What’s there not to love about chicken parmesan?
My mouth’s watering just thinking about it!
We always seem to end up with delicious leftovers that are great the next day.
But how do you reheat them without losing all that crispy crunch?
That’s what you’re about to find out.
Keep reading to discover which reheating method gets the best result and how you can store, freeze and thaw your chicken parmesan.
Let’s get started!
A note on my experiment
As you may have guessed by now, I usually over-cater.
There’s nothing I love more than creating a massive dish of cheesy chicken parmesan, guaranteeing delicious Italian goodness the following day.
With that in mind, I tested for different reheating methods to find the best one.
Here’s what I tried:
- The oven (good results for larger quantities)
- The stove (acceptable, but the quality suffered)
- The microwave (worst results, but convenient)
- An air fryer (the best method, delivering the tastiest results)
Heating chicken parmesan in the oven produced a reasonably good result, except for the breadcrumbs that were a little less crunchy than I would have liked.
I’m not a great fan of reheating breaded dishes on the stove, and my results confirmed my bias yet again.
The chicken breasts were crispy on the bottom but had a soggy top.
I’d also avoid reheating your chicken parmesan in the microwave unless you’re really in a hurry.
The breadcrumbs were mushy with no crispiness at all.
The air fryer method ended up being my new favorite method.
It knocked the oven off its first-place pedestal and produced the tastiest reheated chicken parmesan that I’ve tried in ages.
Reheating chicken parmesan in the oven
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the chicken on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath. Cover loosely with foil and heat the chicken parmesan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the foil and add more sauce or cheese if you want, heating for a further 5-10 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.
How to reheat chicken parmesan in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the chicken on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath.
- Cover loosely with foil.
- Heat the chicken parmesan for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the foil and add more sauce or cheese if required (optional, but highly recommended!).
- Heat uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when the sauce starts to bubble, and the breadcrumbs are crispy.
Using a wire rack prevents the bottom breadcrumbs from getting soggy.
If you don’t have a wire rack, then place the chicken on a lightly oiled tray.
Covering the chicken with foil helps retain moisture and prevents your chicken from drying out, but make sure it’s loose to allow the excess steam to escape.
And don’t forget to remove the foil halfway through! Or you’ll end up with wet breadcrumbs.
The timeframes above are approximate, so check to make sure that your chicken is at or above 165°F (75°C) to avoid any problems.
An instant-read kitchen thermometer will come in very handy and will confirm that your reheated chicken has reached the recommended temperature.
To be honest, this has been my go-to method for reheating chicken parmesan forever.
It’s a time-tested method that I’ve used to get results, very similar to my original chicken parmesan.
Except that I don’t always get the same level of crunchiness as the day before.
If you have large quantities of chicken to reheat and want to add extra sauce, I recommend using the oven.
But if you want that “just baked” texture and taste, you need to check out my results using the air fryer below.
Reheating chicken parmesan on the stove
Lightly oil a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan and place on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add your chicken (cheese-side up). Fry for 2-3 minutes before sprinkling 2-3 tablespoons of water around the outside of the chicken. Steam with the lid on for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
How to reheat chicken parmesan on the stove:
- Lightly oil a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan.
- Place on medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add your chicken (cheese-side up). You can test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a breadcrumb into it. The breadcrumb should sizzle straight away.
- Fry the chicken parmesan for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bottom.
- Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of water carefully around the outside of the chicken. Be careful to avoid any spitting because this could burn you.
- Place the lid on the pan and steam with the lid on for 1-2 minutes.
- Check that the chicken is heated through (165°F / 75°C) before removing it from the pan.
Whatever you do, don’t flip the chicken over!
If you do, the cheesy layer on top of your chicken parmesan will stick to your pan and probably burn, which will ruin the flavor.
Instead, let the steam heat the chicken properly all the way through. The steam also helps prevent the chicken from drying out.
(FYI… this method works REALLY well for reheating pizza or enchiladas)
This method of reheating chicken parmesan produced a delightful, crispy bottom.
The cheese melted without turning rubbery and, overall, I was happy with the result.
The only problem was that the breadcrumbs on top became a bit soggy because of the steam.
You could attempt to fix this by chucking the chicken parmesan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes at the end, but honestly, I am too impatient for this!
Reheating chicken parmesan in the microwave
To reheat chicken parmesan in the microwave, put the chicken parmesan on a microwave-safe plate. Heat the chicken in 30-second intervals. Repeat until heated all the way through with an internal temperature of 165°F / 75°C.
Top tip: the microwave isn’t an ideal method for reheating chicken parmesan, but it can be useful to microwave your chicken for 15 seconds before putting it in the oven. This will reduce the heating time needed in the oven.
How to reheat chicken parmesan in the microwave:
- Place the chicken parmesan on a microwave-safe plate or dish.
- Put the chicken into the microwave.
- Heat in 30-second intervals until heated all the way through.
Only heat one chicken parmesan at a time in the microwave. This will ensure even heating.
If you put too much food in the microwave, you can end up with cold spots, which aren’t pleasant for anyone!
Eat your chicken parmesan as soon as possible when it comes out of the microwave because, after 5 minutes, the breadcrumbs will start to dry out and become like cardboard.
Related: Reheating Chicken Nuggets In An Air Fryer And Microwave
This was the worst method I tried.
The breadcrumbs were soft and mushy and became even more unpleasant as the chicken cooled down. The cheese looked nicely melted but tasted a bit rubbery.
However, not all was lost because the chicken was still nice and juicy.
Reheating chicken parmesan in an air fryer
Preheat your air fryer at 350°F (175°C). Position the chicken parmesan on the air fryer basket or rack and put it into the air fryer. Heat for about 3-5 minutes. Once your cheese is melted and the chicken is hot enough (165°F / 75°C), remove it from the air fryer and serve.
How to reheat chicken parmesan in an air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
- Position the chicken parmesan on the air fryer basket or rack.
- Leave sufficient space around each chicken breast to ensure an even airflow.
- Heat for about 3-5 minutes.
- Check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached at least 165°F or 75°C before serving.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve.
For the best results, check regularly to see how quickly the chicken is heating up.
If you’re not careful, air fryers can dry out your chicken.
You may want to try using slightly lower temperatures (around 325°F) for larger portions of chicken.
This helps to avoid burning the breadcrumbs before the middle of the chicken has had a chance to heat up.
Saving the best until last… this was the best method I tried.
The breadcrumbs reached just the right level of crunchiness and were crispy all over.
The cheese melted without being burnt, with a velvety texture and delightful flavor.
Best of all, the chicken was still moist. Not at all the slightly dry result I was expecting.
It was quick and easy, and as long as you don’t have a large quantity of leftover chicken to reheat, this is hands-down the best method to reheat chicken parmesan.
How to store chicken parmesan
You can store cooked chicken parmesan, with sauce and cheese on top, in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Wait for it to cool to room temperature before putting it in an airtight container. You can also line the container with a paper towel to soak up excess moisture.
Waiting for the chicken to cool is very important because otherwise, condensation will build up in the container and leave you with soggy breadcrumbs.
The chicken will remain safe to eat for up to 5 days, but I must admit I don’t like to eat chicken parmesan after more than 2-3 days in the fridge.
The breadcrumbs become very mushy as they absorb the sauce.
Can you freeze chicken parmesan?
Yes, you can freeze chicken parmesan. For best results, store the cooked, breaded chicken separately from the sauce and the cheese. The chicken and the sauce will both last for 3 months in the freezer. They’ll be safe to eat beyond that but will lose some qualit
How to freeze chicken parmesan:
- Freeze each component of the meal separately.
- Bread and cook your chicken, then let it cool to room temperature.
- If you have more than one chicken breast to freeze, lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze them for 2-3 hours.
- Once frozen solid, place the chicken pieces in a freezer bag and remove the air.
- Place the sauce and cheese in separate freezer bags and remove the air. You can also just prepare the sauce and cheese on the day of cooking.
- Write the date of freezing on all the containers and bags.
- Place all containers and freezer bags in the freezer.
Removing the air from the bags helps to preserve the food for longer and prevent freezer burn.
The most efficient way of doing this is to use a vacuum sealer. But, if you don’t have one, you can submerge the open bag in a bowl of water.
The water will force the air out.
You can also use a straw to suck the air out.
Freezing the chicken parmesan separately works best.
In my experience, combining all the ingredients before freezing ends up as a mushy mess.
But, if you really need to freeze already prepped chicken parmesan – wrap the cooled chicken parmesan in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil and then put it in the freezer.
Top tip: for a freezer-friendly 1-pan chicken parmesan, mix diced chicken with your sauce and add a layer of cheese before covering it with breadcrumbs. The cheese keeps the breadcrumbs separate from the sauce so they don’t get too wet.
Related: Freezing Parmesan Cheese + Kraft Parmesan Cheese
How to reheat frozen chicken parmesan
Remove the chicken and sauce from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, you can use the defrost setting on the microwave or run cold water over the chicken. Assemble the chicken parmesan and then bake it in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 10-20 minutes until heated through.
I like to cover the chicken loosely with foil for the first half of baking to keep the moisture in.
You can reheat the chicken straight from frozen, but it will take much longer (allow double the time).
I would bake the chicken in the oven until thawed and warm, then add the sauce and cheese for the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.
How long does chicken parmesan last?
If you’re wondering about how long your chicken parmesan will last, then here are a couple of timelines to consider:
- Room temperature: Chicken parmesan lasts a maximum of 2 hours if left out at room temperature, but you should refrigerate it as soon as possible.
- Refrigerated: Chicken parmesan will last for between 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Frozen: Chicken parmesan will stay at best quality for 3 months in the freezer but will be safe to eat beyond that.
The BEST Way To Reheat Chicken Parmesan
- 1 piece chicken parmesan
- 1 handful extra cheese optional
- 2-3 tbsp extra sauce optional
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Place the chicken on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath.
Cover loosely with foil.
Heat the chicken parmesan for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the foil and add more sauce or cheese if required (optional, but highly recommended!).
Heat uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven when the sauce starts to bubble, and the breadcrumbs are crispy.
Serving: 100gCalories: 470kcal