A satisfying comfort food recipe that is waistline-friendly!
When it comes to comfort food, chicken parmesan is an all-time favorite. Unfortunately, traditional versions are full of fat and calories– two things that are not conducive to weight loss. With this in mind, we created a lower-calorie version of the Italian classic that will still allow you to indulge in your favorite, comforting flavors. Our healthy chicken parmesan recipe is perfect for special occasions or any time your family is craving Italian flavors.
What Makes this Healthy Chicken Parmesan Healthy?
We’ve cleaned up and slimmed down classic chicken parmesan by using more nutritious and lower-calorie ingredients. Additionally, we’ve also switched up the cooking methods a bit!
In this recipe, we’ve used whole wheat panko bread crumbs which offer a bit more fiber and nutrients compared to regular breadcrumbs. Furthermore, using panko makes a huge difference in texture, because these breadcrumbs get crispier! And when it comes to breading, the crispier, the better! We’ve slashed fat in a few ways too. First, we used egg whites instead of whole eggs for our coating. Simple enough, right?
Second, we’ve reduced the amount of cheese that is usually found in traditional chicken parm recipes. I know– that one hurts a bit because cheese is delicious. But it’s also full of fat and calories. We didn’t completely eliminate it though! We used a rich parmesan in our crust that will still give it that savory flavor you’re looking for. That said, if you’re unwilling to sacrifice this ooey-gooey topping, feel free to top your chicken off with some reduced-fat mozzarella.
Lastly, you may have noticed that we skipped frying the chicken in oil all-together. It goes straight on the baking sheet. Frying is a cooking method that can add a tremendous amount of calories to a dish, so skipping it whenever possible is a great idea if you’re trying to lose weight. But don’t worry, the panko bread crumbs and oven will still provide you with a yummy, crispy chicken!
Preparing this Beloved Italian Dish
This healthy chicken parmesan only requires about 15 minutes of prep time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Put the egg whites into a separate medium bowl and whisk them with a fork for 1 to 2 minutes to loosen them up a bit.
Next, you’ll want to set up an “assembly line” workstation. First comes the plate of raw chicken, then a bowl with the egg whites, and lastly the bread crumb mixture. One at a time, dip each chicken breast into the egg whites, making sure to coat both sides well. Then dip it into the bread crumbs and turn several times to coat well. Place the coated chicken breast on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces.
Bake the chicken parmesan for approximately 40 to 50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 Fahrenheit on a thermometer. If you are adding mozzarella, sprinkle some on in the last 5 minutes of baking. You can remove the pan from the oven the moment the cheese is melted. Add your marinara on top and serve with your favorite sides.
Side Dishes that Compliment Chicken Parm
What’s your favorite side to pair with chicken parmesan? You can never go wrong with a healthy pasta, but veggies are a great option too! Try making our Creamy Plant-Based Pasta Sauce and serving it over some whole grain penne. You might also enjoy this Instant Pot Skinny Spaghetti. Who doesn’t love spaghetti and chicken parm?! And then there’s this yummy One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta!
Our 3-Ingredient Crispy Garlic Broccoli tastes amazing with this dish, as well, especially with a little parmesan sprinkled over the top! No matter what sides you choose, be sure to let us know what you thought of this healthy chicken parmesan in the comment section!
Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- 32 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast 4 (8-ounce) breasts
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 4 cups marinara sauce no-sugar added
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Put the egg whites into a medium bowl as well and whisk with a fork to loosen them up a bit. About 1-2 minutes should do the trick.
- Set up an "assembly line" workstation. First comes the plate of raw chicken, then a bowl with the egg whites, and lastly the bread crumb mixture.
- Dip a chicken breast into the egg whites, being sure to coat both sides well. Then dip into the bread crumbs and turn several times to coat well. Place the chicken on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Bake at 350 F. for approximately 40-50 minutes. The chicken should be at least 165 F. on a thermometer. Bake until it reaches that temperature. If you are adding mozzarella, sprinkle some on in the last 5 minutes of baking. Watch carefully and remove the moment cheese is melted.
- Serve with some marinara poured over the top. No need to warm it first because the chicken will still be hot if served immediately.
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Can’t get enough healthy Italian comfort food? If you enjoy this healthy chicken parmesan, we think you might also want to try our Italian Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Sauce or this One-Pan Rustic-Style Italian Chicken.