I’ve been dreaming about chicken parm for some time now. It’s definitely one of my favorite comfort foods. My dad’s is, hands down, the best I’ve ever had- better than any restaurant’s, even in the North End of Boston! Of course, he makes his in a deep fryer! It is not for the faint of heart, but it is damn good. Once I saw that Chelsea had made chicken parm, I knew I had to satisfying my craving! I wanted to lighten it up, so I made my go-to “healthy version” based on a recipe from Elie Krieger that, obviously, I tweaked to my liking!
Chicken Parm Based on this recipe
- 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs *
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- l1/2 cup liquid egg whites *
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour *
- 4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups) … I used Ragu Ligh Tomato & Basil
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) reduced shredded fat mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan
*Denotes my modifications. Check the link for the original recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the bread crumbs with oregano, basil, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.
We don’t eat much pasta in this house, therefore it’s not often we consume spaghetti sauce. I’ve made my own many times, but to save time, I went with a healthy bottled sauce!
I served this over a bed of spaghetti squash!
You can see my tutorial of how to cut it here.
People have asked me what it tastes like. I’m going to make a contradicting statement.
It doesn’t have much flavor but it’s delicious! How so?
It takes on the flavor of whatever you serve it with! Be it pesto, sauce, or simple EVOO.
It’s very mild- perhaps even Jessica would be willing to try it? She could start by sauteing it in bacon…
This baby wasn’t getting brown so I had to put her under the broiler for a few until she was toasty and bubbly.
The smoky paprika really kicked it up a notch.
The chicken was crispy and proved to be the perfect match
for the salty, melted cheese!
Another good thing? This original recipe’s nutrition stats were listed around 410 calories.
My modifications (without the sketti squash) have it down to around 325!!
Am I good, or am I GOOD?
Rounded out with the obligatory green, in the form of asparagus tonight!
Although this dish was incredibly satisfying, there was no missing the “this is healthy” thang. But, for the calories saved, and the fact that the flavor is still there, it’s a great lighter option!
It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to my dad’s, but then again, this isn’t deep-fried. And my thighs appreciate that.