Baked Chicken Parmesan made with lean chicken breasts coated with seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs and topped with mozzarella cheese is a lighter version of this classic Italian recipe, ready in 45 minutes!
We love lightening up our favorite comfort foods, and this week we’re working on classic Italian dishes like this Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce, Chicken and Mushroom Cream Pasta, and Chicken Meatballs in Marinara Sauce!
BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN
Baked Chicken Parmesan is the perfect lighter version of my favorite Italian comfort food. Lean chicken breast is coated with egg whites and whole wheat breadcrumbs, then lightly coated with olive oil and baked until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
We’re finishing it off with a spoonful of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, ready in a total time of 45 minutes. This dish is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make on nights when I just need something cheesy and savory, but still want to stay healthy.
DO I HAVE TO FRY CHICKEN PARMESAN BEFORE I BAKE IT?
Traditionally, chicken parmesan is pan-fried in oil before it’s smothered with sauce and cheese. This baked version still gets that crunchy texture from the browned chicken, but instead of a skillet we’re only adding a light coating of oil and baking it in the oven, cutting down on fat and calories.
HOW LONG WILL BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN KEEP?
Baked chicken parm will last tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
CAN YOU FREEZE BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN?
This recipe is perfect for making ahead and freezing for an easy dinner another night. I like to make a double batch and layer it with sauce and mozzarella in a disposable catering dish.
Then I wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze. When you’re ready, defrost in the refrigerator the night before, and bake until warmed through.
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WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN PARMESAN
TIPS FOR MAKING OVEN BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN
- Serve this over whole wheat pasta, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, mashed cauliflower, or baked eggplant.
- You can use regular or panko breadcrumbs in place of whole wheat, or grind oats in the food processor. You can also make the breadcrumbs out of a bland high fiber cereal ground in the food processor.
- For this recipe, we’re butterflying the chicken breasts. Don’t skip this step, as it helps the chicken cook faster, and also leads to a crispier more evenly cooked piece.
- After you’ve baked the chicken, before adding the sauce and cheese, turn on the broiler for a minute to get the breading extra crispy. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
- You can use parmesan or Romano cheese, or a blend of both. Romano will have a stronger bite to it, but often people will use it interchangeably.
- Either grease your baking sheet with olive oil, or line it with parchment paper to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan.
- You can use low fat mozzarella cheese to lighten this up even more. You can also sub the mozzarella for a low fat provolone.
- Top this chicken parmesan with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves for garnish.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking sheet with the olive oil spray.
- In a medium bowl mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, garlic salt and black pepper.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts into four total pieces, dredge them in the egg whites then into the breadcrumbs before placing on the baking sheet.
- Spray the chicken with the olive oil spray, bake for 20-25 minutes, then spoon the sauce over the middle of the chicken, top with the cheese and bake an additional ten minutes.