This is another one of those super easy recipes that we have for dinner often at our house. I know I’ve mentioned my love for chicken parmesan before. In fact, my all time favorite meal is the chicken parmesan from Carrabba’s with a side of cavatappi alfredo. I absolutely love that breaded, pan-fried chicken covered in mildly spicy pomodoro sauce and topped with melty mozzarella and romano cheeses. I’m practically salivating just thinking about it.
The problem with my most favorite meal ever (geeze I really want some now that I’ve been talking about it) is that it’s about a billion calories, especially when you add in an appetizer, a cup of soup, and the insane amount of bread I always eat when we go there (what can I say? When we go out, I go a little crazy sometimes. Life is nothing without a few indulgences). To satisfy my cravings at home, I like to make this lightened up version.
I leave off the breading, which I honestly don’t miss once I dig in to my meal. The flavor remains perfect without the breading because of the garlic powder and Italian seasoning sprinkled on the chicken before it’s cooked. I use a lightened up version of marinara sauce to keep the calories low (Prego Light, which is basically all I use in my cooking). I also use my tried-and-true trick of cutting one chicken breast in half, thickness-wise, so that I have 2 thinner cutlets (see here for more explanation).
I still top the chicken with a good amount of cheese (hey, there are some things I’m just not willing to skimp on. I’m from Wisconsin after all). I usually use mozzarella cheese, but I’ve been known to use whatever Italian cheese I happen to have in the fridge at the time, including asiago and provolone. Occasionally I’ll also top it with some shredded parmesan or romano cheese. It all depends on what I have on hand. The flavor profile changes slightly depending on what kind of cheese you decide to use. Mozzarella and provolone will lend a milder flavor, while asiago can be a bit stronger.
I often roast either potatoes or sweet potatoes to accompany this chicken, that way the oven is already on and ready to go when it’s time to warm the sauce and melt the cheese. The roasted potatoes complement the flavors of the chicken really nicely, and, when paired with some steamed veggies, it makes a perfect weeknight meal. Regardless of what you pair it with (you could even make it into sandwiches! That idea literally just occurred to me. This chicken on a warm crusty roll…. yummmm), it’s a tasty, lightened up Italian favorite!
Skinny Chicken Parmesan
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (6-7 oz), trimmed of fat
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian blend seasoning, to taste
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce (I use Prego light)
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (or asiago or provolone), shredded
- 1 tbsp. parmesan (or romano) cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Lay chicken flat on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut chicken in half thickness-wise so that you have 2 separate chicken cutlets.
- Season both sides of each cutlet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian blend seasoning.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Once oil is hot, cook chicken cutlets on both sides until cooked through and the internal temperature on a meat thermometer reads 165 when stuck into the thickest part of the breast.
- Pour half of the marinara sauce over each breast and then sprinkle with cheeses. Cover pan with a lid and place pan in oven until cheese has melted and sauce is warm, about 2-3 minutes.