Healthy Chicken Parmesan that is baked instead of fried, then topped with marinara sauce and Mozzarella cheese for absolutely delicious, gooey, and easy comfort food at home. This chicken recipe is a fancy restaurant dish made at home even better. Just try it, even on a weeknight, it’s easy!
Alternatively, check out some of my other favorite recipes that combine chicken and gooey cheese like these chicken lasagna roll-ups, chicken spaghetti squash alfredo, or Instant Pot chicken pasta with parmesan!
Baked Chicken Parmesan
Have you tried making Healthy Chicken Parmesan? I finally did and it’s easy! I love spending time in my kitchen making traditional comforting recipes healthier – like this healthy chicken alfredo, 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 breading tastier.
Traditionally chicken Parmesan is fried or even deep-fried but we bake it. My absolute best tips for baked chicken Parmesan would be:
- Use a dark colored baking sheet if you can – it browns 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.
Otherwise, we were very happy with the oven-baked chicken because of the delicious coating, chunky bold marinara sauce, and gooey cheese on top sprinkled with fresh parsley. Yum!
Once baked, the chicken parmesan pairs wonderfully with all sorts of side dishes like pastas and salads. And, if you’re wanting inspiration for other chicken pasta dishes, you may enjoy this healthy Tuscan chicken pasta, whole wheat chicken spaghetti, Instant Pot chicken alfredo, or crock-pot chicken spaghetti!
Ingredients You Will Need
- Chicken breasts: Boneless and skinless chicken breasts work the best. Once you cut them in half lengthwise, breasts become cutlets thin enough to be tender without any tenderizing. Tenders would work as well.
- Almond flour or 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: 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 or you could use this 10-minute pasta sauce. 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 with marinara sauce. The best!
About Marinara Sauce…
You can use store-bought marinara sauce.
I had 6 large tomatoes going bad. So, I used this marinara sauce recipe from Spend with Pennies as a guideline and made my own. So easy! Here is how I went about it:
- Pureed onion and garlic.
- While above mentioned veggies were sauteing in olive oil, I pureed tomatoes.
- Added a few small cans of tomato paste.
- Italian seasonings to taste.
- Don’t forget some sugar to offset the acidity of tomatoes.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- Prep chicken by cutting each chicken breast in half lengthwise. You should end up with 8 thin chicken cutlets that do not require pounding.
- Make breading by combining 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 on both sides by pressing on it and 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. Then 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 like that. Looks impressive. 🙂
Tip: 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.
How to Serve, Make Ahead and Freeze Chicken Parmesan
Serve parmesan crusted chicken over pasta like whole wheat spaghetti, fettuccine or zucchini noodles. It also goes well with simple sides like:
- Lettuce salad
- Lemon kale salad with all that garlic – yum!
- Sauteed garlic broccoli
- Garlic green beans
- Roasted brussels sprouts
- Instant Pot brown rice
- Instant Pot mashed potatoes
- Tomato mozzarella salad
You might also want to check out this list of all my green salads!
I doubled the recipe and made ahead. I baked chicken, topped it with marinara and cheese, then refrigerated it right 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.
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
- Chicken stuffed with brie
- Lemon chicken
- Chicken curry
- Baked chicken and peppers
- Cajun chicken
- Chicken Breast with tomatoes
- One-Pan Chicken and potatoes
Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- 4 large 8 oz each boneless & skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella or Provolone cheese shredded
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- 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 simple lettuce salad.
- Make ahead: I baked chicken, topped it with marinara and cheese, then refrigerated right on baking tray covered with linen towel. Next day it's ready to bake. You can also freeze it this way, then transfer 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.
- Dark coloured baking sheet browns breading better and faster. I just don't have any.
- 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.
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