Chicken parmesan is comfort food at its best. And this modified recipe makes it a healthy dinner option. Served with pasta or zoodles, you will love it!
A healthier way to enjoy a classic
As the weather turns colder and the holidays are steadily approaching, so is the desire for comfort food. One of my favorites is chicken parmesan. The crunch of the chicken, the bite of the sauce, the gooey cheese make for an amazing dinner. But when you are on program, the recipe needs to be tweaked a bit.
Baked not fried…
For one thing, searing your chicken in a bit of olive oil will immediately shave a ton of calories off of your dinner. You will sear the chicken on the stove and finish off the cooking in the oven. This method gives you the desired crunch without all the extra calories. Using panko breadcrumbs, as opposed to regular breadcrumbs, also gives it that wonderful crunch.
Another modification is using fat-free cheese instead of regular cheese. Those calories are melting away by making this small change. You won’t notice the difference, but you will feel it on your waistline!
For your tomato sauce, you have so many options! You can use a delicious jarred sauce. I love the Classico Tomato and Basil sauce. It has a nice sweetness to it that compliments the tang of the tomatoes. You can take a more plain jarred sauce and doctor it up with your favorite spices. Or, you can get adventurous and make your own sauce! This zero-point marinara is always a hit in our house.
Crispy, oven-baked chicken cutlets
Chicken cutlets are the best cut for this recipe. Cutlets, however, are usually more expensive at the grocery store. Never fear though, a simple kitchen technique will save you some money and allow you to get an arm workout in! Take your chicken breast, put it in-between two pieces of wax paper, or in a plastic bag. Using a rolling pin or pan, smack that chicken until it’s nice and thin. The added bonus of getting out some of the day’s aggression while you’re cooking is always nice.
Some low carb pasta alternatives
This dish is traditionally served over pasta. Regular boxed pasta is not a bad thing on program, but it is something you might have to plan for in advance. However, there are alternatives. For instance, zoodles are a delicious way to get your vegetables in and have a pasta-like experience. You can make your own with different kitchen tools on the market such as this spiralizer, or buy them pre-made at your local grocery store. To cook them, simply put a bit more oil in the pan you cooked the chicken in and cook them until they are crisp-tender, 5-6 minutes should do it. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and you’re good to go! Check this out for some other wonderful pasta alternatives.
The points below are calculated with a serving size of pasta factored in. Using some of the pasta alternatives will lower those points for you.
When you are on program, it can be a challenge to find meals the whole family will enjoy and stay within your points. This recipe will be a hit with the whole family!
How to make chicken parmesan Weight Watchers Friendly
If you're using iTrackBites or Weight Watchers to keep yourself accountable, you can easily make this chicken parmesan lower in bites/points. Instead of using regular mozzarella, use fat-free shredded mozzarella. You can also use egg whites instead of the whole egg to shave off a few more calories.
BLUE PLAN: 16 Points
GREEN PLAN: 17 Points
PURPLE PLAN: 16 Points
Do you love spaghetti? Add some protein by topping it with this delicious chicken parmesan!
3 c. tomato sauce, divided
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sea salt and black pepper
1 c. all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/3 c. water
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 T. Italian seasoning
1¼ c. Parmesan cheese, fresh grated, divided
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 oz. fat-free Mozzarella
1 16-oz. box spaghetti
Place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 425ºF. Pour one cup of the tomato sauce into a 9”x13” baking dish and spread into an even layer across the bottom. Set aside.
Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until approximately ½” thick. Remove and discard top sheet of plastic wrap. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired, and set aside.
Pour the flour onto a shallow, rimmed plate and whisk the eggs and water together in a large, wide bowl. Set aside.
Add the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and one-quarter cup Parmesan cheese to another shallow, rimmed plate. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired, and gently stir to combine. Set aside.
Bread each chicken breast by first lightly dredging in the flour and then coating in the egg wash. Gently shake off any excess flour or egg mixture before moving to the next step.
Press each breast into the bread crumb mixture until thoroughly coated on both sides. Once coated, place each breast onto a large plate and set aside. Repeat until all breasts are breaded.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until lightly browned on each side, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Once browned, transfer the breasts to the baking dish and arrange in a single layer. Repeat this process with remaining olive oil and chicken.
Top the browned chicken breasts with the sliced Mozzarella and spread the remaining tomato sauce across the top in an even layer.
Sprinkle the remaining grated Parmesan cheese on top and place the baking dish into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
While the chicken is baking, prepare the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside until ready to serve.
Remove baking dish from oven and cool for several minutes. Divide the spaghetti among individual serving plates and top each serving with a cheesy chicken breast and some sauce. To serve, sprinkle some fresh basil and/or Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy!