This post is sponsored by Shenandoah Valley Organic.
I love traditional comfort food—the kind of food you find on the menu at the corner diner, or even better, the kind of food my mom used to make on Sunday afternoons. It’s no surprise to me that my most popular recipes are lighter versions of all my favorites: eggplant parmesan, honey barbecue meatloaf, and perfect mashed sweet potatoes!
Chicken Parmesan is a definite comfort food and a true crowd-pleaser. To make the best lighter version, I have two secrets.
#1: You need to consider the quality of the chicken itself and the method of cooking. In this case, we’re baking the chicken instead of pan-frying it
This Shenandoah Valley Organic chicken breast that I used for my lighter baked chicken parm is perfect. These are hand-cut premium pieces of skinless, boneless, chicken breast that you can use straight from the package. They’re organic, free range, and 100% farmer-owned chicken. You can even enter the FARM ID they provide on each package (mine was CLAY) at SVORGANIC.COM to see what farm your chicken came from, if you’re curious.
The second secret is that I only bread ONE SIDE—the top—of the chicken, just like I do with my healthy baked eggplant parm! The chicken still gets nice and crispy in the oven and you still get to enjoy the taste and texture of breading, but without all the extra calories and carbs. And since you’re adding sauce and cheese on top, I don’t think you will miss a little breading anyway. This lighter recipe clocks in at 335 calories or 4 Weight Watchers Freestyle Points per serving!
Lighter Baked Chicken Parmesan (4 WW Points!)
- 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds Shenandoah Valley Organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 cup store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
- 3 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese shredded (3/4 cup)
- Fresh basil chopped, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Place one chicken breast on a cutting board and carefully slice it in half lengthwise, creating 2 very-thin chicken cutlets. Repeat with the second chicken breast. Season the chicken all over with with salt.
- Lightly beat the egg in a wide, shallow bowl.
- In a separate wide, shallow bowl, use a fork to stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.
- First, dip one chicken cutlet in the egg, turning to coat both sides. Next, dredge the chicken (only one side though!) in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat that side well. Place the chicken cutlet crumbs-side-up on the lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken cutlets.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and spoon 2 tablespoons (up to ¼ cup, depending on your preference!) of tomato sauce onto each chicken cutlet, then sprinkle the tops evenly with the mozzarella cheese. Return the pan to the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle the tops with fresh basil and serve with your favorite pasta or zucchini noodles!