will leave you craving for more.

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The creamy garlic sauce adds a delightful richness to the tender chicken, while the parmesan cream sauce enhances the overall creaminess of the dish.

  • Creamy garlic sauce: The garlic-infused cream sauce adds a subtle kick of flavor, complementing the chicken and pasta perfectly.
  • Parmesan cream sauce: The addition of parmesan cheese to the cream sauce creates a savory and tangy element that elevates the dish to new heights.
  • Velvety texture: The Alfredo sauce coats the chicken and pasta with its smooth and velvety texture, creating a luxurious and satisfying mouthfeel.

Indulge in the decadence of this creamy and flavorful sauce, and experience the ultimate comfort food.

Uncovering the Secret Vodka Sauce

You won’t believe the secret ingredient in the vodka sauce that gives it its unique flavor. Vodka! Yes, that’s right, this classic Italian sauce gets a boozy twist with the addition of this clear, colorless spirit. When combined with creamy tomato sauce and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices, the vodka creates a rich and velvety texture that coats your taste buds in pure indulgence.

Picture this: a succulent piece of chicken Parmesan, perfectly breaded and fried to golden perfection, topped with a generous ladle of this luscious vodka sauce. As you take your first bite, the flavors dance on your tongue – the tanginess of the tomatoes, the subtle warmth of the vodka, and the fragrant herbs that elevate the dish to new heights.

Now, let’s talk about variations of this delectable sauce. Some recipes call for a touch of cream to add extra richness, while others opt for a healthier twist by using Greek yogurt instead. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices like basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes to customize the flavor profile to your liking. And let’s not forget about the cheese! Parmesan or pecorino Romano are traditional choices, but feel free to get creative with your cheese selection.

Now, let’s dive into some tips for making the perfect vodka sauce. First and foremost, choose a high-quality vodka – it makes all the difference in the final taste. Next, sauté your onions and garlic until they’re soft and fragrant, creating a solid base for the sauce. Then, add the vodka and let it simmer to allow the alcohol to cook off, leaving behind its distinct flavor. Finally, combine the vodka-infused tomato sauce with cream, and let it simmer until it thickens to your desired consistency.

Then top your breaded chicken with the sauce and mozzarella cheese and serve with pasta or vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sauce is typically used on chicken Parmesan?

Traditional chicken Parmesan is typically topped with a tomato-based sauce, most commonly marinara or tomato sauce. This sauce is made from ripe tomatoes, herbs like basil and oregano, garlic, onions, and sometimes other seasonings. The sauce is simmered to achieve a rich and savory flavor profile that complements the breaded and fried chicken cutlet.

How do I make homemade tomato sauce for chicken Parmesan?

Homemade tomato sauce for chicken Parmesan is easy to make. Start by sautéing finely chopped onions and minced garlic in olive oil until they become translucent. Then, add crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce on low heat for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. You can adjust the seasoning and consistency to your liking during the cooking process.

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What Sauce Is on Chicken Parmesan

Are there any vegetarian or vegan sauce options for chicken Parmesan?

Absolutely! For a vegetarian version, you can use the traditional tomato sauce. Most of the time when making a tomato sauce for chicken parmesan you do not use meat. Then the main thing you would want to change about the overall dish is to use eggplant instead of chicken.

What’s the best way to store leftover chicken Parmesan with sauce?

To store leftover chicken Parmesan, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. It’s best to store the sauce separately from the chicken cutlet to maintain its crispiness. When reheating, you can either use an oven, air fryer, or even a microwave in a pinch but be cautious not to overheat as it may make the chicken less crispy. Enjoy your leftovers within a few days for the best taste and quality.

How Many Calories Are in Each Sauce?

The calorie count and nutritional information of each sauce may vary. It’s important to check the labels or consult a nutritionist for accurate details. Enjoy exploring the flavors and finding the sauce that suits your taste!

Can the Sauces Be Made Ahead of Time and Stored in the Refrigerator?

You can definitely make the sauces in large batches to save time and effort. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days before they go bad. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness!

Are There Any Variations of the Sauces for Those With Dietary Restrictions (Such as Gluten-Free or Dairy-Free)?

Looking for alternatives to traditional sauces? If you have dietary restrictions like gluten or dairy-free, there are options for you! Try making the sauce without gluten or dairy ingredients for a delicious chicken parmesan experience.

Are There Any Recommended Side Dishes That Pair Well With Each Sauce?

Looking for recommended side dishes to pair with each sauce? The flavor profiles of the sauces on chicken Parmesan are diverse and delicious. Let’s explore some mouthwatering options that will elevate your dining experience.

Can the Sauces Be Frozen for Future Use?

You can freeze sauces for future use, and there are benefits to making them in advance. It allows you to have a variety of flavors on hand and saves time when cooking.

Can I make a spicy sauce for chicken Parmesan?

Yes, you can add a kick of spice to your chicken Parmesan sauce by incorporating ingredients like red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or cayenne pepper. Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference, but be mindful not to overpower the dish’s other flavors.

What’s the difference between chicken Parmesan and chicken marinara?

Chicken Parmesan features breaded and fried chicken cutlets topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese. On the other hand, chicken marinara is a simpler dish where the chicken is typically sautéed or grilled and served with a tomato-based marinara sauce, but it lacks the cheese topping.

Are there low-sodium or reduced-sugar sauce options for chicken Parmesan?

Yes, there are low-sodium and reduced-sugar tomato sauce options available in stores, which can be used to make a healthier chicken Parmesan. You can also make your own by using unsalted canned tomatoes and reducing or omitting added sugar to control sodium and sugar content.

Can I use fresh tomatoes to make sauce for chicken Parmesan?

Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes to make sauce for chicken Parmesan. Simply blanch the tomatoes to remove the skins, then dice or crush them and cook with herbs and seasonings to make a fresh, homemade tomato sauce. Fresh tomatoes can add a vibrant, garden-fresh flavor to your dish.


In conclusion, the sauce on chicken parmesan plays a crucial role in enhancing the dish’s flavors and textures. Whether it’s the classic marinara sauce, the creamy béchamel, the vibrant pesto, the indulgent Alfredo, or the secret vodka sauce, each option offers a unique and delicious experience.

From the rich tomato base to the creamy and cheesy combinations, the sauce on chicken parmesan adds depth and richness to this beloved Italian dish. Try them all and discover your favorite!

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Hi, I’m John.

A food blogger and the creator of Ultimate Grub. I’m a chef by trade and have been executive chef for numerous restaurants serving everything from fresh seafood to southern comfort food. Learn more..