Healthy chicken parmesan? It’s cheesy, saucy, crispy, and sits on top of delicious zucchini noodles.
What do we want from chicken parmesan? Great question. We need it to be super cheesy and deliciously saucy with crispy golden brown bits peeking through to really bring the whole thing home.
Turn that into a relatively wholesome little veg-party with a bed of fresh zucchini noodles and have the whole thing come together in about 20ish minutes? Okay, you HAVE OUR ATTENTION.
As you know, in general, real noodles have our hearts but this is just a really lovely, really fresh way to health up one of our favorites and we are here for it. It also has a pretty darn short ingredient list and is, like, Monday-night easy to put together, so that’s the type of thing we can always get behind.
In This Post: Everything You Need For Healthy Chicken Parmesan
Ingredients For This Healthy Chicken Parmesan
As promised, this is a relatively short ingredient list. We rely on store-bought sauce and though we did spiralize our own zoodles (ugh, equal parts fun and terrible to say!), you can sometimes find those pre-packaged as well!
- zucchini (spiralized or cut into thin strips)
- chicken breasts
- mozzarella cheese
- mixture of whole wheat & panko breadcrumbs
- tomato sauce (we love the DeLallo Creamy Vodka variety, but any fave marinara sauce will do! )
- Parmesan cheese
- dried Italian herbs
How To Make Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
Getting that chicken golden-crisp is the most involved process here, but even that is pretty quick and easy. The rest is just kinda thrown together and piled up, especially if you got your hands on some ready-made zucchini noodles. Here we go:
Chicken: You’ll want to mix up your breadcrumbs plus the parm, & herbs in a bowl and then dredge the chicken in that. Add the chicken to some hot oil in an oven-proof skillet and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown (you’re just looking for that crisp, it will finish fully cooking in the oven).
Zucchini: While your chicken is baking, spiralize the zucchini or, if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a food processor attachment or just slice it really thin with a mandoline or knife. We keep our zoodles raw here so that they don’t get watery. We don’t want to be overly reminded that they are not pasta, you know?
Saucy/Cheesy: Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the sauce and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Return to the oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
After you have achieved maximum bubbly cheese goodness, serve the chicken and sauce over the raw zucchini noodles (they’ll soften but keep a nice crunch), and shower with Parmesan and parsley.
What To Serve with This
It’s already like you’re getting a nice little salad with those raw zucchini noodles but you could certainly also include this simple green salad [link] or maybe you want a hunk of no-knead bread [link] to swoop through any missed saucy cheesy bits. You are eating zoodles here so if you’d like a little extra carb-partner, she’s a good one.
And if you are worried about being too veg-forward, fear not. You are still getting that crispy chicken and bubbly cheese and delicious sauce which is the prize we’re all here for, but if you are absolutely not willing to part ways with pasta for this one (trust us, we get it), you could certainly toss the chicken on top of some spaghetti and that would still be simple and amazing.
Yay for chicken parmesan and yay yay YAY for it being a little healthier and definitely weeknight-simple.
PS. Big love to my bestie, Ang, for sending me a snap of recent chicken parm creation and inspiring this easy, healthy Chicken Parmesan into a blog post! Friends who love food are the best kind of friends.
Healthy Chicken Parmesan: Frequently Asked Questions
I have a lot of extra breadcrumbs in my pan. Is that okay to pop all of that in the oven?
Before baking, if you have a lot of stray crumbs in the pan, I would suggest removing the chicken, draining out the excess oil and breadcrumbs, and then returning the chicken to the clean pan to avoid a burnt breadcrumb situation in the oven.
How do you keep your chicken crispy?
If you really want the chicken to stay crispy, heat the sauce separately and add it over everything at the end. The chicken loses a little crispy exterior as it bakes in the sauce – I didn’t mind it, but just something to think about if you want the crispy chicken.
Do you recommend cooking the zucchini noodles or leaving them raw?
I leave the zucchini noodles raw because otherwise, I felt like they got too soggy and watery. When you add the warm chicken and sauce, the noodles will soften but keep just enough crunch to still be appetizing.
Healthy Chicken Parmesan made with spiralized zucchini noodles, lightly breaded chicken, Parm cheese and herbs, plus your fave sauce!
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons oil
4 chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups DeLallo Creamy Vodka tomato sauce (or any tomato sauce – but that vodka sauce is YUMMY)
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the breadcrumbs, panko, and Parmesan in a shallow dish with the Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
Fry: Cut the chicken breasts into a total of four pieces (for example, if there are two breasts, cut each in half – pound them a little thinner and wider if you want) and dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs so that they stick all over the surface of the chicken. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. You want the outside to be golden brown – the inside can finish cooking in the oven.
Bake: Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the sauce and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Return to the oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
Finish: While the chicken finishes, cut the zucchini into thin shreds or use a spiralizer to create zucchini noodles. Serve the chicken and sauce over the raw zucchini noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: chicken parmesan, healthy chicken parmesan
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