Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan features almond flour coated chicken breasts baked in marinara sauce and topped with gooey melted cheese. It is a lightened up version of the comfort food classic!
Table of contents
- What Makes This Baked Chicken Parmesan Healthy?
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- How to Make Chicken Parmesan Baked in the Oven
- Tips for Best Chicken Parmesan
- Should I Bake Healthy Chicken Parmesan Covered or Uncovered?
- What to Serve with Healthy Chicken Parmesan?
- Can Baked Chicken Parmesan Be Made Ahead?
- How to Store
- More FAQs
- More Healthy Chicken Recipes
Have you tried making healthy baked chicken parmesan? I finally did and it’s easy! I love making traditional comforting recipes healthier like healthy chicken alfredo, healthy chicken pot pie, and even healthy fried chicken!
Surprisingly its name doesn’t suggest Parmesan cheese is one of the ingredients but trust me it makes the almond flour breading tastier.
This oven baked chicken parmesan recipe is restaurant quality delicious just like my healthy Tuscan chicken pasta! Crispy coating, chunky bold marinara sauce, and gooey cheese on top sprinkled with fresh parsley. Yum!
I know you will love baked chicken and peppers, too!
What Makes This Baked Chicken Parmesan Healthy?
If you have been avoiding Italian food because it’s off limits, no more my friends!
This lightened up chicken parmesan is higher in protein and lower in saturated fat, without losing any of its amazing taste.
Serve the chicken parm recipe with your favorite salad and you have a well rounded dinner exploding with both flavor and nutrition!
Ingredients You’ll Need
This healthy baked chicken parmesan is like a fancy restaurant dish made at home even better with simple ingredients.
- Chicken breasts: Boneless skinless chicken breasts work the best. Once you cut large chicken breasts in half lengthwise, they become cutlets thin enough to be tender without any tenderizing. Chicken tenders would work as well.
- Almond flour or almond meal: I am using it instead of breadcrumbs to create breading. You can also use whole wheat breadcrumbs but might have to dip cutlets into an egg wash to make them stick to the meat.
- Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan does not give chicken parmesan its name but rather adds flavor to the breading. You can substitute it with more garlic powder and a touch of salt.
- Marinara sauce: Store bought is just fine! Look for low sodium or no salt added and low sugar brands like Trader Joe’s and Amy’s.
- Mozzarella or provolone cheese: Both are semi soft cheeses with a mild taste that melt easily. They are stringy and add delicious sweet goodness to chicken parm. The best!
- Garlic powder and oregano: Will add that Italian taste to your almond flour and parmesan coating.
- Salt and pepper: To season and taste.
How to Make Chicken Parmesan Baked in the Oven
While deluxe in taste, baked chicken parmesan is actually really easy to make!
Prep chicken: Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. You should end up with 8 thin chicken cutlets that do not require pounding.
Make breading: Combine almond flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a wide bowl. No egg wash is necessary because almond flour sticks well to meat.
Dip each cutlet into breading: Press it into the coating, repeating on each side then repeating one more time. The second time helps the breading to stick better.
Bake chicken: Place on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes in preheated to 450 degrees F oven.
Broil: At 500 degrees F until golden brown to make it more crispy and browned. However, almond flour doesn’t get too crispy in the oven, so please see tip below.
Add marinara and cheese: Top each cutlet with 2 tbsp marinara sauce, sprinkle with 2 tbsp cheese, and then bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
I also like to spread more marinara sauce in a baking dish, transfer cutlets on top, bake and serve over pasta like that. Looks impressive.
If you would like very crispy chicken, then I recommend to pan fry cutlets in non-stick ceramic skillet with a bit of olive oil or avocado oil. About 3-4 minutes per side.
Tips for Best Chicken Parmesan
Traditionally chicken parmesan is fried or even deep fried but we bake it. My absolute best tips for healthy baked chicken parmesan would be:
- Use a dark colored baking sheet if you can as it browns almond flour breading better.
- Use whole wheat breadcrumbs and egg wash if you really want crispy breading.
- Or use a nonstick ceramic skillet which requires just a bit of oil to make breading crispy.
Should I Bake Healthy Chicken Parmesan Covered or Uncovered?
Uncovered is best as it will help get the almond flour coating crispy.
What to Serve with Healthy Chicken Parmesan?
Serve healthy chicken parmesan over pasta like whole wheat spaghetti, fettuccine or zoodles. It also goes well with simple sides like:
- Salads: Try simple lettuce salad recipe.
- Simple sides: Sauteed garlic broccoli or parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts are just a few favorites.
- Grains: Brown rice makes a nice gluten free side.
- Potatoes: It’s always a good reason to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes.
Can Baked Chicken Parmesan Be Made Ahead?
Yes! I always double the recipe when I make it ahead. Bake the chicken, top it with marinara and cheese, then refrigerate it right away on a baking tray covered with a linen towel.
The next day it’s ready to bake. You can also freeze it this way, then transfer it into a resealable freezer bag, thaw, and then bake.
If you would like to bake from frozen, I recommend to freeze just breaded chicken cutlets, bake from frozen 10 minutes longer, and only then top with marinara and cheese.
How to Store
While this dish tastes best fresh out of the oven, you can store it an airtight container for 2 days. Best would be to store it separately from any sides you have served it with, like noodles.
Reheat in the microwave in 15 second intervals or by baking until warmed. Try it room temp over a salad!
Both are chicken with cheese. Different names same dish, just one sounds slightly more fancy.
Italian seasoning would be a great substitute!
For this version with an almond flour coating, I did not find it necessary. If you opt to use bread crumbs, you will need an egg wash.
You may also like this almond crusted chicken!
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
You may also love to browse these 65 healthy chicken recipes!
Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. You should end up with 8 thin chicken cutlets that do not require pounding.
- In a large shallow bowl, combine almond flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork.
- Dip each cutlet into breading on both sides by pressing on it and repeating one more time (so breading sticks better). Place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes. Then broil at 500 degrees F until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, top each cutlet with 2 tbsp marinara sauce and sprinkle with 2 tbsp cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted at 450 degrees F. I also like to spread more marinara sauce in a baking dish, transfer cutlets on top, bake and serve like that. Looks impressive.
- Serve over whole wheat spaghetti, fettuccine or zucchini noodles. Chicken parmesan also goes well with lettuce salad.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 2 days. Reheat in 15 second intervals in the microwave or bake until warm.
- Freeze: Bake chicken, top with marinara and cheese, cool, and then transfer into a resealable freezer bag.
- Bake from frozen: Freeze uncooked breaded chicken cutlets, bake 10 minutes longer and only then top with marinara and cheese.
- Dark colored baking sheet browns breading better and faster.
- Use whole wheat breadcrumbs and egg wash if you really want crispy breading. Or use nonstick ceramic skillet which requires just a bit of oil to make breading very crispy.