Healthier Chicken Parmesan – Meal Makeover
An easy meal makeover, this Healthier Chicken Parmesan utilizes the same ingredients as the traditional recipe, just less quantities resulting in that same delicious flavor but less calories and fat.
Everyday Favorites versus Occasional Indulgences
There are certain foods that I think should just be enjoyed as they are, in all their unhealthy fat and caloric glory. For example, I don’t think anything fully compares to a really juicy cheeseburger topped with crisp bacon. The key is to enjoy fully when you do indulge and only indulge in moderation.
Aside from a handful of these types of dishes, I feel that other favorite recipes can be makeover to become a bit healthier. The key is to make small changes so you don’t lose the original flavor.
Chicken Parmesan is one of those meals. Traditionally, chicken parm is coated in breadcrumbs, fried in oil, then topped with crazy amounts of mozzarella cheese. Delicious but high in fat and calories.
I took a note from this baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe and applied it to chicken.
Chicken Parmesan Meal Makeover
- Use egg whites instead of whole egg to dredge chicken
- the flavor doesn’t change but you cut back a bit on cholesterol
- Only bread one side of the chicken instead of both
- You still get that crunchy breading in each bite but cut empty calories
- Bake instead of fry the chicken
- Use really good, fresh mozzarella but reduce the amount on top
The result was a tender and juicy piece of chicken, topped with golden brown crust and creamy, melted mozzarella cheese in each bite.
The even better results was a major decrease in calories (over 300 calories less), decrease in total fat and saturated fat and a reduction in cholesterol.
Same ingredients just using less and baking instead of frying is one way to makeover a favorite dish without any loss of flavor!
- 2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
- 1 Egg White (whole egg, just separate from the yolk)
- 4 Tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- ½ Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced in two
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Fresh Basil, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with foil
- Add the egg white to a shallow bowl
- In a second shallow bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and mix together
- Dip chicken breast into egg white to coat entire chicken breast
- Dip only 1 side of chicken breast into breadcrumb mixture to coat ONE SIDE of chicken
- Place breadcrumb side up chicken on baking pan
- Repeat process with other chicken breast
- Place baking pan in oven (center rack) for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
- Remove pan from oven and top each chicken breast with sauce and 1 slice cheese
- Return back to oven, this time on top rack, for 5 additional minutes or until cheese is melted
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil