This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn’t necessarily have to be bad for you… serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!

This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn't necessarily have to be bad for you... serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!

Winter just seems to draaaaag endlessly in my part of the world. Spring is supposed to be right around the corner, yet, snow keeps falling and falling from the sky, and it’s still cold as hell out. As such, I needed a little something to comfort me last week and decided to whip up this Chicken Parmigiana to do just that! Then I wondered how come I’d never shared that recipe with you… after all, it’s really not that indulgent at all. In fact, it’s even quite healthy for such a comforting dish! 

So I took the liberty of borrowing the recipe that I used from my wicked alter ego; I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing the love. And since I didn’t change much of anything to her recipe, I even dared use her pictures! Hey, they’re pretty decent, so why go through the trouble of redoing them all? Of course, I asked permission first!

Now if you felt that this recipe was a tad too indulgent for your liking and wanted to keep things on the lighter side, you could very well choose to serve your Chicken Parmigiana with a side of salad or steamed veggies, instead of pasta. Or, you could also choose to swap whole wheat bread crumbs for the panko, although you won’t be getting as much crunch out of the former…

Also, you could choose to make your breading much lighter by single-breading your chicken, as opposed to double-breading like this recipe instructs you to.

But seriously, all in all, these are all good ingredients that, when combined, turn into the most delicious, most comforting dish you could ever dream of. In my case, that’s exactly what I needed to help me forget about this cold and snowy winter that doesn’t seem to ever want to end.

This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn't necessarily have to be bad for you... serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!

One of my favorite, must-use tricks when making chicken breasts is to brine the chicken overnight in a solution made of 1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 cups of water. While this step is not absolutely mandatory, I strongly recommend that you make a habit of doing it: you won’t believe how much juicier and tastier your chicken will be.

Plus, it demands so very little time and effort, it’s totally not worth skipping!

Crushed tomatoes and spices in a medium saucepan simmering on a gas range

Before you even deal with the chicken (apart from brining it, that is) you’ll want to make the marinara sauce. To do that, heat a little bit of avocado oil (or your favorite healthy cooking oil) in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until slightly softened and colored.

Add the crushed tomatoes and spices, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover partly and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s thickened. Remove from heat, cover and reserve.

A chicken breast sliced in half lengthwise on a wooden cutting board with boning knife next to it

While the sauce is simmering, preheat your oven to 350°F, then pat your chicken dry and cut each breast in half lengthwise.

Eggs and flour getting whisked in a shallow white ceramic bowl

Next, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs until well combined. Then, in a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs (panko or whole wheat, your choice), Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper.

A chicken cutlet is held over a shallow white bowl after getting dunked in egg and flour mixture

Grab one of the chicken cutlets in one hand and dredge it in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it on both sides. Allow excess to drip for a few seconds and then drop the cutlet in the bread crumbs mixture.

A chicken cutlet in a shallow white bowl getting coated in seasoned breadcrumbs

Using your dry hand, cover the cutlet with crumbs and press it gently to help it adhere; shake off any excess.

You could stop right here, but if like me you like a real nice thick and crispy breading on your chicken, you’ll want to repeat this whole process one more time with this same cutlet:

A chicken cutlet in a shallow white bowl, getting dunked in egg and flour mixture

Using your wet hand, dredge the cutlet in the egg mixture…

A breaded chicken cutlet is held over a shallow white bowl after getting dunked in egg and flour mixture

…let the excess drip for a few seconds…

A chicken cutlet in a shallow white bowl getting coated in seasoned breadcrumbs

…then drop the cutlet into the crumbs. Coating it using your dry hand, press and shake off excess.

Transfer your breaded cutlet to a plate and repeat with remaining three cutlets.

2 breaded chicken cutlets frying in a stainless steel skillet

Heat about 1/4 cup of avocado oil (or your favorite cooking oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when the oil is nice and hot, gently drop in 2 breaded cutlets and fry them without moving them for about 2 minutes, or until a crispy, golden crust develops.

A cooked breaded chicken skillet is getting removed from a stainless steel frying pan with a spatula

Delicately flip the cutlets over with a spatula and continue cooking until a golden crust develops on the other side, too.

Four breaded chicken breasts being placed into a white baking dish

Transfer the chicken to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer

Cooked breaded chicken breasts in white baking dish getting topped with spoonfuls of marinara sauce

When the chicken is fully cooked, cover each cutlet with a few tablespoons of the reserved marinara sauce…

Cooked breaded chicken cutlets in a white baking dish, topped with marinara sauce, getting topped with shredded cheese

…and then top with a handful of the grated mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheeses.

Cooked Chicken Parmigiana in white baking dish

Place the chicken in the oven directly under the broiler until the cheese is fully melted and starts to bubble.

Garnish with a handful of chopped parsley and serve immediately with a side of your favorite pasta (or veggies, or salad) and top with a little bit more sauce, if desired.

This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn't necessarily have to be bad for you... serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!

This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn't necessarily have to be bad for you... serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!
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5 from 3 votes

Chicken Parmigiana

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This Chicken Parmigiana is proof that Comforting food doesn't necessarily have to be bad for you... serve it with a side of your favorite pasta to keep with the classic, or opt for sauteed veggies or a green salad for an even lighter version!
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 8oz | 225g each)
  • 2 cups water, (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salt, (optional)

Marinara Sauce

Breading

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  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Serving suggestions

  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
  • Cooked linguini, to serve

Instructions

Brine the chicken (optional)

  • The previous night, place your chicken breasts to brine in a solution made of 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 cups of water. This step is not absolutely mandatory but it makes the chicken so much juicier and tastier and demands so very little time and effort, I totally recommend that you go ahead and do it.

Make the sauce

  • Heat the avocado oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until slightly softened and colored. Add the crushed tomatoes and spices, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover partly and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's thickened. Remove from heat, cover and reserve.

Bread the chicken

  • While the sauce is simmering, preheat your oven to 350°F, then pat your chicken dry and cut each breast in half lenghtwise.
  • Then, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper. Grab one of the chicken cutlets in one hand and dredge it in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it on both sides. Allow excess to drip for a few seconds and then drop the cutlet in the panko crumbs mixture. Using your dry hand, cover the cutlet with crumbs and press it gently to help it adhere; shake off any excess and repeat the process one more time with this same cutlet: using your wet hand, dredge the cutlet in the egg mixture and let excess drip, then drop it into the crumbs, coat it using your dry hand, press and shake off excess.
  • Transfer your breaded cutlet to a plate and repeat with remaining three cutlets.

Cook the chicken

  • Heat 1/4 cup avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when the oil is nice and hot, gently drop in 2 breaded cutlets and fry them without moving them for about 2 minutes, or until a crispy, golden crust develops. Delicately flip the cutlets over with a spatula and continue cooking until a golden crust develops on the other side, too.
  • Transfer the chicken to a 9" x 13" baking dish and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.
  • Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer

Assembly

  • Cover each cutlet with a few tablespoons of the marinara sauce and then top with a handful of the grated mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheeses.
  • Broil in the oven until the cheese is fully melted and starts to bubble.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with a side of pasta (or salad or veggies) and additional sauce, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 230mg, Sodium: 3053mg, Potassium: 627mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 855IU, Vitamin C: 6.4mg, Calcium: 510mg, Iron: 3.4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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