Thin chicken cutlets dredged in tasty breadcrumbs, smothered in sauce and cheese, and baked to perfection. This is the most delicious healthy chicken parmesan recipe.
It doesn’t get any more Italian-American than a delicious chicken parmesan recipe. Mama Mia! YUM! I’ve been making this simple recipe for YEARS and had every intention to share it YEARS ago but for some reason every time I made it I either screwed it up, kids were screaming for it, or I forgot to take pictures. You think my kiddos would know by now that I need to photograph all food prior to it being consumed. Umm, hello?
Also, I never had a recipe for my chicken parmesan. I just dipped in breadcrumbs, slathered it with sauce and cheese, and then threw it in the oven. Easy. Well my chicken parmesan is da bomb (yup I say that) and since want to share this recipe I decided to pay attention and take notes while I made my chicken parmesan last week. I suggest a glass of red dry wine with this. Not that I drink wine during the day…well sometimes…but only on Sundays 🙂
Let’s get right to the recipe. I think you will be very happy to see this is a very easy recipe.
Over the years I’ve experimented with different breadcrumbs for the chicken. Actually, let me back up. Let’s talk about the chicken first. I use thinly sliced cutlets for chicken parmesan. I purchase them already prepared into cutlets because I’m lazy and don’t like handling chicken more than I need too. If the chicken breasts you buy are on the thicker side then pound it out using a meat mallet. When I do this I put the chicken in a ziploc bag or in-between two pieces of plastic wrap. Or if the breasts are really big you can cut in half using a sharp knife. Regardless, you want the chicken breasts to be on the thinner side.
Back to the breadcrumbs. When you are creating a healthier version of a classic, flavor is everything. In the past I used seasoned italian breadcrumbs but now I prefer to use plain and season myself. Yes, you can certainly use seasoned breadcrumbs and this recipe would work just fine. However, I do recommend stirring a little parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs but if want seasoned breadcrumbs go ahead and use it. My absolute favorite seasonings to use in breadcrumbs for chicken parmesan are Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. YUM!
I do not recommend using Panko breadcrumbs. In my experience, they don’t coat the chicken completely and the coating falls off as it bakes.
Stir all the ingredients together and then coat both sides of the chicken with the breadcrumbs. I used 6 chicken cutlets about 2lbs of chicken. Throw out the rest of the breadcrumbs.
Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the baking sheet before place the chicken on. This helps to keep the chicken from sticking and also gives the chicken a nice brown “fried” look.
Place the chicken in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes and then flip over and baked for another 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and spread 2 tablespoons of sauce and 2-3 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast. Stick back in the oven for 10- 15 minutes or until the sauce is hot and cheese is melted.
Let’s talk about the sauce. This time around I used sauce I had leftover from the weekend but you can use any jar sauce you like. There is no shame in using a jarred sauce. My only recommendation is to use a high quality sauce. My favorite jarred sauces are ones by Rao and Delallo.
If you prefer extra sauce of course feel free to use more. Personally, I think this is the perfect sauce, cheese, and chicken ratio. Remember healthy eating is about portion control. That’s one of the ways you can still enjoy the foods you love.
In my old age I like to keep things on the low carb side so I skipped the pasta. Instead, I enjoyed my baked chicken parmesan with steamed broccoli and a salad. Honestly, I didn’t even miss the pasta. This chicken parmesan is simple to make and delicious. You won’t miss it being fried and honestly I bet you will like it better. You can enjoy the italian loved classics without all the guilt.
- ½ cup unseasoned wholegrain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan (or romano) cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2lbs chicken cutlets
- ¾ cup sauce
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Coat a sheet pan with the olive oil.
- Dredge each chicken cutlet in the breadcrumb mixture and place on the sheet pan. Discard the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and spread 2 tablespoons of sauce and 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese on each chicken cutlet.
- Place back in the oven and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese is melted.
- Serve hot.
You can dredge the chicken ahead of time in the breadcrumbs and store in a container in the refrigerator. Or you can make the chicken parmesan completely ahead of time, store in the refrigerator or freezer, and then reheat in the microwave.