Baked Chicken Parmesan
Baked Chicken Parmesan is healthy chicken Parmesan that is oven baked, not fried! A traditional recipe for chicken parm has been given a skinny makeover to create this delicious, healthy Italian recipe.
I cooked so much Italian(ish) food my first year of marriage that I’m surprised we didn’t end up speaking with Sicilian(ish) accents. Most often I turned to quick and easy pasta recipes, but when I was feeling extra fancy or needed a more romantic dinner recipe, I’d make Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan.
Between you and me, the first time I made Baked Chicken Parmesan, I was ultra impressed with myself.
Here was a recipe I’d seen in restaurants my whole life, right on our plates. The Parmesan-crusted chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside and lusciously juicy on the inside, and the cheese topping was hot, bubbly, and every bit as satisfying as I’d hoped it would be.
No doubt we’d have wine, and I probably would have turned on the Pandora opera station to give the setting the ultimate Italian effect if I weren’t already occupied shoveling healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan into my mouth as quickly as I possibly could.
What a lucky man, this husband of mine.
Baked Chicken Parmesan—A Truly Easy Meal
The funny thing about Baked Chicken Parmesan is that even though it seems pretty deluxe, it’s actually one of the easiest baked chicken recipes to make. Further, now that I have my own perfect version of a crispy, oven baked chicken Parmesan Panko crust, I actually prefer it.
You see, although I most often associate chicken Parmesan with Italian-American restaurants, I don’t actually like to order it out.
For one, Baked Chicken Parmesan is so easy to prepare at home, I’d rather spend my restaurant dollars on a different dish.
For two, most versions you’ll find when you’re out are for deep fried chicken Parmesan that is so over-the-top heavy, the chicken is lost entirely under a pile of greasy bread crumbs and slippery cheese.
Today’s version is a light, healthy chicken Parmesan that offers the same comfort and satisfaction of a go-big restaurant meal in a more sensible way.
It’s delicious but not overdone and baked instead of fried, and the Panko bread crumb crust is satisfyingly crisp, without being so thick you feel like you are eating a slab of breading.
Cooking Shortcuts for Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
To make the recipe especially weeknight friendly, I took a shortcut by using good-quality store-bought tomato sauce.
If 100% homemade chicken Parmesan is what you’re after, you can also make a homemade pasta sauce to go along with it, but on most weeknights (and OK, Friday and Saturday nights too), I am equally satisfied to open a jar of one of my favorites.
If you prefer to make your Baked Chicken Parmesan sauce from scratch, you can check out the simple sauce that’s included with my recipe for Whole30 Meatballs.
My one non-negotiable recipe addition: the bubbly, melty mozzarella cheese. I don’t think I needed to tell you that though, did I?
What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan
- Personally, I think this dish is perfect with a lightly dressed arugula salad.
- If you’d like to go full-on Italian restaurant, you could add a baguette and a little olive oil for dipping (this is a healthy baked chicken Parmesan, so we are entitled to some extra carbs, yes?).
- If you’re feeling up for baking and want a lighter option, you can also check out my friend Carolyn’s Low Carb Garlic Parmesan Knots.
Recommended Tools to Make This Dish
- Pie plates like this white ceramic one (doubles when you need good presentation) or these simple Pyrex ones are my favorite for any recipe that calls for breading in different dishes. (This Baked Fried Chicken is another great recipe that uses them).
- Rimmed baking sheets. All day, every day!
Make sure to check out the recipe step by step! I’m back on camera with a new video for you. Enjoy!
Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, - about 12 ounces each
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce - plus extra for serving as desired
- Fresh basil, - thinly sliced or chopped
- Optional - for serving: prepared whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles, or just enjoy on its own!
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise so that you have 4 pieces total. Pound each piece to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl (a pie dish works well), combine the Italian breadcrumbs, whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites until lightly foamy. Cut the mozzarella into 4 slices, or grate and divide into four equal portions.
- Arrange your work station in the following order: pounded chicken, egg whites, breadcrumb mixture, baking sheet. Working one at a time, dip each piece of chicken into the egg whites, shaking off any excess, then the breadcrumbs, gently patting the chicken as needed so that the crumbs stick to all sides. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat the tops of the chicken with baking spray.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through (it should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F) and the crumbs are brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce over each piece of chicken, and top with a slice of mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 3-5 additional minutes. Sprinkle with basil and enjoy immediately, topped with extra sauce as desired.
- This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is baked. Leftover chicken can be reheated in a lightly greased pan over medium heat and is also good served at room temperature on top of salads.
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