Healthier Chicken Parmesan
by Amber Pankonin, Registered Dietitian, Beginning Well, Lincoln, Nebraska
This chicken Parmesan recipe is a lighter version of the traditionally fried classic. Registered Dietitian Amber Pankonin cuts fat and calories by using part-skim mozzarella, reducing the eggs and flour used for breading, and baking instead of frying.
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 boneless, Smart Chicken breasts
- Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare the tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bell pepper, and Italian seasoning, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. Simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Crack eggs into a shallow dish and beat. In a separate shallow dish, combing the panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, dividing the four chicken breasts into eight pieces of chicken approximately one half inch in thickness. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with canola cooking spray. Coat each piece of chicken with the egg wash, letting the excess drip off, then dredge through panko mixture, coating well on both sides. Place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake chicken for 10 minutes, flip over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Remove chicken from oven and top each portion with ¼ to ½ cup of the tomato sauce, sprinkle cheese mixture evenly on top, and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until chicken is cooked through (165°F at thickest point) and cheese is melted.