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How To Reheat Chicken Parmesan – I Try 4 Methods [Pics]

This article was updated on 29th August 2023 for clarity and freshness.

What’s not to love about chicken parmesan? But how do you reheat it without losing all that crispy crunch? You’re about to find out.

The best way to reheat chicken parmesan is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the chicken on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath. Cover with foil and heat for 5-10 minutes, then remove the foil and heat for a further 5 minutes.

How I tested reheating chicken parmesan

As you may have guessed if you’ve visited my site before, 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 four different reheating methods to find the best one. Here’s what I tried:

  • The oven: Good results for larger quantities.
  • The stove: Decent results for 1-2 chicken parms.
  • The microwave: Worst results, but convenient.
  • An air fryer: The best method if you have one!

Once the chicken parmesan was piping hot, I taste-tested it. I was looking for crispy breadcrumbs, gooey cheese, and moist chicken.

Chicken parmesan reheating tips


The microwave isn’t a good method for reheating chicken parmesan on its own, but it can be useful to microwave your chicken for 10 seconds before putting it in the oven or skillet. This will reduce the heating time needed and make 100% sure the chicken will be hot all the way through.

Reheating chicken parmesan in the oven

Time: 10-15 minutes
Rating:
8/10

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the chicken on a wire rack with a drip tray underneath.
  2. Cover loosely with foil.
  3. Heat the chicken parmesan for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and add more sauce or cheese if required (optional, but highly recommended!).
  5. Heat uncovered for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven when the sauce starts to bubble and the breadcrumbs are crispy.

Using a wire rack prevents the breadcrumbs on the bottom from getting soggy. If you don’t have a wire rack, then place the chicken on a lightly oiled tray that you preheated along with the oven.

Covering the chicken with foil helps retain moisture and prevents the 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.

Results: This has been my go-to method for reheating chicken parmesan forever. It’s a time-tested method that produces reliable results, no matter how many parms you’re reheating. The chicken is never soggy, but it also doesn’t have that just-baked crispness.

Reheating chicken parmesan on the stove

Time: 3-5 minutes
Rating:
7/10

  1. Lightly oil a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan and place it on medium heat.
  2. 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.
  3. Fry the chicken parmesan for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bottom.
  4. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of water carefully around the outside of the chicken. Be careful to avoid any spitting because this could burn you.
  5. Place the lid on the pan and steam with the lid on for 1-2 minutes.
  6. 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, or the cheesy layer on top of your chicken parmesan will stick to the pan and burn. Instead, let the steam heat the chicken properly all the way through. The steam also helps rehydrate the chicken.

(FYI… this method works REALLY well for reheating pizza or enchiladas)

Results: 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

Time: 1-2 minutes
Rating:
4/10

  1. Place the chicken parmesan on a microwave-safe plate or dish.
  2. Heat in 30-second intervals until piping hot, this should take 1-2 minutes.
  3. Let the chicken rest for 30 seconds before serving.

Only heat one chicken parmesan at a time in the microwave to 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.

Results: 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. 

Related: Reheating Chicken Nuggets

Reheating chicken parmesan in an air fryer

Time: 3-5 minutes
Rating:
9/10

  1. Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C) and position the chicken parmesan on the air fryer basket or rack.
  2. Leave sufficient space around each chicken breast to ensure an even airflow.
  3. Heat for 3-5 minutes.

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.

Results: Saving the best until last… this was my favorite method. The breadcrumbs reached just the right level of crunchiness and were crispy all over. The cheese melted without becoming rubbery, and the chicken was moist. It was quick and easy too!

How to store chicken parmesan

You can store leftover chicken parmesan, with the 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?

You can freeze leftover chicken parmesan for up to 3 months. But for best results, you’ll want to freeze the chicken and the sauce separately, then add fresh cheese when you’re reheating.

How to freeze chicken parmesan:

  1. Bread and cook your chicken, then let it cool to room temperature.
  2. 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.
  3. Once frozen solid, place the chicken pieces in a freezer bag and remove the air.
  4. Make your sauce and place it in a separate freezer bag.
  5. Place both freezer bags in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.

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. 

In my experience, combining all the ingredients before freezing leaves the breadcrumbs a bit mushy. 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 a tomato 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 also reheat the chicken straight from frozen, but it will take much longer (allow double the time). 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 To Reheat Chicken Parmesan [Tested Methods]

What’s not to love about chicken parmesan? But how do you reheat them without losing all that crispy crunch? You’re about to find out.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken parmesan, how to reheat chicken parmesan
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 470kcal

Equipment

  • Wire rack

Ingredients

  • 1 piece chicken parmesan
  • 1 handful extra cheese optional
  • 2-3 tbsp extra sauce optional

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 470kcal

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