Crispy, saucy, cheesy… Chicken parmesan, or more fancily known as chicken parmigiana, is undeniably delicious.
But traditional recipes often call for battered and fried chicken, which can dramatically increase calorie load.
So instead of breading and frying, we baked our chicken parm to lighten up the recipe. And still, our chicken parmesan recipe is all you want in the Italian classic without the extra calories!
(And if cutting out animal protein, this eggplant parmesan recipe is also nutritious and delicious!)
Learn how to bake chicken parm to perfection in a quick 30 minutes! Also, find delicious ways to serve the Italian dish for one satisfying meal the entire family is sure to love.
Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition per serving: 240 calories, 8 g fat, 35 g protein, 8 g total carb, 2 g fiber
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 6 chicken breasts (about 5 oz each), boneless and skinless
• 1, 24-oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
• 3 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated or shaved
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Season each chicken breast on both sides with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
4. Add each breast to the skillet to lightly sear on each side, about 1 minute per side.
5. Transfer seared chicken to baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over the chicken, covering completely, and then top with Parmesan cheese.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. A thermometer placed in the center of the thickest part of the breast should read 165°F.
7. Garnish with parsley and oregano as desired.
Chef Tips for the Chicken Parm Recipe
Wanting more gooey cheese? What about a thinner chicken breast? We have a chef tip for that!
• Make the dish even more gooey and cheesy by topping with mozzarella cheese!
• After baking, turn the oven broiler on low and move the baking dish to the top rack. Watch closely as the cheese will become browned within a couple of minutes.
• Use thinner chicken for a more authentic chicken parm recipe. Simply cut two pieces of plastic wrap then cover a cutting board or another firm workspace. Place the chicken on top of the covered board then place the other piece of waxed paper on top. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or saucepan, pound the chicken to about 1/2" thickness.
How to Serve Baked Chicken Parm
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy chicken parmesan. Some of our favorites include atop whole wheat noodles, alongside Italian cauliflower, amongst the many!
Whole Wheat Noodles
Unlike popular belief, pasta can fit into a well-balanced diet. Whole grain noodles are not only low in price but offer fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
Top the noodles with the chicken, tomato sauce, and cheese for one delicious meal! But if worried about carb content, read on for low-carb pairings.
If looking for a low-carb option, zucchini noodles (also known as "zoodles") are one of the best veggie pasta substitutes. They dramatically cut carb content while still offering the shape of noodles.
To make the zoodles, use a spiralizer then sauté quickly in a pan. Overcooking can lead to a mushy end-product. The zucchini noodles can likewise be cooked in the oven:
Bake the best zoodles with this easy 4-step process:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using a spiralizer, spiral 3 large zucchinis to create the "noodles." A vegetable peeler can work as well, just include the peel for maximum nutrients! Shave down until the center with the seeds.
3. Add noodles to the lined sheet, making sure they are evenly spaced and not overcrowded. Use two baking sheets as needed.
4. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until noodles have reached preferred consistency. Check and flip noodles throughout to ensure even cooking.
Like zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash is low in calories and carbs. Spaghetti squash noodles can also harness a variety of flavors, grilled or baked chicken parm included!
Spaghetti squash can be prepared in the oven or quickly in the microwave:
• Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F, cut the squash in half, and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Lay the two halves in a casserole dish with hollowed and cut sides facing down with rinds facing upwards. Fill the dish with a half cup of water and bake about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Rake a fork back in forth to remove the "spaghetti" flesh.
• Microwave: Once the squash is halved and the seeds are removed, heat in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Scrape out the flesh once cool enough to handle.
This Italian cauliflower bursts with flavor from onion, bell pepper, vinegar, garlic, and olive oil. It is also simple to prepare and rounds out the chicken parm perfectly!
Speaking of cauliflower…
Our mashed cauliflower recipe is a low-calorie and carb alternative to standard potatoes. Omit the mushroom gravy and serve mashed cauliflower alongside the chicken parm.